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Toxic Textbooks is one of the latest social causes being promoted through Facebook to rid the world of misperceptions, particularly when it comes to economics versus the environment. Students around the world are joining the fight to end the publication and use of economic textbooks that perpetuate myths we all know to be false.Most economics courses do mention the idea that natural resources are not taken into the equation of what a widget costs or is worth. Most economics courses, though, still continue right on with teaching the course the same way that its always been taught saying "well, it would be great (more accurate) if we did take natural resources and environmental damage into the equation, but we don't. Oh well. Someday."
Economics students are now saying enough is enough and today is that day. Toxic Textbooks is calling for the end of teaching economics as if the planet doesn't matter and to ban the use and printing of books that say otherwise. The group believes that current "un-scientific" economic theories that are passed off as scientific truth, and not questioned, are the reason that we are in the current global economic predicament that we are in.
Several websites have been setup to further this debate and also to help students organize and get toxic textbooks out of their classroom. Authors of these textbooks, book publishers and those who believe these "mainstream" economic myths have a lot to lose in terms of money and reputation by allowing new ideas into the discourse. Students interested in change will need resources and backup as opponents will be well-funded and will clearly put up a fight. The Toxic Textbooks website and Facebooks pages both offer space to discuss why current economic theory is illogical, what non-toxic textbooks are available or might look like and how to get one's college campus to make the switch.
We've also talked about toxic textbooks themselves can be, no matter the subject matter. In particular, how expensive it can be for students to continually purchase hundreds of dollars worth of new textbooks each year, only to not read them or trash them at the end of each semester. For more tips on how to break that cycle, check out textbook recycling or ebooks on TreeHugger.
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