Me Teach, You Learn

I noticed that today’s Google Doodle features a bunch of frogs.

“What’s the deal with that?,” I wondered.

Hovering the cursor over the Google Doodle reveals that today marks the beginning of “US Teacher Appreciation Week.”

That got me to wondering: looking back, which teachers and professors —  though Teacher Appreciation Week doesn’t include professors — do I remember and appreciate most? Not an easy question;  but one worth pondering.

As I began rolling that question around in my mind, I quickly realized something. Not a single one of them, as far as I can recall, ever emphasized the importance of taking good care of the planet.

I would hate to think that’s still the case today. But sadly, I suspect it might be. For example, ask random Gen Z people you know or come across if they know who Rachel Carson was or if Silent Spring rings a bell, and I bet they’ll say no.

Is that important? I think so. Most people are optimistic by nature. Look at how many people don’t even believe that when death comes, that’s truly the end and not just another beginning. So it shouldn’t be surprising that when someone like Greta Thunberg comes along, it makes people — not all, but many — feel optimistic. They see it as a sign the world is — or soon will be — heading in the right direction.

Therefore, it might be helpful if people knew that before Greta, there was Rachel Carson. In fact, roughly three decades after Carson’s passing (in 1964, at age 56), a 12-year-old girl named Severn Cullis-Suzuki delivered a very powerful speech at the Rio Earth Summit (1992). This girl was wise beyond her years. There were lots of smiling faces. Lots of clapping hands. But what’s changed? Anything?

Actually, what’s changed is that overall it’s gotten much worse. So much so, that quite frankly, saving the planet looks almost impossible. Not because there aren’t things we can do. But because of the trajectory that we’re on. And because no one is talking about real solutions or the key things we should be doing. Real solutions are nowhere on our radar. Nowhere. And if that weren’t bad enough, major causes for concern are multiplying.

But I digress. And need sleep. I work nights and wasn’t planning to do a blog post today. So thanks to all those exceptional teachers out there!  And if you want to save the planet — not merely mouth the words — you know where to find me.