Elizabeth Oram My father was a tenured professor at a large southern university. His income provided a secure, middle class life for our family of four in the 1960s. But my father was not brilliant or ambitious and I am certain that were he a PhD job seeker in today's academic "marketplace," our family would have known neither security nor abundance. He would have been among … [Read more...] about What professors and Fast Food Workers Have In Common
Focus on Pages
The "Focus On" section provides in-depth information and opinion on many facets of sustainability. (Although these topics may appear quite distinct and separate, it’s important to remember that they are interconnected and interdependent in multiple ways — in general, the 4 basic principles of ecology apply to all complex systems.)
When you select a Focus On… topic, the system will select all the articles and posts in that category with the most recent pages at the top, just under a brief introduction to the topic. (Many articles appear in multiple categories.)
Background & detail information is organized into the main categories listed in the left sidebar.
Education & Schools
Learning is a natural process that happens in every imaginable setting. Schools are designed, in theory, to promote and enhance learning. Some schools use highly-structured curriculum, while others use a more experiential, democratic, & student-driven approach. In practice, many schools also function to stifle criticism and to instill the values of state policy, religious dogma, or other value systems.
- teach-climate.net for information on how to integrate global warming & climate change into your school!
- resources for better schools & learning
Other school-related topics: Militarism in schools
Over a year ago, the Brookings Report on Pennsylvania, “Back to Prosperity, A Competitive Agenda for Renewing Pennsylvania”, was published. It reported many serious challenges now facing our state: We are losing our young people – the “brain drain”Pennsylvania is barely growing in populationEven with no real growth in population, construction continues at an alarming pace. … [Read more...] about Renewing Pennsylvania
by Alyssa Fama Growing up, I always admired the beauty of nature and the world around me; blossoming flowers in the spring, the buzzing of insects during the summer, changing leaf colors in the fall and the silent snowfall in the winter. My childhood eyes were never opened to what we were doing to our planet, and it wasn’t until recently I began to understand. We go … [Read more...] about Teaching About Food, Climate, and Sustainability
by Samantha Keenan The Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (‘LVAIC’) held its third valley-wide Campus Sustainability Conference in February. Keynote speaker Shana S. Weber, who directs the Office of Sustainability at Princeton University, kicked off the day with a talk on the importance of developing an ethos of sustainability on college campuses. … [Read more...] about Colleges Lead the Way
by Briana VanBuskirk We’re stuck in a cycle that fosters the creation, use, and discarding of materials without any consideration for the environment, animal rights, or human rights. Why is this? It’s no secret that financial gain is the core problem. At some point in our lives, we’ve felt guilty for giving into the consumer lifestyles that provide us with easy, cheap access … [Read more...] about The Cycle of Discarding
by Courtney Cohen Society has made great strides to improve modern medicine, communication, and technology, but in the process, we have lost our innate connection with the natural world. Early environmentalists like Thoreau and Pinchot warned society that they were falling prey to capitalism and industrialization, and that we must preserve the fragile bond between humankind … [Read more...] about Education: The Key to a Sustainable Future
by Maison Allen What if Europeans never settled in North America? Would the land in this country have remained unharmed? Would the environment be in better condition than it is today? Unlike colonists, the Native people did not treat the Earth as a consumable good. While there is no way to answer these questions, taking a look at the way Indigenous people lived … [Read more...] about Decolonizing America for a Sustainable Future
by Mary Catherine Foltz How can Universities and communities work together to promote sustainability? Lehigh University’s South Side Initiative (SSI) has developed a few different ways to answer this question in the past years. Recently, we worked with community partners and citizens of Bethlehem to develop community gardens and to begin the process of imaging a pedestrian … [Read more...] about South Side Initiative
Education and Democracy A few thoughts on education for a democracy, by some of our greatest thinkers on education: "The proper education of the young does not consist of stuffing their heads with a mass of words, sentences, and ideas dragged together out of various authors, but in opening up their understanding to the outer world, so that a living stream may flow from their … [Read more...] about Education and Democracy
Content in preparation (including discussion of Columbus Day & Indigenous Peoples' Day) … [Read more...] about Indigenous People and their role in the Americas