Wednesday, September 24, 2014

BC Education - Environmental Curriculum under the Knife

On June 9, 2014, during talks with the Australian PM, Stephen Harper stated the following:

No country is going to undertake actions on climate change, no matter what they say ... that is going to deliberately destroy jobs and growth in their country.  

A few days ago, just before the opening of the UN Climate Summit in NYC, the Globe and Mail ran an editorial regarding Mr. Harper’s position … or lack thereof:

The PM has been very good at talking about what policies he won’t be adopting. [It will not, for example] … address greenhouse gas emissions, particularly those from the oil-and-gas industry, by adopting a politically suicidal plan of economic destruction … But what does it intend to do? Telling Canadians what the plan isn’t doesn’t tell us what the plan is, or if you even have one.

…Between the extremes of shutting down the oil sands – totally unreasonable – and doing nothing – totally unacceptable – there’s a lot of middle ground. The government needs to start exploring the territory.

Whether or not you agree with the Globe and Mail’s position that it is “totally unreasonable” to shut down the oil sands, the real question is who will start "exploring the territory"?

I am beginning to have serious doubts there will be any qualified souls to do this work, especially since I heard through the Sierra Club that the BC Ministry of Education has released a curriculum draft that effectively removes environmental education from BC classrooms, grade 1-9. The organization goes on to say that the draft eliminates fundamental words such as “habitat,” “ecosystem,” “pollution,” and “sustainability” from the curriculum…

Is this how we, as Canadians, now deal with environmental issues? Through denial, obscuration, or just plain deceit? George Orwell step aside, we have a new version of newspeak

A few weeks ago,Canadian Press wanted to interview Fisheries and Oceans scientist, Max Bothwell, about the origins of a certain pervasive algae. The request put through to the federal government resulted in 110 pages of emails from 16 different federal communication agents.  By the time permission came through with "approved responses", CP had already written the article. Dene Moore of CP Press suggests a possible reason for this delay. Contained on one of those 110 pages is the statement: [Algae] Blooms are the result of global climate change factors.

We need our children to learn as early as possible their interdependence with the natural world. It is in these youthful years that crucial and hard to change beliefs are formed. Youth must learn that without trees we will not survive. Without clean water, we will die. Without many of the millions of microorganisms that make up this planet we will cease to exist despite the health of our economy.

Please to not let the BC Government follow down the same path as Mr. Harper.

The Ministry of Education is currently asking for feedback and comments on the proposed curriculum draft. provide feedback to the ministry. Please add your thoughts.

I also encourage you to click on the Sierra Club link to sign a petition but remember, emails and letters are taken more seriously than petitions. Please write your own letter or copy and paste directly from the Sierra Club site.

Send your letters to:

Your MLA - Click here to find his or her contact info  

Premier Christy Clark  
Peter Fassbender - Minsiter of Education
John Horgan – NDP Leader of the Opposition

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