Dreaming in Green

The Guardan has a well written article that looks at the emergence of academic green thinking in the UK. The article looks at the advancements being made, but does so in a way that ensures we keep our feet on the ground.

Fortunately, he points out, students are starting to take action for themselves, with campaigns including student organisation People and Planet’s Green League Table last summer, which gave universities degrees according to their environmental awareness. The results were surprising. Oxford and LSE both got 2.1s, while York and Glasgow scraped 2.2s: the top three were Leeds Metropolitan, Plymouth and Hertfordshire. “That really shook a few vice-chancellors,” says Patton, smiling. “I imagine that resolutions were made not to come that far down again.”

But the biggest problem is that, in the end, this is not just an issue for universities. This is going to be a problem for all of us. Paul Allen, development director at the Centre for Alternative Technology, is very anxious about the blindness of the academics. “Do they realise that we need to have a huge reskilling for Britain, that in the years ahead we are going to have to learn how to do things very differently? Are they planning courses that are going to re-educate our young people? No. They’re teaching young people in buildings where the lights are on all the time, in buildings where the energy is badly managed, where no one has even thought about approaching green electricity providers.”

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