“The truth is that many things on which our future health and prosperity depend are in dire jeapordy: climate stability, the resilience and productivity of natural sustems, the beauty of the natural world, and biological diversity.
It is worth noting that this is not the work of ignorant people. Rather, it is largely the results of work by people with BA’s, BS’s, LLB’s, MBA’s, and PhD’s. Elie Wiesel once made the same point, noting that the designers and perpetrators of Auschwitz, Dahcau, and Buchenwald – the Holocoust -were the heirs of Kant and Goethe, widely thought to be the best educated people on earth. But their education did not serve as an adequate barrier to barbarity. What was wrong with their education? In Wiesel’s (1990) words,
‘It emphasized theories instead of values, concepts rather than human beings, abstraction rather than consciousness, answers instead of questions, ideology and efficiency rather than concsience.’
I believe that the same could be said of our education. Toward the natural world it too emphasizes theories, not values; abstraction rather than consciousness; neat answers instead of questions, and technical efficiency over conscience. It is a matter of no small consequence that the only people who have lived sustainably on the planet for any length of time could nor read, or like the Amish do not make a fetish of reading. My point is simply that education is no guarantee of decency, prudence, or wisdom. More of the same kinds of education will only compound our problems. This is not an argument for ignorance but rather a statement of decency and human survival – the issues now looming so large before us in the twenty-first century. It is not education, but education of a certain kind that will save us.” – David M. Orr; Earth in Mind. p 7 – 8.