Green Party Candidate Calls
Protect the Natural World
2006, Saltsprings, Pictou County
David Orton, Green Party candidate for Central Nova, calls for green
education to protect the natural world. At a recent all-candidates
organized by university students in Antigonish, he talked about what a
education should be about, and the role of a university.
Orton pointed out, "A university
education does not necessarily train you as
a Nature defender."
"Any major environmental issue -- whether it be
the Sable Gas Project and the pipeline across Nova Scotia and New
Brunswick; the annual herbicide spraying program which is part of
forestry, or the insecticide spraying which comes up from time to time
type of forestry; or the seismic testing by the oil and gas industry in
inshore waters around Nova Scotia -- will have highly 'educated' people
on behalf of the proponents of such activities (the Earth-destroyers),
that what they are doing is perfectly acceptable. The opponents (people
myself) are sometimes described as emotional (which we usually are), but
also ill-informed. Unfortunately, the Earth becomes further degraded,
along by university-trained apologists."
Orton asked, "So,
what is the problem with education? Who 'will
educators' as Marx noted so long ago?"
Orton discussed how Aldo Leopold, one of the most
philosophers for the U.S. environmental movement, had written in
his book A
Sand County Almanac: "Education, I fear, is learning to see one
going blind to another." Orton
pointed out that Leopold was
talking how, in
humans were blind to the abundant natural life to be
which were sooner or later filled in and paved over in
the name of
Orton proposed that one way of becoming more in
harmony with Earth
is to have 'Councils of All Beings' to try and break away from the
human-centeredness, where nature is just seen as 'resources' for
consumption. He said,
"Environmentalists who are influenced
ecology, like myself, believe that the Council is a
It has been described as an attempt to 'hear within
the Earth crying.' This is done by adopting a non
such as that
of an animal, a plant, a rock, a river, a mountain,
speaking to the
negative impact of humans upon the persona chosen.
through masks. People participating in the Council
aware of the
impact of humans on nature. The Council is an
despair into action."
As Orton pointed out, "Education is where society passes on its
through a socialization process, what the U.S.
called the 'of course' statements. All those
statements, which we
familiar with, about 'of course this is the way it
conservative human-centered force overall. This is
not to say that
not good teachers at all levels who try to oppose
this trend and
bring a critical perspectives to their students."
Orton gave an example of an "of course" statement
that we hear in
Maritimes, namely that there are "too many seals", yet we never
too many fishers, or that there is something wrong with
human-centered perspective, which sees the seals as consuming "our
"Some 'of course' assumptions in our post
"are that we should let the 'market'
decide, that globalization is
that 'bigger is better'. The Green Party disagrees.
market, all of
Nature is a 'resource' awaiting conversion into
the market cannot answer ecological, social, ethical
Orton said that "A
green education has to critically analyse these
from an Earth-centered perspective, and see whether
not a better motto for society."
Orton ended his talk by saying, "From my perspective, nature
where we see ourselves as a humble part of the
natural world, and
masters of it, is needed throughout the education
system. This is
ecology is all about. It is not enough to be
turn our backs to the ongoing Earth-destruction
which surrounds us
everywhere. We have to defend what is left of the
our minds, our hearts and our bodies on the line in
what education should help us achieve."
Authorized by the Official Agent for David
Mark A. Brennan
Manager for The Green Party Candidate for Central Nova, David
GREEN PARTY OF
Nova Campaign Manager (902) 396 4397
Candidate, David Orton (925) 925 2514
"Make Peace With Nature, Vote Green"
Campaign Press Releases
Last updated: January 29, 2006