this (sadly) will not be my last rant on rising gas prices. it has hit a moral rock-bottom in my book, when it affects the children of this country. oil prices are so high now, which of course itself isn't news, but the fact that some rural cities are cutting their school week down to 4 days...well, it's incomprehensibly offensive.
in 2005, they began to turn down the thermostat settings in schools due to natural gas and oil prices soaring. they actually claimed in a school in rural southern NJ that reducing the temperature is a learning tool, teaching little ones about hot and cold, and older kids about the cost of things. (source) even as an adult, I have had to sit frigid in some offices here in NYC and freeze my budunkadunk off with a cashmere button-down in July and that adversely affected my performance, since all I could do was complain as my numb hands attempted to work.
and 2005 was just the start of things for children who are just trying to get an education in this Bush economy... now, in the past few years - they have been reducing the number of field trips kids go on, children will have to more frequently walk than take the bus to and from school, and slowly instilling 4 day school weeks with 10 hour school days. fairly enough - I am really a bit torn on the issue here. i mean, yes of course the environment is of great concern to me, as is each individuals carbon footprint. but when we were kids, in the 80's, it was a time of excess and Reaganomics. children are subjected more-so than even we as adults are NOWADAYS to the rising costs of oil.
we are still buying cars which don't use fuel-efficiency (yes, I am talking about all of you H3 owners out there), printing out emails, eating out of non-recycled materials from fast-food chains, using toxic cleaners and detergents still, abusing agriculture and farming of animals just so you can celebrate with a leather jacket and a steak when you get a promotion, and ignorantly using plastic bags at the market.but our children, well - they are being forced to sit in school for an unbearable 10 hours a day, until 5:30 at night, and then partake in after-school athletics?? it sounds impossibly tiring, even for the next LeBron James. the best part is their 3 day weekend...it sounds good to us adults, right? but in this time of failing economy thanks to our President (who, the other day when asked about the recession we are in, claimed 'I am not an economist, I don't have a comment on that' to a reporter on ABC) both parents have to work. and most parents have 5-day work weeks still. which means on their Friday, kids will be in a daycare facility so mom and dad can earn a living just to barely get by.
so now, on Fridays in several rural cities across America, you have thousands of individual cars going to drop their unschooled children off at daycare, then off to work, then to pick them up from daycare from work, to home. maybe stop for some plastic bagged groceries along the way, or pick up some toxic bleach cleaner for their tub, but always, always stopping for....yep, you guessed it...gas.
how is that better than 100 school buses taking children to a school to learn and then participate in sports, so they may be able to get a scholarship, and bring some (much needed) money into their schools and home...
don't get me wrong here. once they can prove that children can still get in their musical classes, football, track and cheerleading in these 10-hour days, as well as still learn in a non-pressured environment and make the best of their Fridays, then I will be on board.
at the end of the day, it really makes me sad that college is so expensive, urban schools are not excelling as they should, and oil prices are so high that our children are being negatively affected; all while we adults live in a land of abundance and can make a choice to be actively aware of being 'green' in this society, or as 'un-green' as we want.