I am a product of the Mid-Atlantic, having lived 18 years in West Virginia, 5 in Pittsburgh, and since in Maryland. My perspective on nature (and everything, really) is largely shaped by that. I’m an amateur naturalist with a plethora of outdoor hobbies, and I’m learning to landscape for a balance of aesthetic and ecological benefits. My wife and dogs share my love of the outdoors, although all parties don’t necessarily agree on the practical applications.
While not meant as a mission statement for this blog, a few of my personal philosophies and convictions will influence my writing on nature:
- Nature is awesome!
- I am guaranteed to be wrong about stuff.
- Too often we draw false distinctions between nature and humanity. Humans and all the things we create are still natural, and our habit of dismissing this view can encourage irresponsibility. The dichotomy of “man made” vs. “natural” can be useful in some discussions, but we give it too much credence.
- There isn’t one “right” and one “wrong” approach to naturalism and environmentalism. People will respond more positively to examples and suggestions than lectures with statements beginning “everyone should…”
- We live in a world of finite resources, so persistent economic growth is unsustainable. More about this idea can be found by reading about ecological economics.
- There are few absolutes – but few is not zero.
- Human-caused climate change is real and a major problem. I have no patience for the systematically disproved counterarguments, and when it is relevant to a topic I will not use language allowing for doubt. There is of course plenty of room for debate over the specific causes and effects of climate change and the best ways to mitigate against it, but rejecting it entirely is akin to believing that physical objects are not attracted by the force of gravity.
None of these is the major focus of this blog. Its ideal state is a collaborative learning tool with my readers. My goals are first to learn and second to share the knowledge and experiences. I promise fluffy bunnies, beautiful birds, magnificent flowers and trees, and whimsy. I welcome debate, discussion and correction (but note the exception in #7 above). If my writing is mostly accurate, occasionally technical, and never brutally dry I’ll have done my job.
If you’re still here, quit reading my bio and go outside. Seriously. I barely made it this far. One last promise: nature is more interesting than I am.