Ecological Literacy  

Orr, pp. 25-84 and chapter V, pp, 85-96.



educational expectations

planetary situation







What is ecological literacy?  


  Ecological Society of America
Ecological literacy, or ecolacy, rests, in part, on a definition of discourse.


called ecolacy

                                    literacy, and numeracy = ecolacy

                                    what it says, how to measure to ask and then what?

                                    a science of consequences

a definition


Can you identify it when you see it?

                        yes – comprehending human impacts or a coral reef requires ecolacy.

                                    systemic thinking

                                    synthetic science


Postman pp.1-99, especially on Discourse. (discourse is the art of communicating well from speaking clearly and convincingly, to convey accurate information so as to motivate thought.)[1]



Interpreting the environment to outsiders,

David Orr, pp. 23-84.


"the fit between humanity and its habitat....resources, population, climate change, species extinction, acid rain, deforestation, ozone depletion, and soil loss."


"wide understanding, competence, and commitment to the common good."


"a broad familiarity with the development of ecological consciousness."


"the extension of ethical obligations to the  land community, careful ecological design, simplicity,  widespread competence with natural systems, the sense of place....

p. 94.


"contrasting Promethean view" (Westphalian approach to sovereignty and war) with ecological views


"The ecologically literate citizen will recognize these immediately for what they are: the stuff of epitaphs. Ecological literacy leads in other, and more durable, directions toward prudence, stewardship, and the celebration of Creation."



 p. 95.


From David Orr selected passages that clarify what we need to know and do to promote ecological literacy:

"and still fail because its graduates were unable to make the leap from 'I know,' to 'I care,' to 'I'll do something.' . . . involving the integration of analytic intelligence...."

p. 147.

Thomas Kuhn    
  The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
normal science versus anomalies
    --> versus public knowledge

Education status:

The state of the planet represents a series of anomalies for contemporary education.

Any adequate response to the emerging agenda of the twenty-first century will require . . .

 p. 147.

The problem:

"Ecology has been isolated within biology departments as though it had little or nothing to do with the social sciences, the humanities, or the professions. The result is a pervasive anthropocentrism (human obsessed) that manifests the roles of humans and their ideas,.... that assumes nature to be infinite, and human ingenuity to be the ultimate resource."

 pp. 134-135.

"The manifest errors in such thinking might have been eliminated with a dose of ecological literacy, a nodding acquaintance with thermodynamics, a brief study of history, and a modicum of ethical sensitivity, and common sense."

"...other disciplines could likewise profit from a cross-fertilization with ecology."

 p. 135.

Post to WIKI human interest


Can we describe Lake Apopka and the Apopka community in ecologically coherent terms?


1.     Obstacles

2.     Opportunities

"The medium is the message."

TV the alleged health impacts of television

George Lakoff: The Elephant essay & use of media to achieve wholesome, just goals.

Film form as media

Bordwell, pp. 56 -77,

Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others.

"the photographer’s intentions."

• " Catching Death -- freeze frame "

• Photograph's objectify people and reality

• Photographs as a media of impact disputed

• The photograph's role in creating distance

• Advertising and media

Sontag, pp. 3-39.


Thoreau as a model for ecological literacy of places.

Film as a medium | Film Art | Open Space of Democracy |Ecological literacy | economy


Systemic thinking

Understanding ecological integrity

Ecological Justice

Our Stolen Future

Garrett Hardin


David Bordwell & Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction.

The Open Space of Democracy.


[1] discourse, literally means a speech, sermon, a study, lecture, debate, or conversation.