Putting together the puzzle of EE funding to locate EE resources in cities.
A 1998 paper described EE as a process “in which diverse providers offer pieces of a puzzle.” Different pieces are funded by different sources. Photo courtesy of Clear Matters.
Urban environmental education can increase student motivation, develop citizenship, and provide nature exposure to students who are disconnected with their environments. But how can urban environmental education be funded?
Photo Courtesy of Gourmet
Environmental regulation of the meat industry in the United Sates is largely non-existent, as government agencies have proved absent or ineffectual in addressing the harmful emissions and practices of large-scale slaughterhouses. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for the regulation of factory farms, however, it does little to prevent, limit, and rectify the toxic emissions and excessive wastes of the livestock industry. Major corporations in the meat industry benefit from the weak regulatory environment, and spend massive sums of money each year on lobbying efforts. The rise of industrial, environmentally insensitive meat production has been facilitated by particular regulations, or lack thereof, and policies, thus any major changes to the livestock industry will likely start at the level of government.
The profit centric and environmentally ignorant policies sustaining large-scale, industrial animal farming affectively began with the farm bill put forth by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Known as the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) of 1933, Roosevelt’s farm bill was part of his New Deal legislation, aimed to revitalize struggling farmers during the Great Depression. The bill provided subsidies and fueled research, which encouraged, intentionally or not, the growth of industrial agriculture. While researchers and scientists studied the most effective means of raising livestock and maximizing production, farmers reshaped agriculture with the money and research provided to them. Plainly, Roosevelt’s bill restored prices, concentrated land in the hands of the few, and perpetuated the rise of agribusiness.
Palestinian woman holding onto olive tree uprooted by armed Israeli army – Reuters
While the terms Environmental Justice and Environmental Racism were coined in the United States, these issues are by no means limited to the borders of this country. On the contrary, they can be more strikingly severe and less subtle outside of the US. This is not to say that the United States is absolutely out of the equation. The United States dumping waste in India, American and European companies dumping toxic waste on the shores of Somalia, fueling numerous conflicts and problems in the country, as well as the US exporting toxic waste to be treated by African companies for as little as $3 a ton (in comparison to a cost of $1250 a ton in the US), are all examples of international environmental racism against a poor, predominantly of color population. However the issue this post will handle is none of the above, instead the focus will be the Palestinian case. Continue reading
A gas leak sets of an explosion in East Harlem. By: Ozier Muhammad
No more than two weeks ago, the citizens of New York City, particularly Harlem, were shocked when they heard the news about two buildings being leveled to the ground by due to a gas leak explosion, leaving at least six people dead. It was later reported that neighborhood citizens have been complaining for months about gas odor prior to the accident, but their complaints fell on deaf ears. This neglect and disregard to the lives and well-being of the Harlem residents is not surprising in light of the fact that the Harlem community has suffered and continues to suffer from great environmental burdens.
How do effective environmental programs relate to student achievement?
Seventh and eighth graders in CEEP’s Earth Force program choose a local environmental issue to study and develop a project to address it. Photo courtesy of Lakeside Views.
In the Calumet Region along the southern shores of Lake Michigan, the Chicago Field Museum serves over 2,700 students in grades four through twelve with its Calumet Environmental Education Program (CEEP). Fourth through sixth graders learn about biodiversity through field trips to local nature and stewardship activities; middle school students identify local environmental issues and develop action projects around them; high schoolers participate in ecological monitoring, attend leadership days, and work at summer internships.
“Growing up and learning through the Calumet Environmental Education Program…shaped the path my life would follow,” Purdue University sophomore Sophia Vela wrote for the Field Museum’s website. Vela is majoring in Natural Resources and Environmental Science at Purdue’s College of Agriculture.
CEEP makes use of the rich ecological resources in the Calumet Region to teach students about conservation and biodiversity. But just north of the Calumet Region, the Chicago public school system, like urban school systems all over the US, struggles with funding issues, school closings, and race and socioeconomic achievement gaps.