What can educators do to foster real intelligence?.. .We can attempt to teach the things that one might imagine the earth would teach us: silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligation, and wildness.

— David W. Orr

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There is a myth that the purpose of education is to give one the means for upward mobility and success. The plain truth is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does need desperately more peacemakers, healers, restorers, story tellers, and lovers of every shape and form.


It is not education, but education of a certain kind, that will serve us.

And the current model of western, urban-centered, school-based, education, which is so often more focused on turning children into efficient corporate units rather than curious and open-minded adults, will only lead us further down the wrong path.


No institutions in modern society are better equipped to catalyze the necessary transition to a sustainable world than colleges and universities. They have access to the leaders of tomorrow and the leaders of today. What they do matters to the wider public.


The dialogue about sustainability is about a change in the human trajectory that will require us to rethink old assumptions and engage the large questions of the human condition that some presume to have been solved once and for all.


Real security, in other words, is inseparable from issues of energy policy;

education; public health; preservation of soils, forests, and waters; and broadly based, sustainable prosperity.


A summons home to the nature that nourishes the best human qualities of creativity, intelligence, connection, and compassion.


Journey of the Universe is eloquent, accessible, and powerful, and conveys a sense of wonder ranging from the cosmos to the microcosm--in itself a considerable achievement. This is one of the most compelling and inspiring works I've read in a long time.


In an ecological perspective, in other words, there are few accidents or anomalies, only outcomes based on system structure and dynamics. Climate change and glittering malls, Calcuttan poverty and sybaritic wealth, biotic impoverishment and economic growth, militarism and terrorism, global domination and utter vulnerability are not different things but manifestations of a single system.


Our true destiny...is a world built from the bottom up by competent citizens living in solid communities, engaged in and by their places.


"Our experience of the world is being impoverished to the extent that it is being rendered artificial and prepackaged."


The planetary emergency unfolding around us is, first and foremost.

..a crisis of thought, values, perceptions, ideas and judgments. In other words, it is a crisis of mind, which makes it a crisis of those institutions which purport to improve minds.


... laws governing pollution tend to move pollutants from one medium to another. So, for example, we scrub SO2 from power plants only to dispose toxic sludge on land. We "clean" water only to disperse toxic-laced solids on farmland or landfills. Pollution control becomes a kind of giant shell game by which we move pollutants between air, water, groundwater, and land.


About David W. Orr

Quotes 13 sayings
Profession Professor
Birthday 1944
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