On the Lives and Education of Children
Edited By Paul L. Thomas, Paul R. Carr, Julie A. Gorlewski and Brad J. Porfilio
Chapter Eight: Nurtured Nature: The Connection Between Care for Children and Care for the Environment
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The Connection Between Care for Children and Care for the Environment
CHIARA D’AMORE AND DENISE MITTEN
CARE FOR THE CHILD AND CARE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
“However we treat the child, the child will treat the world.”
Over seven billion people call the planet Earth home. Our current demand for natural resources and waste absorption is estimated to be the equivalent of one and a half Earths. If population and consumption trends continue unabated, within approximately 15 years humanity’s resource demands will be the equivalent of two Earths (McLellan, Iyengar, Jeffries, & Oerlemans, 2014). The ecological implications of taking more than the Earth can sustainably provide are becoming increasingly obvious, with climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and the depletion of fresh water as examples. The social implications are significant as well, with resource-based conflicts, mass migrations, famine, and disease becoming increasingly common, which disproportionately negatively impact Indigenous people, people of color, and lower socioeconomic groups. We live in a time when people are the dominant force of dramatic, unsustainable changes to Earth’s systems and billions of people already are living without reliable provision of basic needs such as water and food.1
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