The next time you are putting a slice of tomato on your sandwich, ask yourself where it came from. Not which area of the country, but which seed stock. One of the often overlooked aspects of food insecurity amid climate uncertainty is the push by big agricultural interests to get us to buy their seeds and their seeds only. Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio, Gary Nabhan, has taken the fight to the corporate seed merchants through the local food movement and seed saving community. The Director of the Center for Regional Food Studies at the University of Arizona, Nabhan believes that a healthy food system is a biodiverse food system. We discuss community-based seed banks, look at the role that Big Ag will continue to play in our food system, and examine how climate change and a lack of biodiverse seed stocks affect people in war zones.
What if every child emerged from the public educational system with an appreciation for the connectivity of all human and non-human life, and with a commitment to create solutions to the problems that plague that interconnected ecosystem? Today on Sea Change Radio we continue our discussion with Zoe Weil, education reformer and environmentalist who holds that vision firmly in view. Last week we talked about the intersection of sustainability and public education. Today we go deeper into some concrete strategies, programs, and curricula that can help make this vision real. What’s the link between obesity and the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico? How do you bridge the equity gap that PTA fundraising inadvertently widens? And how can teaching critical thinking in public education help to sustain this institution that is the life blood of a participatory democracy? Listen as we grapple with these questions.
What’s the purpose of schooling? Reading, writing and ‘rithmetic, right? Well, our guest today begs to differ. Zoe Weil, author and the founder of the Institute for Humane Education, argues that the obligation of education is to cultivate a generation of “solutionaries” – kind, just, and socially conscious people who will protect the environment and promote human rights. We talk about her new book, The World Becomes What We Teach, and touch upon educational equity issues like implicit bias, summer learning loss, the resurgence of school segregation, and how Common Core fits into her vision for meaningful change.
If you live in the US, chances are you have at some point been frustrated that our public transit systems don’t do a great job linking urban centers with suburbs, can’t get you to the airport or work in a reasonable amount of time (or at all), and cost way too much. You don’t have to travel to Tokyo, or Zurich, or Paris to see that public transportation in the US is not what it could be, but our guest today on Sea Change Radio has done just that. He is John Rennie Short, a public policy professor at the University of Maryland and he recently published an article in The Conversation detailing the paltry state of public transit in the US, and how we got here. He discusses how the political landscape has affected infrastructure development, and the many costs associated with the decline of our country’s public transportation system, which can be measured in terms of lower GDP, wasted fuel, and lost time, not to mention the terrible environmental toll.