4 thoughts on “Schools Fact Sheets

  1. Robert William Minter

    Your list of fact sheets does not include awareness of environmental issues, such as the threefold rise in world population during my lifetime (77 years) and the need to conserve finite resources such as the “rare earths” needed for much of modern life, and to protect other forms of life on which we indirectly or directly rely. Neglect of any or all of these is likely to adversely affect the grandchildren of today’s youngsters, if not themselves.

    1. liz

      Dear Robert

      Thanks for your comment. IF has separated out demographics into a separate fact sheet. In terms of the environment, due to finite resources we decided not to replicate the very good work of WWF, Friends of the Earth, the World Future Council and other much more high-profile global organisations working to highlight what’s at stake for future generations if we continue along our current path. We therefore belong to an umbrella organisation called the Alliance of Future Generations which feeds into the UN and is pushing for a Higher Commissioner for Future Generations to safeguard the planet and its resources for future generations. We also support the very good work of Peter Davies, Welsh Sustainable Futures Commissioner, who is leading the way in the UK in bringing protection for future generations into our constitution. We tend to look at environmental issues in terms of taxation hence our research report on the intergenerational inequalities in the taxation of air travel , which allows the airline industry to undercharge for the true cost of flying. Our paper suggests that rather than building more airports and subsidising aviation further we should be encouraging people out of the sky and onto other forms of transport. We are currently working on a report looking at the clean-up costs for future generations from nuclear de-commissioning. We would welcome a blog so please do consider submitting one.

  2. Robert Bensted-Smith

    I was drawn to this website by the name of the Foundation. As a newcomer to the website, I have a similar impression to that of Mr Minter, that the coverage of environmental and “natural capital” aspects of inter-generational justice does not reflect their importance. The fact sheet on environment focuses on climate change, which is a hugely important topic. However, loss and degradation of crucial habitats, species, soils, pollinators, natural mechanisms for water regulation and so on, together with exhaustion of mineral resources, are also fundamental elements of inter-generational injustice (and are in many cases irreversible). The fact that they are less visible to UK schoolchildren and rarely mentioned in the daily news is an added reason for highlighting them in both the environmental and the economics factsheets. The latter could explain the simple concept of natural capital and how failure of conventional economics to account for such capital inevitably favours short-term, unsustainable exploitation.
    Participating in the Alliance for Future Generations is valuable, but does not seem to me to be sufficient, given that finding ways to account for and maintain natural capital and halt its destruction is essential to the inter-generational fairness which IF pursues.

    1. liz

      Dear Robert, IF is a small charitable think tank, and therefore at launch, due to scarce resources, made a decision that we would not replicate the very good work of far bigger global organisations such as WWF, FoE and others who can pack more of a punch on environmental intergenerational justice issues. We do what we can on the budgets we have. Little attention is given to the intergenerational tax implications of environmental work and we therefore tend to concentrate. The Intergenerational Justice landscape covers so many areas from housing, health education, taxation, inheritance, etc. I hope you will be interested in a forthcoming report that looks at energy in the future. We are always looking for volunteers so if you’d be interested in writing a blog on the importance of teaching school kids about the issues you raise we would be delighted? Email liz@if.org.uk if you’d like to discuss further.

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