1. Think back over the last 15-20 years – What is one big step forward in the field of environmental education?
That key parts of the wider society has now caught up with what we have been saying for 50 years. I do not think that we (EE folk generally) can claim much credit for this. From where I sit it is thousands of young people inspired by Greta Thunberg who have the attention of government. All EE folk can do it to help them, and this is happening
2. Today (2020), where is your sense of urgency? What is a critical challenge we need to focus on now in the field of EE?
I think that the critical challenge for humans internationally is to take what we now know for certain about global heating, and what we think about how this will likely change over the coming decades, and evolve and enact policies and practices that [i] stop the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and then [ii] reduces them to safe levels. This will require technological innovation which will depend on the funding of research and development. EE folk can help raise awareness of this, but there is very little that individuals can do.
Another critical challenge relates to biodiversity and the ecological crisis more widely. Again, we need to evolve and enact policies and practices that [i] stop the loss of biodiversity (etc) and then [ii] help it recover. This will also require innovation, for example in farming policies which are less dependent on research and development. EE folk can help raise awareness of this, and can actively help individuals to make a difference.
3. Looking ahead 15-20 years – What specific areas of progress do you hope we will be able to cite, i.e., in 2040
Helping the public to be part of the daunting transition to net zero-carbon, thriving and equitable societies where human well-being and maintaining a rich biodiversity (etc) are absolute priorities and are seen as two sides of the same coin.