This article discusses how children who have grown up and been educated in a conervation aware era, are now turning out in force as adults.
Rarely a newscast passes nowadays without the mention of another environmental disaster – a shipping vessel poised to spill its ruinous contents upon an ecologically vulnerable coastline, an investigation confirming a key species of Amazonian frog vanished forever, indeed environmental degradation in all its forms weighs heavily on the world’s conscience. It seems the more we humans bravely turn to accept responsibility for the state of our world, a notion not at accepted by all mind you, the wider the breadth of the conundrum it seems.
When faced with hard scientific fact that humans are not invulnerable to extinction due to destruction of our habitat, we go off on all kinds of tangents to avoid the subject. We hear baby boomers protest that global warming doesn’t actually exist, we witness environmental vigilantism in the name of halting the environmental degradation and safeguarding biodiversity. But it’s down the younger end of the environmentalist demographic where the issue receives its most tender consideration.
We are educating our children about “Conserving our Planet”
Our education system harbours the first generations to mature with the power of technology firmly in their grasp, and through an unprecedented awareness of the challenges facing the world they are due to inherit, it does seem that it is here our true environmental warriors are massing.
Environmental degradation, sustainability, resource management all feature prominently in school curriculum on a global scale.
Surely such a socially conscious generation with extreme environmental awareness and sensitivity will inevitably step up to the plate and take a good swing at knocking the worlds environmental problems out of the ball park. However, one can pause to ask whether our children are obsessively concerned with the state of the natural world due to a genuine vision fuelled by true optimism for its betterment, or does the destruction of our environment loom like a bird of doom in young minds? Are our youth convinced the world is ending, and hence frantically pulling out all the stops to make it right?
The global problems of our childhood shape the way we look at life
I vividly recall in my own youth being beset by a global threat of a somewhat darker hue. For hours as a child in bed, sleepless, I would strategise, engineer contingencies and existentially grapple with the threat Reagan-era thermonuclear holocaust. The end of the human race, without warning, unflinching in its impact and totality. The threat of an intercontinental ballistic missile destroying everything and everyone has today the potency of a childish monster-in-the-closet type fantasy. Yet even with the threat of nuclear war virtually extinguished, I cannot say the existence of such anxieties in young people today is a vanished notion.
This education process takes time to show results but it is working
The world is in dire straits in so many ways but common sense would dictate that the souls of our maturing generations should not be sacrificed through using terror tactics as a form of motivation.
If indeed our youth are to achieve global reformation in terms of environmental degradation, their motivation must be from an optimistic source. Education can be seen as a process of unveiling the realties of the world as well as nurturing growth, embracing the exploration and development of talent and potential at every level. It’s these progressive qualities that are key to a future principled in not only responsibility and management but one rich in vitality and progressive in understanding the human condition.
We need to stop scaring our children into fixing the problems that history has handed them just because the hour is getting late.
Their maturation may be blessed with resources unfathomable to us adults, but this does not mean their hearts are less tender, less impressionable. Nor are they are immune to hopelessness and despair. If our children are to usher in an era of genuine global change, it will be heartfelt, like that which we’ve not encountered.
Jas has been fighting environmental degredation in our planet for many years now but in his older age is now thinking more and more deeply about the psychology behind world saving change. He recently read an article titled ‘How can we save the world’ (http://www.worldtransformation.com/save-the-world) by an Australian biologist Jeremy Griffith, which has certainly got him thinking.