Learning in the Garden

Green Team members from Highland Town Elementary School make the salad at the Learning in the Garden Workshop at Real Food Farm.
Green Team members from Highland Town Elementary Middle  School #237 make the salad at the Learning in the Garden Workshop at Real Food Farm.
Jason Reed leads a workshop on Learning in the Garden at Real Foods Farm in Baltimore.
Jason Reed leads a workshop on Learning in the Garden at Real Foods Farm in Baltimore.
Mixing the ingredients for the salad dressing is part of the learning at the Learning in the Garden workshop
Mixing the ingredients for the salad dressing is part of the learning at the Learning in the Garden workshop
“Zesty!” The salad dressing gets a great review from a Green Team member from Highland Elementary Middle School #237.
The fresh salad makes a big hit at the Learning in the Garden workshop.
The fresh salad makes a big hit at the Learning in the Garden workshop.
Michel
Michel Anderson from the Waldorf School discusses school gardens during the Learning in the Garden Workshop at Real Food Farm in Baltimore. The session was led by Jason Reed, a garden educator for Living Classrooms.
Bob Boulter helps Green Team members from Highlandtown Elementary Middle  School #237 plan their school garden
Bob Boulter helps Green Team members from Highlandtown Elementary Middle School #237 plan their school garden

 

Students from Highlandtown Elementary Middle School #237 dish out the fresh salad at the Learning in the Garden workshop at Real Food Farm in Baltimore.
Students from Highlandtown Elementary Middle School #237 dish out the fresh salad at the Learning in the Garden workshop at Real Food Farm in Baltimore.
Students at Highlandtown Elementary dig deep to get the salads for the workshop participants of the Learning in the Garden workshop at Real Food Farm.
Students at Highlandtown Elementary dig deep to get the salads for the workshop participants of the Learning in the Garden workshop at Real Food Farm.
Jason Reed, garden educator with Living Classrooms, leads a discussion on how to create great learning in school gardens.
Jason Reed, garden educator with Living Classrooms, leads a discussion on how to create great learning in school gardens.
A workshop participant  lists the things they want to include in their school garden.
A workshop participant
lists the things they want to include in their school garden.
Creating his garden: a student concentrates as he draws out his garden plan.  Outdoor education captures the imagination of students with real and important learning that combines math, science, art, language and systems learning.
Creating his garden:
a student concentrates as he draws out his garden plan. Outdoor education captures the imagination of students with real and important learning that combines math, science, art, language and systems learning.

Will Science Kill Us or Save Us?


Will Science Kill Us Or Save Us?

The record so far is…Yes.

Nice invention, da Vinci, but if the plane flies, how would you shoot it down?
Great theory, Einstein, but how can we use it to make bombs that could destroy the world?
Nice process, Haber, it can help produce food to quadruple the world population.
So how can we use it for gas warfare and explosives?
Interesting demonstration, Edison. How many enemy soldiers did you say your machine could electrocute?
Even our vaunted Nobel peace prize, was established by Alfred Nobel who established over 90 armament factories in his lifetime.

So the jury is out on science and its getting more interesting by the moment.
Because it appears that we have been participating in man’s largest experiment– without noticing for the first 150 years.
This climate change experiment is particularly interesting for two reasons.
First, we are experimenting upon the entire world in ways that could have drastic consequences.
Second, we are trapped inside it.
Seems like this would create incentives for good outcomes and rapid results don’t it?
Once we experimenters realize that we are inside of the experiment we would immediately start altering the conditions to ensure that we and our planet live long and prosper, right?

Happy music plays, everyone hugs, movie ends. Goodnight, thanks for coming!

But…..
It is not quite going that way, is it?
You see this experiment involves a small zoo of lab animals. We have white mice, chickens, monkeys and sloths.
The white mice are wearing lab coats and pointing to charts of steadily dire temperature readings and photographs of melting ice sheets. They are standing on tip toe atop reams of data and squeaking as loud as they can to be heard . “It’s bad! Must change!”

The reaction among the rest of the animals is mixed.

The Big Chickens that own coal and oil companies are running around screaming “The sky isn’t falling! The sky isn’t falling! And the sea won’t rise!” They are very adamant that smoke from their products won’t harm us, just like the tobacco companies were very adamant that their cigarettes wouldn’t cause cancer.

