Green view of debate

November 9, 2007

Jim Butcher is right on two counts to complain about the way "sustainable literacy" is being promoted in higher education ("Keep the green moral agenda off campus", October 19).

The first count he partly understands: the absence of debate surrounding the way this green agenda is being pursued as a kind of greenwash. But he skews the necessary terms of the debate towards simplistic quasi-binary opposites that are well to the right of the significant, multidimensional debates occurring in real life.

The second count is one Butcher seems to be unaware of: typical university curricula are anything but universalist, and are resistant to attempts to make them so. Environmental issues are essentially debatable and universalist, and therefore greening the university in its teaching and practices is more difficult than Butcher and the greenwashers assume.

Mo Dodson, Devon.

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