I write this from Minneapolis, where I’ve given a paper about a new approach to sustainability across the curriculum. It’s raining here, and there’s a threat of snow before the day is over. One of the keynote addresses at this conference was given by David Orr, an old friend who is pretty much the pope of education for sustainability at the post-secondary level.
During his talk, David said something so profound that I didn’t really hear anything he talked about thereafter. He said, “Large endowments are of no use on a ruined planet.”
A week from now I’ve been asked to participate on a panel discussion back on my home campus. We will be examining the climate encyclical written by that other pope, Francis the First, trying to elucidate the challenges the encyclical specifically lays out for our college community. We’ve been asked specifically to comment on whether the encyclical provides direction regarding the issue of fossil fuel divestment.
Thanks David. You’ve given me direction on how to unpack what that other pope is saying.
Journal of Natural Hist. Ed.
Natural History Institute
Center for Humans & Nature