Educators Serving The Powers That Be: Results of a Recent Survey

Photo by Public Domain Photos
Photo by Public Domain Photos cc

Co-written by Richard Martin Oxman and Valleria Russelli

In the months of April and May we conducted a random survey of 100 U.S. educators nationwide* — on all levels, in public and private institutions — and discovered that less than 10% of teachers and administrators** knew much at all about the 25 major environmental issues plaguing the planet today. Those issues are delineated below with instructive comments in boldface below each description.  The links given provide somewhat misleading mainstream educational points of view, but including them is partly a function of wanting to include easily accessible insight into the basic nuts and bolts related to the issues for all readers; we can send more meaningful analyses and recommendations to experienced concerned citizens, upon request.

*50% had some association with a STEM program.

** The comment adjacent to #21 below shows why we believe the small survey sample is probably representative to some significant degree. In fact, it should be underscored that we are rushing this report out unedited — written in under an hour — because we believe the size of the sample is not relevant here. The thrust of the findings should speak for themselves. If so many in the educational realm are so ignorant about the fundamentals facing us — our collective crises — then a discussion is demanded nationwide. For the talk in educational circles — essentially — seems to simply parrot the sound bites provided by mainstream media outlets. And authentic, informed action does not seem to be in gear. Readers may want to deeply consider the dynamics spotlighted in a related article prior to reviewing our findings here. Activists and educators, in general, appear to be moving at an arthritic snail’s pace when it comes to confronting our collective crises. This piece — dashed out unedited — is an effort to light a fire under people post haste, encourage an expeditious evaluation of what’s transpiring in each and every educational setting, from elementary schools to post-graduate realms.

Our Findings:

  1. Air Pollution:Pollution of air, water and soil take a huge number of years to recover. Industry and engine vehicle fumes are the most obvious toxins. Substantial metals, nitrates and plastic are poisons in charge of pollution. While water contamination is brought about by oil slicks, acid rain, and urban sprawl; air contamination is created by different gasses and poisons discharged by businesses and manufacturing plants and burning of fossil fills; soil contamination is majorly created by mechanical waste that takes supplements out of the soil.

Less than 3% of participants knew that the U.S. Military was, arguably, the greatest single air polluter in the nation98% had no idea whatsoever about how the EPA was defanged under the Obama administration. And 99% had never come across E.G. Vallianatos’ accusation that the EPA has been run like the Mafia for a very long time.  As per an article posted today, though the Trump administration is, without question, a cause for ultra-serious concern, it is not the source of the bleeding* when it comes to Air Pollution or other environmental crises, nor should it serve as a basis for embracing fatalism.

*Interested parties with time on their hands would do well to consider what’s embedded in a companion article on this focus also.  The most important thing, however, is to ACT, not just read, document, discuss, debate and demonstrate along traditional lines. All that can wind up amounting to diverting concerned citizens from confronting our crises meaningfully, and usually does. Educators would do well to make sure that their students are doing more than simply doing the politically correct thing in their much-hailed (newly popular) project-centered activities. 

  1. Water Pollution:Clean drinking water is turning into an uncommon thing. Water is turning into a monetary and political concern as the human populace battles for this need. Waste from industrial and agricultural activities pollute the water that is used by humans, animals and plants.

Less than 9% of participants cited Overpopulation as related to water pollution in giving a list of  ten germane factors.  85% of respondents were way off respecting the disparity between white communities and communities of people of color vis-a-vis potable water.

3: Soil and Land Pollution: Land pollution simply means degradation of earth’s surface as a result of human activities like mining, littering, deforestation, industrial, construction and agricultural activities. Land pollution can have huge environmental impact in the form of air pollution and soil pollution which in turn can have adverse effect on human health.

Less than 55% listed Corporate Agriculture as a major concern respecting Soil and Land Pollution.

  1. Climate Change:Climate changeis yet another environmental concern that has surfaced in last couple of decades. Environmental change has different destructive impacts that include, but are not limited to, the melting of polar ice, change in seasons, new sicknesses, and change in general climate situation.

92% said that they thought Science and Technology might give us a shot at reversing Climate Change momentum.

