Each week we post links to news about humane education & humane living, and items connected to humane issues, from human rights to environmental preservation, to animal protection, to media, consumerism and culture.
Colleges expanding “green” courses, degrees – Newsweek (8/12/09)
“Universities launched at least 27 sustainability-themed programs, degrees, or certificates in 2007, up from just three in 2005. And that's in addition to the scores of environment-related degrees, like environmental science or biology, that already existed. ‘Students are really interested in campus sustainability and thinking about the environment in terms of a future career,’ says Stephanie Pfirman, president of the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors. ‘It used to be jobs versus environment. Now it's jobs and environment.’"
Studies show dogs have “same developmental abilities” as human 2-year-olds – Yahoo! News (8/10/09)
“More and more, scientists are realizing that dogs can think and solve problems in ways previously thought to belong only to humans and higher primates. Indeed, one recent study also found that dogs were like 24-month-old children, at least when it comes to figuring out where humans have hidden a treat.”
Rich countries buying up developing countries’ resources in “new colonialism” – Independent (UK) (8/9/09)
“The extent of this new colonialism is vast. The buyers are wealthy countries that are unable to grow their own food. The Gulf states are at the forefront of new investments. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar – which between them control nearly 45 per cent of the world's oil – are snapping up agricultural land in fertile countries such as Brazil, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Egypt. But they are also targeting the world's poorest countries, such as Ethiopia, Cameroon, Uganda, Zambia and Cambodia.”
Thanks, Common Dreams, for the heads up.
“Ecosavvy” kid wins award for eco-efforts - Cape Cod Online (8/9/09)
"’Teaching kids about what they can do’ is Colin's favorite aspect of running the Web site. ‘Kids like to listen and they like to learn, and if they listen to something they learn it. And they might tell their mom and dad.’"
Teachers spark recycling efforts in NYC schools – Planet Green (8/9/09)
“The education chancellor's regulations on school recycling were rewritten, and called for all principals to appoint a recycling coordinator in every school. The committee organized trainings for the coordinators and for custodians, and recycling is finally becoming a common practice around the city. Josi recalls that when she changed from her first job, none of the schools she had interviewed with had recycling; two years later, ‘every school I applied to had recycling programs.’"
“Is it now a crime to be poor?” (opinion) – New York Times (8/9/09)
“In defiance of all reason and compassion, the criminalization of poverty has actually been intensifying as the recession generates ever more poverty. So concludes a new study from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, which found that the number of ordinances against the publicly poor has been rising since 2006, along with ticketing and arrests for more ‘neutral’ infractions like jaywalking, littering or carrying an open container of alcohol.”
Youth activists engage other youth in projects to combat climate change – Grist.org (8/7/09)
“The type of work these ‘solutionaries’ (as they call themselves) do can be hard to pin down, DenHerder-Thomas said, maybe because youth today are starting to see a range of progressive issues as more integrated than they’ve traditionally been imagined. ‘We definitely feel that the work we’re doing is environmental,’ he said. ‘But it’s also about economic recovery, and it’s also about energy security, and it’s also about creating social justice in the midst of a recession.’”
Mississippi schools to add civil & human rights education to curriculum – WAPT.com (8/6/09)
“It is our intention that students gain the understanding from this and other courses in the framework that social change comes from people who are informed and inspired by the purest democratic ideas and traditions of our country. These people then act to empower the relatively voiceless and powerless in our community, to be full participants in and beneficiaries of our cherished democracy.”
Study reveals “climate change melting US glaciers at faster rate” – The Guardian (UK) (8/6/09)
"’The observations show that the melt rate has definitely increased over the past 10 or 15 years,’ said Ed Josberger, a USGS scientist. ‘This certainly is a very strong indicator that climate change is occurring and its effects on glaciers are virtually worldwide.’ The survey also found that all three glaciers had begun melting at the same higher rate - although they are in different climate regimes and some 1,500 miles apart.”
Study says having kids has huge environmental impact – US News & World Report (8/3/09)
"’In discussions about climate change, we tend to focus on the carbon emissions of an individual over his or her lifetime,’ said study team member Paul Murtaugh. ‘Those are important issues and it's essential that they should be considered. But an added challenge facing us is continuing population growth and increasing global consumption of resources.’"
Lost dog leads to deeper discovery in Pakistan -Washington Post (7/27/09)
“But out in the city, word was spreading. Ahu's photograph was taped on market stalls and utility poles and taxi windows, and strangers started calling the number on the flier. Each time it turned out to be a false alarm, but each time I met someone who cared. In a bookshop window I saw a photo I thought was Ahu's, but it had been put up by a woman seeking a home for another stray. A man called to say he had found her, and he was cradling a similar little hound in his arms when I arrived. We had a long talk and parted feeling like kindred souls. My impression of Pakistani callousness toward animals began to soften.”
War is not an inevitable part of human culture - New Scientist (7/9/09)
“…Sussman believes the popular focus on violence and warfare is disproportionate. ‘Statistically, it is more common for humans to be cooperative and to attempt to get along than it is for them to be uncooperative and aggressive towards one another,’ he says. And he is not alone in this view. A growing number of experts are now arguing that the urge to wage war is not innate, and that humanity is already moving in a direction that could make war a thing of the past.”
Thanks, Ode Magazine, for the heads up.