If We Knew Our History - Zinn Education Project New Monthly Column
Presented by the Zinn Education Project
A Collaboration between Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change

Tim Swinehart
Stealing and Selling Nature: Why We Need to Reclaim "the Commons" in the Curriculum  

By Tim Swinehart  

Portland, Ore. high school teacher

 

Diggers and female farmers
From the Diggers of the 1600s in England to current-day female farmers in India, the value of sharing space for the benefit of the community transcends nations. However the "commons" are buried in chapters that champion industrial capitalism's "progress" and "innovation."
In the wake of superstorm Sandy and a presidential election in which both candidates essentially ignored climate change, it's time that our schools began to play their part in creating climate literate citizens.

 

Hurricane Sandy, and the superstorms that will follow, are not just acts of nature----they are products of a massive theft of the atmospheric commons shared by all life on the planet. Every dollar of profit made by fossil fuel companies relies on polluting our shared atmosphere with harmful greenhouse gases, stealing what belongs to us all. But if we don't teach students the history of the commons, they'll have a hard time recognizing what----and who----is responsible for today's climate crisis. Read more.

 

 

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If We Knew Our History posted on GOOD magazine.

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The Story of Bottled Water. Film. By Annie Leonard. 2010. 7 minutes. A viewer-friendly, informative, animated critique of the bottled water industry.
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