  1. Global Warming:Environmental asset abuseis a crucially important environmental concern. Fossil fuel utilization brings about the discharge of greenhouse gasses, which causes horrific environmental change.

In short essays, 91% wrote about what Global Warming might do to the earth a century from 2017, demonstrating no sense of urgency about the issue. Only 50% had heard about the term “planetary hospice”… and 95% thought that “most of the world” could at least survive the next 50 years.

  1. Deforestation:Our woodlands create new oxygen and additionally help in managing temperature and precipitation. Timber land areas are being lost on a regular basis because people are looking for homes, food, and materials. Deforestationis a huge problem and is slated to get much worse.

Only 10% of participants could list ten ways in which they contributed personally to Deforestation.

  1. Increased Carbon Footprint:Temperature increases, like climate change, are the consequence of human practices, including the use of greenhouse gasses. When the atmosphere changes and heat increases, it can cause a number of problems and destroy the world we live in.

Only 12% of participants had a realistic take of what their personal Carbon Footprint was, as a rule.

  1. Genetic Modification:Genetic modificationutilizing biotechnology is called genetic engineering. Genetic engineering of food brings about expanded poisons and sicknesses as qualities from a hypersensitive plant can exchange to target plant. Some of these crops can even be a threat to the world around us, as animals start to ingest the unnatural chemicals and such.

Only 9% thought that the Precautionary Principle should always be embraced when it comes to GMO products.

  1. Effects on Marine Life:The amount of carbon in the water and the atmosphere is continuing to be a problem in the world around us. The primary effect is on shellfish and microscopic fish, and it has similar effects to osteoporosis in humans.

98% of participants did not know exactly what the death of Coral Reefs would mean to the world. 99% would not hesitate to eat shellfish if they visited New Orleans. Over 90% neither listed the release of balloons nor the firing of missiles into the ocean as harmful. 

  1. Public Health Issues:The current environmental concerns represent a considerable measure of danger to the well-being of people, and all creatures.

97% did not know that the life span for certain demographics in the U.S. has gone down recently50% felt that the recent crisis in Flint, Michigan was over. And 55% did not think that there were similar dangers in other communities throughout the U.S.

  1. Overpopulation:The number of inhabitants in the planet is arriving at unsustainable levels as it confronts deficiency of assets like water, fuel and food. Overpopulationis one of the most important environmental concerns.

Only 10% of participants knew the population of the U.S. within 10 million100% were “off” respecting projected growth.

12: Loss of Biodiversity: Biodiversity is yet another casualty due to the impact of human beings on the environment. It is the result of 3.5 billion years of evolution. Habitat destruction is a major cause for biodiversity loss. Habitat loss is caused by deforestation, overpopulation, pollution and global warming.

Only 10% knew that habitat loss is the greatest threat to species.

  1. Household and Industrial Waste:The proliferation of consumer products, and the creation of plastics have brought about a worldwide emergency of waste transfer. Developed nations are infamous for creating an unreasonable measure of waste or junk and dumping their waste in the seas and, less created nations.

Less than 3% knew that more plastics were produced in the last 10 years than in the entire 20th century.

  1. Ozone Layer Depletion:The ozone layer is an undetectable layer of protection around the planet that secures us from the sun’s unsafe beams. Depletion of the critical Ozone layer of the air is attributed to the contamination brought about by Bromide and Chlorine found in Chloroflourocarbons (CFC’s). When these poisonous gasses reach the upper parts of the atmosphere, they cause a gap in the ozone layer, the greatest of which is over the Antarctic.

Only 10% knew the degree of danger that Ozone Layer Depletion poses for AustraliaOnly 2% cited the effects on animals and plants.

  1. Mining:Mining aims at the extraction of minerals from earth’s core. These minerals also bring out harmful chemicals from deep inside the earth to the earth’s surface. The toxic emissions from mining can cause air, water and soil pollution.

Only 8% cited child slavery as significantly associated with Mining.

16: Natural Resource Depletion: Non-renewable resources are limited and will get expired one day. Consumption of fossil fuels at an alarming rate can lead to global warming which can further result in melting of polar ice caps and an increase in sea levels.

