Today, 15 October, is Blog Action Day world-wide. As I was thinking about the issue of climate change (the issue chosen for this year's consideration), I was especially drawn to think how my desire to provide educational support for students taking online university courses constitutes action in relation to climate change. It seems to me that students who are empowered to complete their education without having to leave their home communities can provide a sort of experiment in "100-mile education" (similar to the approach in the "100-mile diet"). There are three main ways that Paradox Educational Services contributes to increased local distributed education and helps students take action on climate change issues.
The first way that Paradox increases local education is by providing the security students need to explore education options in their own communities. Since this local education is pursued by enrolling in online courses, such education keeps the actual cost of providing classroom space at a minimum. Students studying in smaller classrooms and meeting fewer hours together weekly leads to lowered costs of operation for both the university where the online classes are offered and the local face-to-face services offered in rural areas and small towns. The lowered costs of operation result from a lower level of energy use relative to the facilities required.
The second way that Paradox contributes to action in relation to climate change is in reducing the need for students to move to larger cities. When students increase the population of cities where universities are located, urban sprawl results. Keeping education based securely in rural areas and small towns keeps cities from overcrowding and harming the environment.
The third way Paradox contributes to action in relation to climate change is by providing increased education in rural areas. Often residents of rural areas are relatively uninformed concerning the environmental situation world-wide. Even when the media reports on such issues, the bias of the information is usually for residents of larger cities, and less populated areas do not have the opportunity to be heard. An increase in rural and small town education will allow for greater environmental information in those areas, but will also encourage students who live in smaller communities and rural areas to speak to global environmental issues from their own perspectives.
Paradox Educational Services is in operation because we believe people should be able to pursue whatever education they want without having to move to cities. We believe that such empowerment of rural populations through the distribution of education acts to prevent continued increases in the energy use in our world. On this day (and every day) we are trying to provide a better world for our children (and their children) to live in.