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Stealing and Selling Nature: Why We Need to Reclaim “the Commons” in the Curriculum

November 16, 2012

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Tim Swinehart, 2009 Oregon Writing Project Fellow and social studies teacher at Lincoln High School in Portland recently published Stealing and Selling Nature: Why We Need to Reclaim “the Commons” in the Curriculum, the latest article in the Zinn Education Project’s column If We Knew Our History posted on GOOD Magazine

The Zinn Education Project is a collaboration between Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change. 

In the wake of superstorm Sandy and a presidential election in which both candidates essentially ignored climate change, it’s time that our schools began to play their part in creating climate literate citizens.

Hurricane Sandy, and the superstorms that will follow, are not just acts of nature—-they are products of a massive theft of the atmospheric commons shared by all life on the planet. Every dollar of profit made by fossil fuel companies relies on polluting our shared atmosphere with harmful greenhouse gases, stealing what belongs to us all. But if we don’t teach students the history of the commons, they’ll have a hard time recognizing what—-and who—-is responsible for today’s climate crisis. Read more.


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