ESDG, Greta, and missing young ecologists

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

Let's bless the UN for gifting us a new acronym to enjoy in these dark and desperate times.  This is ESDG.  Yes, you've guessed it: education for the sustainable development goals.  You'll find the glorious details here.  Of course you're already asking yourselves "Where does this leave ESD?"  The UN says:

"While ESDGs builds on the established field of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), it incorporates a broader agenda of issues, objectives and methodologies than ESD, and responds directly to the greatly increasing interest across the university sector in engaging with the SDGs"

I hope that's clear enough for you because it certainly isn't for me.  It's not as if ESD is clear either.  A double triumph then.


Meanwhile, quartered safe in Wiltshire, I'm left to appreciate the news that one of three new science laboratories at a local secondary school is to be called the Thunberg Laboratory.  The name resulted from a public competition asking residents to submit a name for the lab.  The person who suggested the name did so because “Ecology is the study of living ecosystems.  Due to the climate crisis, virtually all ecosystems on this planet are currently under threat.  We need to inspire young people to protect the ecosytems of this planet.  Currently there is arguably no better inspiration than Greta Thunberg who has single handedly done more to bring the climate crisis to world attention than anyone."

Did you see how smoothly that shifted from ecology to climate, even though Thunberg doesn't really talk about ecology.  But then who does?  What other young personalities do this?  Is that because it's hard?  It's certainly a lot harder than going on about climate and the deficiencies of here today and gone tomorrow politicians.  Or is it because they never learnt much about it at school?  It would certainly be nice to think that all the students who are to be inspired by the lab's new name will learn some ecology in it.  But will they?  Will they even learn all that much about the climate crisis?  With names come responsibilities; I hope the school knows that.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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