Do you believe:
Water pollution is illegal?
Cage-free hens are contented animals?
Climate change is threatening the United States with more hurricanes?
Says who? Based on what? Compared to what?
The Internet is a revolutionary tool for sharing and shaping ideas, but also a powerful means of spreading unsupported claims, allowing like-minded people to live in information bubbles and amplifying arguments that may have the least to offer if your goal is knowledge.
Our goal with EarthDesk is to foster constructive discourse on ideas and issues that will shape the human relationship to the environment and Earth’s other species, for better or worse, in a crowding, consequential century.
The blog is created and managed by Pace University’s Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, a freestanding institute within the Office of the Provost that serves to deepen Pace’s time-honored commitment to environmental research, interdisciplinary scholarship and public service. For us, a university serves as a hub for critical thinking, a laboratory for testing ways to foster human progress and a resource for its community, which — in the era of online connectivity — is global.
EarthDesk will aim to further all of these goals by convening thinkers and doers from around the Pace campus, the greater New York region and the world to analyze and discuss environmental issues that involve a host of disciplines — from art to ethics to biology and engineering — and that touch each and every life.
The Harvard Internet scholar David Weinberger recently wrote a masterful book exploring the ups and downs of Web communication with a title that says much: “Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room.” Given that reality, he concludes, “our task is to learn how to build smart rooms.”
We hope to demonstrate EarthDesk is such a place.
Posts will come from Pace Academy staff and scholars as well as faculty and students from other parts of the university — and on occasion from the other institutions of the Environmental Consortium of Colleges & Universities, a regional network of schools with significant programs on environmental issues.
The editorial board consists of Michelle D. Land, Pace Academy Director, John Cronin, Senior Fellow for Environmental Affairs, and Andrew Revkin, Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding. Management of the blog is overseen by Donna Kowal, the Academy’s program coordinator, with help from research associate Caroline Craig.
You’ll hear more shortly from Cronin, Revkin and Land on why they blog.