This week I learned that the class "HUM-212 Earthkeeping" that I co-teach with Prof. Heidi Owsley will not continue in the same format next year. It looks like it will change to a course focus more on "Environmental Ethics." This will change how I will be addressing my participation in the environmental movement and how I will be focusing more on the creation of an environmental professional program at Warner Pacific College. This new program will be prioritizing the science, mainly chemistry, as the need for stewardship with an technological foundation increases. So, with that in mind is how I am now focussing on the book that I have been writing.
There are many books on environmental studies that address issues related to the relationship between human activity and the state of the environment. Most are descriptive of the situation with statistics and quantification of natural resources as a function of the needs of the human population. Almost all of these books have a historical description of the changes that our societies have gone through and end with the ideas that are now in vogue for the future. Ideas based on technological and scientific discoveries such as increased efficiency in transportation and housing.
On the other hand many books have been written to describe the "human condition" from the philosophical to the psychological in order to explain behavior and to suggest ways in which human interact. Interactions that have a socio-economical implications and tangentially environmental. So there is a need for a bridging text. There is a need for a book that brings human nature and the natural world together. A text that explains the interconnectedness of human nature as a natural phenomena with the rest of the natural world, the physical world. Metaphorically using the pendulum to articulate the idea of balance, the idea of equilibrium, the idea of interconnectedness while at the same time exploring the notion of how a reality can be constructed based on empirical evidence through the scientific endeavor.
On the other hand, we have to address the issue of what makes us different as humans. What is in our humanity that makes us responsible and accountable for what is happening in nature. Acknowledging that there are natural phenomena like tectonic earthquakes that are not caused by human activity we have to understand how to prevent disasters in the face of a natural events. Even though it seems at times that humans are in control, we have to understand that the level of control generally is minuscule. The negative effects caused by human activities are over long periods of time -long term and require a deep understanding of the physical dynamics involved. There are no short term solutions that will fix the problem.
That will be one message in my new book.