90% of participants did not cite the Democratic Party as responsible for Resource Depletion.

17: Natural Disasters: Natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, cyclones, volcanic eruption can be unpredictable, devastating and cause irreparable damage. They can cause huge loss of life and property.

91% of participants did not think it was possible that nuclear testing could be related to Natural Disasters98% thought that no government would intentionally try to bring about such a disaster… if they could… under any circumstances97% felt that the disaster of Fukushima was — essentially — the result of uncontrollable natural forces. 80% felt the same thing about Hurricane Katrina.

18: Nuclear Issues: Radioactive waste is a nuclear fuel that contains radioactive substance and is a by-product of nuclear power generation. The radioactive waste is an environmental concern that is extremely toxic, and can have devastating effects on the lives of the people living nearby, if not disposed of properly. Radioactive waste is considered to be harmful for humans, plants, animals and surrounding environment.

95% of participants thought that Science and Technology might one day be able to deal with radioactive waste safely. See

  1. Loss of Endangered Species:Human overpopulation is prompting the elimination of speciesand environmental surroundings and the loss of various biomes. Environmental frameworks, which took a huge number of years to come into being, are in risk when any species populace is huge.

Only 10% knew that we’re experiencing the greatest rate of species loss since the disappearance of the dinosaursLess than 5% knew that songbirds were severely threatened.

  1. Acid Rain:Acid rainhappens because of the proximity of specific poisons in the climate. Corrosive downpour might be brought about because of the use of fossil fuels… or volcanoes… or the spoiling vegetation discharging sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the air.

Less than 5% could say something meaningful about the relationship of Acid Rain to acidification of the oceans.

21: Agricultural Pollution: Modern day agriculture practices make use of chemical products like pesticides and fertilizers to deal with local pests. Some of the chemicals when sprayed do not disappear and seep into the ground harming plants and crops. Also, contaminated water is used for irrigation by farmers due to disposal of industrial and agricultural waste in local water bodies.

Only 7% knew that Roundup was definitively bad for the environment. 55% used Roundup or worked where Monsanto’s Roundup was used.

22: Light and Noise Pollution: Noise pollution is another common form of pollution that causes temporary disruption when there is an excessive amount of unpleasant noise. Construction activities, industrialization, increase in vehicular traffic, lack of urban planning are few of the causes of noise pollution.

90% thought industrialization was good for the most part.

  1. Urban Sprawl:Urban sprawlalludes to relocation of populace from high thickness urban ranges to low density provincial zones, which bring about the spreading of a city over more rustic areas. Urban sprawl brings about expanded movement, environmental concerns and well-being concerns.

50% did not see Urban Sprawl as being associated with the disappearance of species.

24: Medical Waste: Medical Waste is any kind of waste that is produced in large quantity by healthcare centers like hospitals, nursing homes, dental clinics and is considered to be of a bio-hazardous nature. The waste can include needles, syringes, gloves, tubes, blades, blood, body parts and many more.

92% thought that Medical Waste was probably properly supervised by professional hospital staff, and that it was patients and rogue janitorial workers who improperly disposed of hazardous materials.

25: Littering and Landfills: Littering simply means disposal of pieces of garbage or debris improperly, or at wrong locations; usually on the ground instead of  disposing items into trash containers or recycling bins. Littering can cause huge environmental and economic impacts; spending millions of dollars is sometimes necessary to clean garbage off of the road. Landfills are huge garbage dumps that make a city look ugly and produce toxic gases that could prove fatal for humans and animals. Landfills are generated by the large amount of waste that is regularly generated by households, industries and healthcare centers.

22% knew people who littered, but said nothing to them — as a rule — about that bad, destructive habit. And 25% thought that shooting the contents of landfills into space was a viable option.

These are educators. Educators serving the psychopathic powers that be, for the most part.

Richard Martin Oxman and Valleria Russelli can be reached at [email protected]. The authors feel that urgent new kinds of academic action are called for, and that the lack of formal scientific legitimacy in their survey is irrelevant respecting this article’s main message. Ditto for the fact that the questionnaire submitted to participants is not available for public consumption. The use of “Less than” with a % was the result of certain responses being too vague for a clear statement of %.



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