Quite possibly the most depressing introduction to a pseudo-academic workshop I have seen:
How can we best live at this moment of severe environmental degradation? How can we work and teach on behalf of environmental wellbeing without becoming overwhelmed, embittered, or burned out? Is there a way to thrive in our environmental commitments?
This workshop brings together professors and activists to develop more skillful ways of confronting environmental challenges. Specifically, it explores the role of contemplative practice in our pedagogical and activist efforts. Through daily meditation, journal writing, nature walks, and other reflective exercises as well as scholarly discussion, we will probe the depths of the environmental crisis and develop resources to work and teach on behalf of global sustainability.
Environmental issues are not simply political, technological, or economic dilemmas but also existential challenges that require us to reflect upon the meaning of our individual and collective lives. Furthermore, the scale and pace of environmental degradation call on us to enhance our skills as educators, activists, and ordinary citizens like never before. This workshop offers the opportunity to deepen such efforts by facilitating meaningful dialogue between activists and professors, probing the interface between our personal and professional lives, and introducing contemplative practices tailored specifically for use in the classroom and in political organizing.
Part seminar and part retreat, the workshop provides the chance to step back from our frenetic lives and, in the midst of stunning beauty and a supportive community, integrate our deepest spiritual yearnings with our professional and personal commitments to protect the earth.
Following what they deemed to be a peculiar interaction with a number of possible implications, the nation’s top overthinkers gathered for an intensive three-day symposium this week to determine what that’s supposed to mean.
Thousands of overthinkers from across the country, who were seen furrowing their brows and squinting intently, convened in the auditorium at the New York Hilton in Midtown Manhattan in an effort to closely scrutinize the words that had been said and ascertain what—if anything—had been the actual intention behind the exchange in question.
To give shinrin-yoku a try, choose a spot based on physical ability and convenience. Do not choose a route that is too strenuous: It is recommended that in four hours, you should walk no more than three miles. This is not an endurance hike. Rest when necessary and find a spot where it is pleasant to sit and read for a while or simply look out into the trees. It is OK to bring water or green tea. It is also recommended that, if possible, a forest bath is followed up with a hot spring bath.
...and the hot spring bath followed with a Mr. Bubbles bubble bath.
An anonymous comment from an anonymous student about an anonymous professor* in an anonymous class dealing with food economics at an anonymous institution of higher education:
I found it annoying how this class approached the topic of food strictly from an economics standpoint. The professor talked a lot about the benefits of large biotech corporations and increased fertilizer and GMO use, but did not spend time on the environmental and social impacts of these. I did not agree with the professors point of view so it made the class hard to enjoy. Farmers only getting $0.2 for every $1 is not a good thing in my mind, farmers should be earning a livable wage and should get paid more than agribusiness. As an [Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability] major, I value local and organic farming because that is what is best for the environment and communities, so it would have been nice to focus more on those points than praising agribusiness that pushes out small farmers and dominates the market. I thought the professors thinking was very corrupt.
Dear Anonymous Student: Here are a few thoughts and questions for you to consider (and hopefully they agree with your preconceived notions of how I should express my thoughts):
Do you only enjoy classes where you agree with everything the professor says? Is learning new perspectives no longer valued in a college education?
Part of taking classes in college is to show you that what you think is a good thing in your mind is not always a good thing.
"At the farm-household level, average farm household incomes have surged ahead of average U.S. household incomes since the late 1990s. In 2014 (the last year for which comparable data were available), the average farm household income (including off-farm income sources) of $131,754 was about 74% higher than the average U.S. household income of $75,738."
So can I assume that you believe that the threshold for a 'livable' wage is above $131,754 a year?
$64/hour minimum wage, or I can't survive!
'I value local and organic farming because that is what is best for the environment and communities." Um. No. I like bananas and coffee. Just not the local type. Ohio bananas are surprisingly hard to find.
If you equate being an EEDS major to a particular way of thinking ("As an [Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability] major, I value...") , or a particular value system, then how can you disagree with the way of thinking of one of the professors who is teaching a class in that major? Your logic confuses me.
This leaves the impression that the EEDS major is teaching you what to value. That is not the case. We teach students multiple ways to think about Sustainability issues: from environmental, social and economic perspectives. Local to community to city to state to regional to national to global.
'I thought the professors thinking was very corrupt.' Apparently economies of scale, productivity gains, yield improvements, and the potential benefits and costs of fertilizer and GMO's is now equated to corrupt thinking.
In summary (in case you missed the facetious tone of some of my comments), college is not for us to preach what you already believe. It is to challenge you to think beyond your own beliefs and consider alternative ways of thinking. If you already know what you believe, and refuse to consider that another perspective might hold some value, then why are you wasting your time in college? You already know the answers.
But I'm sure you think everyone should have access to a free college education.
As long as they teach you what you already believe.
There is some dispute in regards to whether exclamation points belong in formal writing or not. Most conventional grammar rules and grammarians say that they really don’t belong, or at a minimum that they should be used sparingly. All sorts of arguments have been made against the exclamation point- everything from the fact that the writing should create its own emphasis to the belief that an exclamation point will distract the reader. However, some prolific writers do use exclamation points freely in their work and one best selling author, Tom Wolfe, is known for being a big fan of the exclamation point.
Comic books frequently use exclamation points for emphasis and to add excitement to their pages. ...
All I can say is ... I'm really not a happy reader either!!!!
"This blog aims to look at more of the microeconomic ideas that can be used toward environmental ends. Bringing to bear a large quantity of external sources and articles, this blog presents a clear vision of what economic environmentalism can be."
Don't believe what they're saying
And allow me a quick moment to gush: ... The env-econ.net blog was more or less a lifeline in that period of my life, as it was one of the few ways I stayed plugged into the env. econ scene. -- Anonymous
... the Environmental Economics blog ... is now the default homepage on my browser (but then again, I guess I am a wonk -- a word I learned on the E.E. blog). That is a very nice service to the profession. -- Anonymous
"... I try and read the blog everyday and have pointed it out to other faculty who have their students read it for class. It is truly one of the best things in the blogosphere." -- Anonymous