The GCGI Call to COP26
The World is in a Bad Way- Fix Education, Fix the World
Ecological Degradation and the Climate Crisis are the classical signs of a Failure of Imagination
Glasgow 2021 Where We Hope to Rediscover Our Imagination and Build a Better World
Reimagining our Ecological Imagination: The role of Imagination in our fight against the climate crisis and environmental degradation
Illustration: Eiko Ojala/ Via The Guardian
“We do not need magic to transform the world. We carry all the power we need inside of us already. We have the power to imagine better.”-J.K. Rowling
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.” -Albert Einstein
“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is imagination itself.” – William Blake
“With our imagination we dream the world into being; it is something we carry between us and the world, not inside us.” – David Abram
"The child awakens to a universe. The mind of the child to a world of meaning. Imagination to a world of beauty. Emotions to a world of intimacy. It takes a universe to make a child both in outer form and inner spirit. It takes a universe to educate a child. A universe to fulfill a child."-Thomas Berry
Education, Imagination & Mother Nature
Detaching Nature from Education Has Burnt the Library of Life
Desperately seeking Sophia: The Wisdom of Nature
...'The difficulty is that the natural world is seen primarily for human use, not as a mode of sacred presence primarily to be communed with in wonder, beauty and intimacy. In our present attitude the natural world remains a commodity to be bought and sold, not a sacred reality to be venerated. A deep psychic shift is needed to withdraw us from the fascination of the industrial world and the deceptive gifts that it gives us... Eventually, only our sense of the sacred will save us.”-Thomas Berry in his Foreword to Thomas Merton’s When the Trees Say Nothing, 2003
At the GCGI we believe every child, young person, students and their teachers should have regular opportunities and ease of access to connect with nature, so they can learn to value it, appreciate it, enjoy it, prioritise it and take action to save it.
Education to Honour, Value, Protect and Save Mother Nature
It's so very easy to feel pessimistic and hopeless about the climate crisis. But we’ve got a few vital big things on our side, amongst them, our intelligence and wisdom, our children and grandchildren, the youth, students,and committed teachers who are all demanding action to save the planet.
The pertinent question is: Will the World Wake Up and Discover that the Key to Unlock the Door to Saving Mother Nature is in our Classrooms?
The COP26 climate change summit is just a few short days away. This is the GCGI’s message to the world:
The Climate Crisis Is an Education Crisis: Solve Both or We Will Solve Neither!
World leaders coming to COP26 in Glasgow must, first and foremost, acknowledge the deepening links between the climate crisis and the current mostly values-free, neoliberal education. The challenge we face is unprecedented. If the purpose of education is to serve humanity, nurture and nourish the hearts and minds, then this climate emergency should be accompanied by widespread rethinking and revision of the curriculum—a massive undertaking to equip children to understand the causes of the climate crisis, the enormity of its potential consequences, and how these can be addressed and potential solved. But this is not happening. Thus, COP26 must rise to the challenge and green the curriculum.
Paraphrasing the wise and timeless words of the English writer and philosopher, Aldous Huxley, our world is in a bad way, and it looks as though it would be impossible to rescue it from its present plight, much less improve it, except by fixing education and teaching, and finding the wisest teacher.
Climate change, COP26 and Hope for the Future
We are not Machines, Robots, Cash cows or ‘Bums-on-Seats’: We are pupils and Students, Future Leaders, Humans with Hearts and Minds
Going back to Basics, Rediscovering the Heart and Soul of Education Inspired and
Guided by our Wisest Teacher, our Mother Nature
Fix Education, Teaching and the Learning Model. Failing to do so, ensures the fate of Cop26: A spectacular failure like the other COPs before it! A very expensive carbon foot-print to Glasgow, all for nothing, a waste of time, blah, blah, blah!
The first UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP1) took place from 28 March to 7 April 1995 in Berlin, Germany. Lest we forget, even then, over 26 years ago, it was crystal clear that human activity, consumerism, over production and consumption, the love affair with rapid economic growth with no regard for its possible consequences, and more was heating the globe, with increasingly devastating effects. Time was short, and a sea change in behaviour was required. So more COPs and more COPs were planned!
A selection of previous conference logos: the ‘COP’ acronym stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’.- Photo:Johnson Banks
Today, over a quarter of a century since the first COP, and very little has been achieved, even though, more people understand and accept the reality of anthropogenic global warming, and yet we seem paralysed by despair, caught in a spell of inertia, even as the most lurid of predictions – floods, droughts, fires, plagues, deforestation, the relentless burning of fossil fuels, loss of habitats and biodiversity, and much more – come to pass, bringing us all pain, horror, death and destruction.
You may justifiably ask, why is it that the world is still so tragically facing so many environmental and ecological catastrophes? Yes, you have guessed it correctly: Blah, Blah, Blah! It has all been nothing but a journey in deception, dishonesty and brainwashing!
All this takes me back to my point again: The Climate Crisis Is an Education Crisis: Solve Both or We Will Solve Neither!
What are the goals of COP26?
‘At COP26 we need to work together to enable and encourage countries affected by climate change to: protect and restore ecosystems, build defences, warning systems and resilient infrastructure and agriculture to avoid loss of homes, livelihoods and even lives.’-COP26 Goals
To my mind and with my life time experience in teaching and engagement with students and the youth, the omission of EDUCATION as one of the main goals of COP26 is nothing short of a dereliction of responsibility and indeed it is an affront to our humanity.
We have been warned many times before. As you sow, so you will reap. We have known this as part of our heritage-centred education; although we have not learned it in our formal education. In the wise tales, stories of our sages, philosophers of life and love, from both the west and the east we were warned. They had told us not to walk wantonly and haughty on the surface of the earth. They had told us not to be arrogant with Mother Earth. They had told us not to plunder her, but instead be her custodian, nurture and nourish her.
What a pity, what a disaster that these time honoured and timeless values, principles, lessons never found their way into our teaching curriculum.
Even more pity that with all we now know about our man-made climate crisis, still the COP26 has not included these wise teachings as a main goal to be achieved.
Let us Seize the Day. Let us Make a Difference. Let us Make COP26 a Rewarding Success. Let us be Hopeful and Positive that this time around the political leaders gathered in Glasgow are wiser and more honest than those who went to Paris!
This is the GCGI’s message to the world
Tackling the climate crisis must start in the classroom
Fix the Education, Fix the World