The Failure of Environmental Education (and How We Can Fix It)

By Charles Saylan; Daniel T. Blumstein | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHT
Consumption, Conservation,
and Change

Our societies are driven by consumption, at least in the developed and developing world. Those with the wherewithal to acquire stuff do so, and those without can’t wait to get developed so they can get stuff too. The more wherewithal people have, the more stuff they seem to want or need. Over the last several decades, America has witnessed a trend of extreme consumerism. In order to “keep up with the Joneses,” typical American families of the middle class and up seem to want homes that are five thousand square feet or larger, multiple SUVs, oversize plasma screen televisions in every room, the newest Wii, the newest laptop computer, video iPods or the like, and the coolest cell phones. They also want personal watercraft, recreational vehicles, expensive exercise gear, Ugg boots, home cappuccino makers, double-door refrigerators with built-in juice dispensers, Harley-Davidson motorcycles—and the list goes on and on and on. And all this barely scratches the surface of what we Americans think is essential to our comfort and well-being. We

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The Failure of Environmental Education (and How We Can Fix It)
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Chapter One - The Problem(S) 1
  • Chapter Two - Foundations 21
  • Chapter Three - What Went Wrong 38
  • Chapter Four - Accountability and Institutional Mind-Set 57
  • Chapter Five - The Needs of Environmentally Active Citizens 72
  • Chapter Six - Between Awareness and Action 95
  • Chapter Seven - A Political Primer 116
  • Chapter Eight - Consumption, Conservation, and Change 135
  • Chapter Nine - An Evolving Metric 158
  • Chapter Ten - And How We Can Fix It 173
  • Appendix - Greening Schools for Alternative Education 199
  • Notes 203
  • Selected Bibliography 219
  • Acknowledgments 225
  • Index 229
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