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  • Priyank Sharma

What does education lead to?

Education helps in providing skills/knowledge

Skills lead to better job

Better job means better pay

(So, education helps in alleviating poverty!)

Better pay means more materialistic consumption

(So, Education leads to more consumption!)

Consumption is the central reason for climate crisis!

(So, education leads to climate crisis?)

(Or alleviating poverty would lead to climate crisis?)

I was reading the environmental educationist, David Orr. He says that it's the uneducated who is making the planet sustainable, as they consume less!

We may be creating ways to curb climate crisis through education and technology, but the truth remains that we can't solve for climate change unless we reduce consumption. We may talk about green economy, zero waste economy, circular economy, etc. but there's enough evidence out there that tells us that all of this won't help us if we don't reduce our materialistic consumption. We can't keep increasing our factories and industries to produce more and more if we want to be sustainable.

Education has a direct relation to consumption as it increases people's purchasing power, and people effectively consume more and more. So, taking cues from David Orr, can we say more education would lead to more climate crisis?

When so many of us (NGOs, companies, individuals, govts, etc.) are trying our best to make education accessible to every individual, we need to also ask what would an educated world look like? When we say quality education, can it be only limited to learning outcomes? How do we determine what those learning outcomes mean for the individual or to the society?

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