5 rules of the environment

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Guidelines of environmental awareness that typically govern taking action on environmental issues. Used to discuss facts of environmental topics and as a guide to planning and delivering environmental learning. Can be used with middle school, high school students college and teacher prep programs. I use these rules to guide my environmental learning program and highlight each with environmental grounding assignments, and other environmental projects in year long settings where students develop environmental understanding and responsibility over time.

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5 rules of the environment

  1. 1. Five Rules of the Environment v2.0 Basic background for environmental awareness & action jschmied©2016
  2. 2. The Earth is a limited System We need five key components to sustain life in our environment jschmied©2016
  3. 3. 1. Population drives every issue in the environment. jschmied©2016
  4. 4. 2. You can’t appreciate what you don’t understand… and If you don’t appreciate our environment, its easy to treat it with disrespect Solid Waste Go? What is your Water Footprint?Where does your Electricity Come from? Gas? Where Does your Water Go? jschmied©2016
  5. 5. Understanding the Environment Issues of Scale: What’s Big? What’s Old? jschmied©2016 As old growth trees become rarer & healthy forested land harder to find, each citizen’s image of what a functioning ecosystem is becomes diminished over the generations.
  6. 6. This 85-pound Chinook salmon, a true June hog, was caught at Astoria by fisher Tony Canessa (pictured) in 1925. Photo: Columbia River Maritime Museum 3. The “Tragedy of the Commons” happens everyday! People acting independently & in their own self-interest will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource… ….even when it is clearly not in anyone’s long term interest for this to happen or… …. Even though you may know that what you want to do is not good for future generations… ….you are inclined to do so because it is in your own best interest. jschmied©2016
  7. 7. Taken at the Union Fisherman’s Dock in Astoria, Oregon in about 1910. Left to right, the salmon weigh 116 and 121 lbs. jschmied©2016 3. Tragedy of Commons What’s big becomes Smaller! When a resource is under pressure over time the big organisms are harvested. 65 lb Chinook Salmon – Big now! So what’s left that’s biggest becomes thought of as “Big”, creating a new norm. This makes environmental problems harder to solve
  8. 8. 4. No one Silver Bullet can solve an environmental issue The Lone Ranger quagmire – competing “goods Kramer USFWS The Trade-Offs involved in solving any Environmental issue are very involved due to all the competing interests involved. jschmied©2016
  9. 9. Don’t Change & Make More Money Now Change & Keep our Environment Healthy Trade offs are often made when solving environmental issues . Issues that are often very complex. jschmied©2016 Two “goods”. How can we decide & be sustainable?
  10. 10. jschmied©2016 A healthy Ecosystem Ranchers Livelihood Trade Offs are not easy to solve What are the trade offs between these “goods”.
  11. 11. 5. With great power comes great responsibility…. The Spider Man dilemma Using Power… for Good? jschmied©2016
  12. 12. The basics of the Spider Man dilemma: Humans are the only species on Earth that have the capability to destroy all other major life forms on the planet. Our species has great power. With this power comes great responsibility. The responsibility to ensure our planet is healthy & sustainable for all living things. It’s a choice. 5. With great power comes great responsibility…. jschmied©2016
  13. 13. Who speaks for nature? Senators, Congressmen, Judges & other elected officials represent people. No one is elected to represent our natural world…. A parting thought…. jschmied©2016 So who really speaks for Nature…. …for our air, soil, water, the plants …..the animals in our environment? If you don’t…. who will?
  14. 14. 1. Choose to have a more sustainable world • Learn about your environment • Start “at home” • Vote four ways Five ways to take environmental action jschmied©2016 2. Vote with your feet • Volunteer for environmental projects 3. Vote with your wallet! • When spending buy what you need vs. what you want. • Buy sustainable products - eat sustainably. 4. Vote with your voice • Speak up about environmental issues 5. Vote with your ballot on environmental issues
  15. 15. …is for good people to do nothing. Edmund Burke (modified) jschmied©2016 All that is necessary for the destruction of our environment…
  16. 16. 5 Messages to help guide Environmental Learning 1. Population drives most issues in our environment. 2. You can’t appreciate what you don’t understand… and If you don’t appreciate the environment, its easy to treat it with disrespect 3. What is the Tragedy of the Commons? the commons: Air, Water, Soil, Oceans, Energy, Fish and Land Animals… People acting independently and in their own self-interest will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource… even when it is clearly not in anyone’s long term interest for this to happen …. Even though you may know that what you want to do is not good for future generations, you are inclined to do so because it is in your own best interest. 4. No one Silver Bullet can solve an environmental issue. The Lone Ranger quagmire – competing “goods” 5. With great power, comes great responsibility. The Spider Man dilemma jschmied©2016
  17. 17. About the author: John Schmied has been a secondary science school teacher for 20 years and is involved in developing practical, yet innovative, hands on curriculum for teens. In addition he is a Chemical Hygiene Officer and an Environmental Educator. He has created, developed and manages a 6 acre Environmental Center at his school site. John’s presentations are viewed worldwide & have been in the top 5% of Slideshare for multiple years. During this time John served as the Strategic planner for the Friends of the Hidden River a 501(C)(3) non profit. • Over the past 13 years Friends helped King County, WA design, fund, construct & develop the 14,800 sqft Brightwater Environmental Center in Woodinville WA. • John is the Director & a principal developer of the Ground to Sound STEM Environmental Challenge course, a locally popular cutting edge environmental program that merges, Science, Tech, Art, Multimedia and other disciplines with Leadership studies at the Center Prior to this period John served as a Coast Guard Officer, primarily involved in ice, navigation & search and rescue operations. His specialties are Ship handling, Diving and Oceanographic Operations. John can be contacted via Linked In. jschmied©2016

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