Just last week two independent research groups on climate change both came to the exact same conclusion. The Antarctic Ice shield is melting and the rate of melt has accelerated to a point of no return. We have definitely reached a tipping point concerning the impact of global warming on Antarctica. One of the studies basically forecast “the inevitable collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet.”
For Antarctica as a whole, the study found the current rate of ice sheet mass loss to be about 160 billion metric tons of ice per year. The extra water pouring into the sea is raising sea levels by about 0.1 inches per year.
And the Greenland ice mass is also shrinking at an alarming rate.
It’s definitely time to start thinking about a different global future concerning sea levels, ocean current patterns and weather disruptions. I suggest it’s also time to start thinking about the future in other ways as well. And one of them is the education process.
Every school in every country teaches History. The story of the past. Although they may rearrange the facts a bit to suit whatever political or religious group is in power at the time, the fact is, children from entry-level to high school study some form of history. I understand the rationale. History is important to give people a sense of continuity, history, perspective, understanding of why things are a certain way, and of course the hope that the current generation will learn about past mistakes and not repeat them.
Well, that reasoning is definitely false. In general mankind has not learned much from studying the past. The fact is we keep repeating the same behaviours and mistakes over and over. Consider the British, Russian and American invasions of Afghanistan. Each one making the same mistakes, only with a greater loss of life on both sides each time. Repeated experiments with socialism shows the same patterns of ultimate collapse each time.
If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience. ~George Bernard Shaw
A new curriculum: The History of the Future.
Instead of teaching history, the way it was, why don’t we teach “the Future”, the way it can be? Unless we create the future, we will end up recreating the past.
We should be teaching children about how to make decisions for the long-term, about envisioning a future that works for everyone. Businesses need to create a future of sustainability. Communities need to think about the future of water, sanitation, infrastructure, new forms of energy, immigration, employment, retraining.
The fact is, today, and even more so as every day passes, the world is interconnected and what happens in one country or region impacts everyone, everywhere. Dry weather in Kenya or Costa Rica and the price of coffee goes up around the world. Crime in South Africa impacts the global economy by stalling investment in a country rich in resources and labour. Deforestation in Brazil impacts weather and ocean current patterns, as well as air quality and biodiversity.
Instead of teaching about the past, why not start a curriculum and dialogue about how the future should be? One planet, one people, one goal = sustainability and development for the common good. Let’s help the next generation take mankind forward, instead of being stalled in the past!
You can’t drive a speeding car using the rear view mirror! Or a speeding planet for that matter.
See the review of LEVERAGE in The Economist (January 9, 2014.
John also writes thriller novels: novels.johnrchildress.com