Educating for Community Resilience: How the Work of Thomas Homer-Dixon and JohnDewey's Pattern of Inquiry Can Help Us Prepare for the Ecological and Social Challenges of the 21st Century
Sarbu, Mihai B.
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Scientists have overwhelmingly concluded that global warming occurs as a consequence of human activities and that climate change, combined with the depletion of resources, could have catastrophic consequences for the human civilization later this century. However, in political circles and in the public sphere these conclusions are not taken seriously, or they are laid aside for future generations to deal with; at the same time, significant efforts are being deployed to discredit the scientific evidence. In this thesis I have studied the positions of climate scientists as well as those of climate change deniers, and I also examined how their points of view are likely to impact the interests and habits of corporations and citizens. The work of Thomas Homer-Dixon was used as an important source for analyzing the complex interaction between our natural, economic, and social systems, and John Dewey's pattern of inquiry provided the theoretical foundation for an analysis of the current crisis and its possible solutions. No concerted action to deal with climate change has yet been taken by the leaders of the Western world; I corroborated data from four reliable sources (Hansen, 2009; IPCC, 2007; Lynas, 2007; Steffen, 2011) regarding several development scenarios and their likely consequences on greenhouse gas emissions, and I concluded that a future temperature increase of more than 2°C appears now as unavoidable. In the light of this conclusion I argue that education for increasing the resilience of smaller communities is a realistic alternative that can offer some hope in dealing with the challenges ahead.