Thursday, October 18, 2007

Operation: Day's worth of work

Every year, Norwegian high school students take a day off school to "sacrifice" a day's work to a given charity. The event is known as "Operasjon dagsverk" - Operation: A day's worth of work. The charities usually has to do with education, and with focus on a speific area.

This year, the theme is global warming and the location Central America. And this is where it gets interesting. The idea is that through education, youth can take a stand against the ever increasing life standards and its environmental impact. So far so good.

The problem, as I see it, is the recurring one: We implement a "modernized" school system which promotes higher living standards, higher consumption and thus also higher environmental impacts. This is demonstrated by the fact that their example of education for a prosperous future is, indeed, as a mechanic of combustible engines. That is not to speak of all the other types of education that can get you a job as a factory worker in a multinational corportation with high environmental impact.

And then I have not even touched the fact that the 8 page A4 information full colour "brochure" is printed on extra heavy paper and covered with chemicals, then distributed to hundreds of thousands of students and teachers across the entire country - instead of just distributing a PDF. Alas, less than 1/3rd of what you end up donating to the cause is spent on wasteful management and other environmentally dangerous activities.

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