Category Archives: Environment & Society

Perspective: Building a Better Future for Girls Builds a Better World

“Thank heaven for little girls,” Maurice Chevalier sang in the Oscar-winning 1958 movie musical Gigi. But even in his gentlemanly French-accented voice, there was the hint of a leer, a premonition of what is to come. What Chevalier’s character is actually most grateful for about little girls is that “they grow up in … Continue Reading ››

School Days in 2040: Beatriz’s Day at the Freire School of Activism

Education in 2040In this fifth story from the blog series School Days in 2040, Erik Assadourian explores an activist high school in São Paulo, Brazil. At this school students are activists first, students second. They’re learning by doing and, in the process, bringing about positive social change in … Continue Reading ››

Why Your Stuff Turns to Junk and Cooks the Planet

Much of the energy of the environmental movement and of policymaking is focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through low- or zero-carbon development. This is a necessary and, in many ways, proper focus. But it is too narrow an approach to deal successfully with the broader challenge of endless growth in consumption, which is a … Continue Reading ››

School Days in 2040: Arivan’s Day at the Garden City Eco-engineering Academy

Education in 2040In this fourth story from the blog series School Days in 2040, Erik Assadourian explores an eco-engineering high school in Singapore that is training highly moral scientific leaders to guide investigation of the world’s most controversial environmental technologies. Arivan has just stepped off Singapore’s … Continue Reading ››

School Days in 2040: Lakshmi’s Day at Bunker Hill High

Education in 2040In this third story from the blog series School Days in 2040, Erik Assadourian explores a high school in India specializing in training future social entrepreneurs, farmers, and even midwives. With lunch now concluded, Lakshmi excuses herself from the meal at her parents’ home, … Continue Reading ››

It’s Time to Go Back to School—Is It Also Time to Go Electric?

Opportunities to Advance Electric School Bus Technology
Some 50 million children in communities across the United States are heading back to school over the next couple of weeks. About half of these students will get to school on one of 480,000 yellow school buses, more than 90 percent of which are … Continue Reading ››

School Days in 2040: Saikou’s Day Aboard the Tigerfish Floating School

Education in 2040What might education look like in 2040 if it were to be truly Earth-centric? That is to say, teaching a deep connection to—and obligation to care for—the planet that sustains us? Over the course of the summer, as I work on the upcoming State … Continue Reading ››

School Days in 2040: Rima’s Day at École Gardiens de la Forêt (Montreal, Canada)

Education in 2040What might education look like in 2040 if it were to be truly Earth-centric? That is to say, teaching a deep connection to—and obligation to care for—the planet that sustains us? Over the course of the summer, as I work on the upcoming State … Continue Reading ››

Faith Communities as Sowers of Sustainability? 

The seeds of sustainable economies may be sown in surprising places, I thought as I toured a church-run project in East Palo Alto, California that is designed to promote home gardens. That project, and other religious activism on sustainability issues, made me wonder: Could religious congregations be important catalysts of sustainability practices? Maybe. But let’s start … Continue Reading ››