The Culture of Denial

Why the Environmental Movement Needs a Strategy for Reforming Universities and Public Schools

By C. A. Bowers

Subjects: Education
Series: SUNY series in Environmental Public Policy
Paperback : 9780791434642, 288 pages, July 1997
Hardcover : 9780791434635, 288 pages, July 1997

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Table of contents


1. Introduction

2. Universities and the Culture of Denial

3. Rethinking the Ideological Foundations of an Educational Strategy

4. An Ecological Reinterpretation of Modern Educational Ideals

5. Strategies for Educational Reform

6. Greening Colleges of Education




Argues that environmentalists must expand their political involvement to include the reform of public schools and universities, and that education must be revamped to support ecologically sustainable paths for society.

C. A. Bowers has taught at the University of Oregon and Portland State University and lives in Eugene, Oregon, where he writes and lectures on the cultural implications of the ecological crisis and technology. His most recent books include Education, Cultural Myths, and the Ecological Crisis: Toward Deep Changes and Educating for an Ecologically Sustainable Culture: Rethinking Moral Education, Creativity, Intelligence, and Other Modern Orthodoxies, both published by SUNY Press.


"Chet Bowers puts forth a powerful argument … Culture of Denial is a powerful, controversial book. It will stimulate discussion … it will provide a strong learning experience and a challenge to previously taken-for-granted understandings." — H-Net Reviews (H-Teachpol)

"Overall this is a good read which raises some very important questions, and instead of leaving you hanging, like many theoretical or philosophical books do, Bowers gives answers in a very practical way." — Education Review

"With this book, Chet Bowers joins the ranks of leading contemporary social critics David Brower, Ivan Illich, Ralph Nader, Jerry Mander, Jeremy Rifkin, and Kirkpatrick Sale. And just as these critics point to the social/environmental disaster looming on the horizon as a result of modern society's headless plunge into megatechnology and the course of rapidly increasing economic/consumerist globalization by transnational corporate elites, Bowers meticulously documents the complicity of the educational establishment in supporting this disastrous path. He argues that education, from the primary grades to universities, must be totally revamped to support new, ecologically sustainable paths for society. Even deep ecology theorists fail to escape his criticism. Always provocative, and sometimes highly controversial, Bowers provides realistic and detailed suggestions for beginning this crucial educational turnaround." — George Sessions, editor, Deep Ecology for the 21st Century

"The Culture of Denial is a deeply moral book, proposing educational reform that is far more profound than the computer-mediated technotrance or the 'culture wars' waged by modern liberals and conservatives. Bowers argues persuasively that only an ecosocial revitalization of education and culture can solve the accumulating modern crises. I hope this book becomes required reading at every teachers' college and university." — Charlene Spretnak, author of The Resurgence of the Real

"Bowers does a razor-sharp job of describing the flaws in contemporary education." — David W. Orr, author of Ecological Literacy: Education and the Transition to a Postmodern World