This issue of Earth Ethics serves as the proceedings of
an academic symposium entitled "Teaching for the Environment
in Higher Education: The Promise of the Earth Charter." Summary
by Richard Clugston and Peter Blaze Corcoran. From May 17-19,
2002, higher education stakeholders gathered at the Chewonki Foundation
in Maine for the Thomas Berry award ceremony on Friday, May 17th,
and the academic symposium. The promise of the Earth Charter provides
an integrated ethical vision of sustainable development, building
on a broad global consultation and assisting in the articulation
of a new framework for economic and social policies and practices.
The Thomas Berry Award. The 2002 Thomas Berry award recipient
and lecturer was Steven C. Rockefeller, a Professor Emeritus of
Religion at Middlebury College, Vermont, and Earth Charter Commissioner.
Education, Ethics, and the Ecozoic Era, by Steven C. Rockefeller.
Dr.Rockefeller accepts the 2002 Thomas Berry Award and delivers
a lecture on how the Earth Charter principles relate to education
and how they teach global ethics and a sustainable way of life
in the ecozoic era.
Panel Remarks: The Earth Charter and Education, by Mirian
Vilela. She shares examples of how the Earth Charter has been
utilized as a meaningful tool in formal and non-formal education
and in education for sustainable development. The University for
Peace, Costa Rica, is using the Earth Charter as the basis for
developing a foundation course for a Master's degree on education
Enculturing Earth, by Alison Hawthorne Deming. The author
writes that art is one of our most effective mechanisms for connecting
from one inner life to another. Through writing she brings the
sacred into the real. She lists 12 things that artists and art
educators can do in their work to further the goals of the Earth
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the
Challenge of the Environment, by Collette Hopkins. Dr. Hopkins
discusses the status of environmental studies generally in higher
education and HBCUs treatment of the environment. Environmental
studies have not yet generated the "burning interest in academia"
comparable to concerns of standards and technology applications
in professional studies. The population served by HBCUs is greatly
the urban population of African Americans. African American children
in urban areas suffer from asthmatic conditions from air pollution
in cities. Older African Americans are affected by hypertension
partially caused by living in stressful and physical conditions
of inner cities. African Americans in rural areas are also degraded
by the placement of landfills and nearby industrial estates. HBCUs
share with other higher educational institutions the general indifference
to environmental studies, partially due to their relative lack
of resources to go beyond existing degree and certificate programs.
Hopkins encourages HBCUs to be a part of the implementation of
the Earth Charter's principles to show faculty and students the
institution's commitment to the cause of environmental sustainability.
Political Economy and the Ecology of Childhood, by David
W. Orr. Dr. Orr's essay is a meditation on the larger patterns
of relations between the generations today and their effects on
the developmental patterns of children. He argues that the normal
difficulties of growing up are compounded by the reigning set
of assumptions, philosophies, ideologies, and even mythologies
by which our society organizes affairs and conducts the business
of political economy. Orr separates the essay into three sections.
The first section reviews evidence about the intersection of childhood
and political economy from various perspectives. The second section
is a more explicit rendering of the political economy of contemporary
global capitalism. The third section on a child-centered world
sketches some of the alternative political and economic arrangements
necessary to honor our children and protect future generations.
The Emerging Alliance of World Religions and Ecology, by
Mary Evelyn Tucker.
Prof. Tucker coins the term "religious ecology" and
writes how the growing alliance of religion and ecology within
the academic world and within religious communities is bringing
together for the first time diverse perspectives from the world's
religious traditions, regarding attitudes toward nature within
reflections from science, policy and ethics. Religious groups
have contributed to the drafting of the Earth Charter and many
religious groups are helping to support the Charter in their communities.
This essay on religious ecology invites further discussion, reflection