Monday, March 16, 2009

science questions

1. What comes to mind when you hear the words "sustainable" or "sustainability"?
To me this means trying to make the earth's resources last for the future. The way people consume and waste; we are in serious trouble. I know that I am not completely environmentally friendly and there are things that I can do to improve but at least I am aware. There are so many people who don't have a clue and just use and use without any thought or regard.

2. What is your understanding of education for sustainability (ES)?
Teaching students that they need to recycle and try and make the world a better place. Spending time going over current issues and why they are important to our class and why we should care. Answering the questions does it really effect us? How does it effect us? What can we do? How can we do it? Can we really make a change? Taking on an action plan and following it through. Explore how we made a difference, even it it is just a small difference.

3. What's your understanding of the relationship between environmental protection and economic development? They are polar opposites. Environmental protection is trying to preserve what is left of the natural environment where as economic development is only interested in how much money they can make from a business or an industry. This question stirred up some comments from my grandpa and he reminded me that not all economic development is bad. I'm adding in his comments because I don't think that I can say it better... I always forget that this is his specialty, helping with enviromental economic development.

I am sorry but EP and ED are not necessarily ‘polar opposites’.
Of course it depends largely upon the definition of each that is used or assumed. Environmental protection (making money from it) has in itself become a huge industry and will grow rapidly as our knowledge and concern about the effects of industrial activity grows.

It is suggested that a new industry that creates employment, wealth, and is conducted in an environmentally sustainable manner could be developed to in fact protect the environment.

Examples could be:

Reforestation, the planting of trees to enhance water sheds, protect soil resources denuded by forest fires or industrial activity, enhance the visual/aesthetics of the area or region and provide habitat for wildlife including birds, game, fur and predators including men and women, create recreation areas and provide sources of wild fruit. In the full extension of this scenario, the forest created captures carbon while growing and may in the future, be harvested in an environmentally responsible manner to construct shelters for people that would have a smaller ‘foot print’ than the existing housing and use energy efficient technology to sustain the lives of the human element of that forest and region.

Establishment of an industry to build, assemble and market clean energy systems whether they be wind turbine powered electrical generators, run of the river turbines and generators or central/district heating systems to utilize waste biomass as feedstock or other waste heat sources as an energy source. Geothermal heat sources and systems can be included with this point.

Commercial fish harvesting is an industry that utilizes existing fish populations to harvest, assemble and distribute food for humans and animals. This can be done in an environmentally responsible manner that maintains the fish populations and may enhance the wild resource by modification of the fish populations, removal of some size classes and limiting populations of some species to have the water body produce a larger percentage of the more desirable sizes and species. This can be achieved while the water body sustains and maintains an active and desirable fish population to satisfy the recreational fishery, of course the recreational fishery must also be conducted in a sustainable manner and preferably the anglers would paddle or row their watercraft and thereby have good physical exercise that would help to maintain their health and not contribute through the burning of fossil fuels to environmental degradation.

4. What's your understanding of the relationship between human and nature? We are part of nature. Without nature and the environment we will not exist. I think there is so much unnecessary destruction of nature to allow for someone to have a huge mansion that they don't use half of the rooms in. So many things that are wrong with how our society views material things and doesn't think about the consequences of their actions.

5. What's your understanding of the relationship between "education for sustainability (ES)" and your professional work as a teacher? It is my job to be a positive role model, to be aware of current events and what is going on in my community, and to do professional research on the topics that I want my class to explore.

6. Do you plan to help your students develop an understanding of sustainable development when you become a teacher? Why, or why not? I think that you have to help students gain an understanding. Without this understanding nothing will change, we will continue to overconsume, pile up garbage, pollute the water and kill the earth with stuff that is not essential.

7. Feel free to share any other thoughts you have about the ESD topic.
I wish there was a way to make people be more responsible with what they waste and what they use.

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