Dear Tom,

We are teaching a class on Global Climate Change to high school students and are trying to implement some 21st century skills. Extending your metaphor about the world being flat, we are trying to make our classroom flat by joining your Chapter 18 discussion forum. We are looking forward to connecting with experts like you and your readers. We just finished your book and are exploring all sorts of ways to show students how to exploits all aspects of your great book. On a personal note as high school teachers, we also appreciate the resilient mindset that is implicit in your thesis. You explain the problems well and show the opportunities available to us. Given that life presents us all with numerous problems, we like how you model an open mindset (in contrast to a fixed mindset) about celebrating the opportunities residing in any given setback or problem. In this light, your book helps us to show students of the dramatic and exciting position that they are in to be agents of "out-greening" and "knowledge workers" who will make the leaders of their future cities create safe and healthy places to live work and live.

The largest idea that we have to share with your Chapter 18 forum involves our planning of an Earth Day for our school this year. This Earth Day will not be the traditional type of Earth Day celebrations. In fact, we appreciated your anecdote about the disconnect you felt after the recent Earth Day celebration on the Mall; with this in mind, we will forgo the frisbees and the music and have instead distilled your thesis into the title for our upcoming day: Earth Day in the Age of Globalization. We have a separate planning page on our class wiki and invite you and your readers to suggest ideas. We have traditional activities to energy audits planned for the day. We would also like to invite you to campus that day. Maybe you could give a short talk before we all head out to separate projects on campus. Click the link below to see how ecletic and updated our Earth Day events are. Do you want to attend?: bill_sullivan@suffieldacademy.org or gerry_laplante@suffieldacademy.org

http://saproblemsolvers.wikispaces.com/earth.day.in.the.age.of.globalization

Other insights that we enjoyed in your book include the passage from The Onion in Chapter Five; perhaps there is more opportunity for satire to awaken our American culture to this problem. Maybe the day the issue leads an opening scene on Saturday Night Live might represent the tipping point we need to enact serious solutions. With that in mind, what role could art play? There have been some artists who attempt to bridge the disconnect with Americans as they leave lights on and fail to realize the connection to the awful ways we retrieve “hell fuels” and use them to fire our power plants. We have shown some portions of the documentary, Manufactured Landscapes, to begin this awareness. Have you seen this film? There are profound images showing your thesis about Hot, Flat, and Crowded. Also, given the role that provocative images played in moving the American public during the Civil Rights movement, could disturbing images of hilltop mining practices motivate the American public to pay a higher gas tax to help solve the real, larger problem? Again, complementing your point that the Civil Rights movement helped change the country by changing the laws, didn't that change occur when Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson could not have conversations about human rights around the world when disturbing images of protesters in the south were filling the screens of new TV sets around the world? Could images, such as the ones from Manufactured Landscapes, help Americans make the change to a smart electrical grid?

Again, Using Hot, Flat, and Crowded in class provides a great context for understanding global climate change.

Our class wiki page is http://saproblemsolvers.wikispaces.com/

We have broken down our topic into five categories, and students are working in teams as we prepare to share what we learned about this topic with our community; you can learn more on how these teams are extracting specific takeaways from your book to help them better understand the context of Global Warming:






We look forward to any comments and/or suggestions that you and other Chapter 18 Forum members might have as we move forward and present the opportunity for our students to become the "Re-generation--redefining green, and rediscovering, reviving, and regenerating America."

Gerry LaPlante and Bill Sullivan
gerry_laplante@suffieldacademy.org or bill_sullivan@suffieldacademy.org