Now that we’ve established what topics this blog is not about, it’s time to focus on what this blog is about. Officially, this blog provides “an environmentalist perspective on issues of global inequality”. To those who are not familiar with the concept, it may sound like a lot of ivory tower liberal
mumbo-jumbo theory, so I’ll try to make it clearer for my loyal readers.
Broadly speaking, this blog addresses the topic of first world problems. Those who have spent some time on the Internet may have a vague idea of what that means– first world problems arise from having a standard of living that provides more than what an average person needs to sustain themselves. Some may even have a humorous view of the topic. After all, why would someone complain about having too much food in their fridge?
The unfortunate truth of the matter, however, is that most people in advanced industrialized countries, and quite a few people living in the developing world, experience these problems at some point in their lives. They reach a state where they are facing a problem that is so difficult that they feel it is beyond their ability to solve. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, the society in which they live does not feel any compassion towards them, because they are (supposedly) doing too well to deserve any sympathy.
For those who have reached this state, most of the solutions offered by society have failed. They may be wary of establishment liberalism, because any solutions that it provides are limited at best, and they may also be wary of establishment conservatism, which they correctly identify as the cause of their problems. Non-establishment conservatism, on the other hand, may be held in higher esteem, because it is able to commiserate, but it never seems to stray too far from the conservative establishment.
John Muir c1902, Library of Congress
The goal of this blog is to provide a perspective on first-world problems that is independent of both conservatism and liberalism. In the United States, the environmentalist movement traces itself back to John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club. It first gained widespread political acceptance under the administration of Theodore Roosevelt, a progressive who ran on the Republican Party ticket but later founded his own third party, independent of the existing two-party system.
service, bain news. (n.d.). John Muir [photo, print, drawing]. Retrieved July 21, 2016, from https://www.loc.gov/resource/ggbain.06861/