Our second step is to introduce these students to the detail and complexity of our natural environment. This is where we introduce the students to the need to observe carefully the interactions and relationships found in the unique communities that make up Nature. Our objective is to start thinking about how we belong to and are a part of Nature, rather than thinking earth belongs to us and can be manipulated to produce whatever we want.
Our final step is to begin learning what it means to live in balance with the limits of our natural environment. Today we are told that people living in the United States and Canada use 20 acres per individual, to produce the energy and produces required to support our current living standard. If you divide the total number of acres on this planet by today's world population, there is slightly less than 4 acres available per person. We are also told the the number one environmental issue we face worldwide is population expansion. It is time to begin to adjust our demands to achieve some degree of balance before it is to late!
My background is in forest science and it seems appropriate to focus on our remaining forested lands as examples of how we must change. Population expansion, urbanization and deforestation will continue regardless of what we try to do. A new approach to managing our remaining forested lands is our only hope. It will not come easy and will require much time, but failing to start now will result in a future devoid of the human species!