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Invisible Deserts and Visible Diversity by Susan Brown

When I was a child I lived near a large pond which backed onto a wood. In spring the pond would fill  with frog spawn. I remember waiting  till the tadpoles emerged out of the gelatinous mass of spawn and catching a few up in a large jar. I’d endeavour to recreate the pond ecosystem in the jar- a haphazard process of topping it up with smelly pond water and strewing the water with pondweed – and wait for the tadpoles to transform into frogs.To my consternation, though their four legs sprouted and their tails began to retract they never made it to adulthood. Read more

What Is ‘Ecological Literacy’? by Susan Brown

“without significant precautions education can equip people merely to be effective vandals of the  Earth. If one listens carefully, it may even be possible to hear the Creation groan every year in late May when another batch of smart, degree-holding, but ecologically illiterate, Homo sapiens who are eager to succeed are launched into the biosphere” (Orr, 2004,p.5). Read more

Educating For The Steady State Economy by Susan Brown

On 1st November, 2012 the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change hosted a free public event at the University of Manchester, UK entitled ‘We need to talk about growth’. Central to the discussion of the speakers (Richard Sharland, Head of Environmental Strategy at Manchester City Council; Dr Alice Bows, Sustainable Consumption Institute (University of Manchester); Prof Mark Burton (Manchester Metropolitan University & Centre for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy-CASSE) and Dr Dan O’Neill (University of Leeds and CASSE) was the argument that we need to move from a model of ‘economic growth’ measured in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), levels of consumption, international finance etc, to one of a ‘steady state economy’.  Read more