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“There is no they, only us.”
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Environmental Literacy

Four Levels of Environmental Literacy

If we were to compare environmental literacy with musical literacy, it could look as follows:

I. BASIC OR FUNDAMENTAL LEVEL: HEARING THERE IS A RHYME, TUNE OR PATTERN

The awareness of:

  • "Holism" (Nature functions in "wholes"; in whole situations, or in patterns; we cannot meaningfully isolate parts; just like the study of oxygen or hydrogen in isolation will tell us nothing about water)
  • Our role in the one ECO-SYSTEM (which consists of many environments)
  • Four fundamental processes which determine all biological activity
  • The true meaning of the word "BIODIVERSITY"
  • Where to look for answers

II. GENERAL LEVEL: THE ABILITY TO READ NOTES AND TO PLAY OR SING THEM

The ability to recognize:

  • a particular environment and to know its main characteristics
  • the effectiveness with which the fundamental processes are functioning
  • the role of “edge effect”; it's influence on “community dynamics” and the “carbon cycle”
  • the management tools available to us and how they might be applied
  • the difference between an “holistic approach” and “a process for managing holistically”
  • what management models are currently available to us and where to find out about them
  • the role of “solar economics” and the meaning of “triple bottom line”
  • why in the long term “systems” will always fail (when living things are involved)

III. MANAGEMENT LEVEL: THE ABILITY TO COMPOSE, WRITE AND PLAY / SING A SONG

The ability to knowingly manipulate environmental processes to favour a predetermined outcome, to monitor progress and to effectively react when required.

IV. PLANNING LEVEL: THE ABILITY TO COMPOSE AND TO CONDUCT A SYMPHONY

The skills, experience and support required to assist at regional and national policy levels.