To Know the World
A New Vision for Environmental Learning
Why environmental learning is crucial for understanding the connected challenges of climate justice, tribalism, inequity, democracy, and human flourishing.
How can we respond to the current planetary ecological emergency? In To Know the World, Mitchell Thomashow proposes that we revitalize, revisit, and reinvigorate how we think about our residency on Earth. First, we must understand that the major challenges of our time—migration, race, inequity, climate justice, and democracy—connect to the biosphere. Traditional environmental education has accomplished much, but it has not been able to stem the inexorable decline of global ecosystems. Thomashow, the former president of a college dedicated to sustainability, describes instead environmental learning, a term signifying that our relationship to the biosphere must be front and center in all aspects of our daily lives. In this illuminating book, he provides rationales, narratives, and approaches for doing just that.
Mixing memoir, theory, mindfulness, pedagogy, and compelling storytelling, Thomashow discusses how to navigate the Anthropocene's rapid pace of change without further separating psyche from biosphere; why we should understand migration both ecologically and culturally; how to achieve constructive connectivity in both social and ecological networks; and why we should take a cosmopolitan bioregionalism perspective that unites local and global. Throughout, Thomashow invites readers to participate as educational explorers, encouraging them to better understand how and why environmental learning is crucial to human flourishing.