The Last Humans Project
Creating the Workforce for Adapting to Climate Change Effects
Global Higher Education as Leader
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Re-framing the Idea of Learning . . .
A Plan for Humanity to Survive the Climate Crisis
And Emerge as a More Resilient Species
Last Humans uses this planning and action framework: CCE
Climate action now takes the form of confrontation with political leaders and corporations.
Climate action sometimes takes the form of collaboration with non-profits, NGOs, and "green" corporations.
Climate action can, also, take the form of education to build the workforce for climate adaptation.
The Last Humans Project, along with other organizations is working on climate adaptation by organizing curriculum in global higher education to develop a climate action workforce of enrolled students and graduates. This Project collaborates and educates toward adaptation (sustainability and resilience), not as an either/or with confrontation, but as a necessary filling out of human action to survive the climate crisis.
Many of the ideas underlying this Project can be found in the set of blogs under "blog," one of the tabs at the top of this page. The other underlying document is the book being published monthly at this site.
To see the chapter(s) of the book now available, go to "Download Text" page by clicking on the tab at the top of this page.
This Project is to build a global influence network that aims to align global higher education toward leadership to adapt to climate change effects around the globe. Worldwide, hundreds of organizations, municipalities, companies and individuals are already working to reverse greenhouse gas emissions. This Project is about what to do to preserve human society as the climate crisis gets inevitably worse. It is a unique project in its goal to create a new climate curriculum for all 19,400 institutions of higher education in the world.
The ideas and name of the Project are "open source": other projects can be created using the "source code" (ideas) at this site and those derivative projects can go for grants or create an organization or company based on the ideas and name of this project as long as the Project has attribution.
We have three claims that make this project unique, challenging, but essential:
Humans had a real human language long before current researchers in human evolution are willing to say: 2.5 million years ago, not 50,000 years ago. Language, leading to societies and cultures, is what led to human dominance of the earth. We need "language" again, now, in this extinction moment to communicate the urgency of the moment. Putting language back at the center of learning will lead to a "survival corps" of university students and graduates ready to address the crisis.
Human dominance has, unwittingly, led to the current mass extinction on the earth. Without a broad range of coordinated actions by the species (that is, global human society), we ourselves will be faced with extinction starting very soon, such as in 30 years. This claim is widely supported.
Higher Education, all 19,400 institutions, engaging 250,000,000 students worldwide, is the logical leader – as political leadership continues to fail us – for humans to adapt to inevitable climate crises continuing over the centuries to come. This Project explains why and how higher education, as a global entity, can “save humanity.”
The logic is this: we can now see, based on various fields of study in human evolution, that the source of power for humans is language. But, we have brought ourselves to an extinction moment because of this organizing power. However, by seeing language as our core ability, we can re-shape how students learn in higher education, making them able to form the core of the global force that will respond to ongoing challenges for human survival.
We have a 30-year window in which to form this global force to adapt locally, regionally, nationally and internationally to inevitable disruptions in the systems that enable human civilization. And, then, this global force will need to continue for centuries as the effects of climate change begin to abate, if they ever do.
The world is on its feet to promote climate change action. This project is also aimed at the climate crisis, in particular, at human survival in the short term. Guided by a new interpretation of human evolution -- the new human story -- we offer a new design for all global higher education (19,400 institutions roughly) to generate, in a coordinated way, immediate human resources (students) to solve the myriad problems that are inevitable because of the 6th Mass Extinction underway now.
Our project is not instead of but in addition to all the activity among NGOs, non-profits, governments and communities that are working to reverse climate change.
While humans may reverse the buildup of greenhouse gases, that reversal may not happen until long after climate disasters accelerate -- fires, floods, sea level rise, food system failures and so on. Human society, together, must plan, now, for how to sustain the systems necessary for human life -- that is, civilization.
Each month, starting in January, 2020, chapters of The Last Humans book will be published online as a free, downloadable PDF.
-- Trent Batson, Ph.D., former faculty, administrator and professional staff at 8 universities (Gallaudet University, Michigan State, Carnegie Mellon, George Mason, Seton Hall, University of Rhode Island, and MIT) and founder of The Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL). Technology leader in higher education starting in 1985.
I have consulted with some colleagues while I have been writing the book: Gary Brown, Randy Bass, Bryan Alexander and Phillip Long. As I talked with each of them, when I got to the "glazed eyes" look, I knew I needed to re-visit that part of the book. These colleagues have also offered extremely helpful suggestions.