The Scared Chickens with insurance companies have put money on the high water lines and they are squawking up a storm. With greenhouse emissions on the increase, insurance is becoming a very risky business. Payouts for flooding and extreme weather events endanger their golden nest eggs. These conservative guys are running the numbers and they do not like the odds.

The Monkeys have grabbed the car keys and are stepping on the gas. They like it fast and cheap and have their eye fixed on their bank account, the next quarterly return and their bucket list. They will fly across the world to view the melting of the last glaciers and put the images on flicker so their great grandchildren can have a glimpse of what was. But they won’t insulate their homes or put up a solar panel. Storms keep wiping out beachfront properties? Rebuild! Let’s Keep Dancing Until the World Ends!

The Sloths are hanging listlessly in the branches of government sending emergency aid to an increasing number of disaster areas, allowing oil pipelines and exports of oil, gas and coal. Money to improve energy efficiency or to switch to renewable energy is just a few inches from the sloths reach and he is pondering whether it’s worth the effort.

So with these animals running the zoo, things have not gone well.
Since the Kyoto Protocol world greenhouse gas emissions have risen by an average of two percent each year.
Of the ten hottest years recorded since 1880, nine have occurred in this decade.
The word from government isn’t “avoid” or “protect” any longer. It’s resilience.
Resilience is the new “Duck and Cover” from the Cold War where children were taught to hide under their desk in case of a nuclear exchange that would destroy life on earth. It means that we are willing to spend far more to try to patch a broken world than it would cost to protect it now.

If a foreign army or terrorist group attacked a square foot of American soil, we would sacrifice our lives and treasure to reclaim that soil and bring the invaders to justice. But what do we do when it is us attacking our planet with our needless carbon emissions? Who do we gas, bomb or electrocute then?

Scientists can no longer be patient, quiet or neutral as this war is waged upon our world.
Our future demands that we play a deep role in realigning human endeavor with our natural world.

Once we pretended to be the controllers of the world, somehow above and apart from nature.
But we now know that we are woven inexorably within the web of the living systems of our world.
Incentives that allow the few to profit as they poison our earth, our air and our bodies can no longer be tolerated.
The true costs of dirty energy should not be paid with the health of our citizens and the future of our world. Shifting the costs of pollution onto governments and citizens is not true capitalism or free enterprise but plunder and folly.
Scientists, health experts and economists must now join together to demonstrate the true costs of pollution and the economic viability of renewable energy.

And let’s join with some good lawyers.

As scientists we collect and analyze data using sound scientific principals and standards.

Lawyers call this evidence.

Just as tobacco companies had to pay for some of the health costs of their products, the coal and petroleum industries should pay for some of the damage they have done to our air and our health. They should carry insurance and bonds against future health and damage claims.

This will change the economics of pollution. No longer will those who pollute the air and water remain free of the health, economic and social costs that they create for others to bear. And the money from these payments will help develop and implement clean and truly cheap energy sources for our world.
At last, our free enterprise system will be able to choose energy, technology and industry that is truly efficient and sustainable.

In this experiment we are not chained and blindfolded like Houdini, but free to move inside the invisible box of our atmosphere like Marcel Marceau to create solutions that will protect us and our world. Let us not miss this critical moment to create a non-smoking planet.
It is time for science—for us– to save the world.

Interviews with Protestors of Energy Answers Incinerator

Interviews with Destiny Watford, graduate of Benjamin Frankin High School, Charles Graham, student at Benjamin Franklin High School and Mike Ewall, Director of Energy Justice Network at the protest march against the planned Energy Answers Incinerator on a site one mile from the High School. Students said that the plant would add pollution to their industrial neighborhood which is already one of the most polluted areas in the country.

Energy Answers Questioned. Why Students Are Fighting a Planned Incinerator Near their School.

Benjamin Franklin High School teacher, Kelly Klinefelter Lee thanks students for their critical thinking skills and citizenship as they continue to study and object to the proposed Energy Answers Incinerator. The proposed incinerator would be built on property a mile from the school and would burn waste including car tires and car parts from Maryland and other states. Curtis Bay is an industrial neighborhood in Baltimore that is already among the most polluted areas in the country.

Protest March Against Energy Answers Incinerator

Students at Benjamin Franklin High School lead protest of the Energy Answers Incinerator planned for construction at a site a mile from the school. Students fear that the incinerator will bring waste including car parts and car tires from other other states and will add lead, mercury and fine particulate pollution to their neighborhood that already ranks as one of the most polluted areas in the country.