So I’ve been thinkin’ . . .

thinkingbloggerpf8.jpg. . . and it appears that I’ve actually been caught at it by — hot damn! — two separate people.  Kevin Z, fellow in the distinguished company of marine biologists, and keeper of invertebrates at The Other 95%, fingered me with the Thinking Blogger award (which started here):

“His blog [The Natural Patriot] highlights the reasons why science, conservation and environmentalism are patriotic concepts. He brings up relevant issues and has the bigger picture in mind.”

bpgc_award.jpgThen, in the same week, I’ve been tagged (for the second time) with the “Bloggers for positive global change” award (which started here) from Julie at “Pines Above Snow“, a cool blog that highlights inspiring nature books and promotes a literary approach to environmental conservation. 

Thanks to you both!  Probably every blogger (well, alright, maybe not the rock stars at Real Climate) is familiar with that occasional feeling, in the unearthly glow of the monitor late at night when one should really be doing one of the numerous other things on the to-do list — like, for example, sleeping — but instead finds oneself hunched over the keyboard tapping madly away: Why am I doing this? Is there anybody out there? 

It’s nice to know that there is someone out there other than my immediate family (and the ever-vigilant spambots) actually listening, figuratively speaking.  So the sole charge associated with this chain letter honor is to nominate five other bloggers of note. Since this is a Web 2.0 thing, with no centralized database of former recipients, I don’t know if the following have already been hit. So, my picks, in no particular order:

1) Growth is Madness!  Just discovered this one recently.  Great stuff.  As we all know, there are lots of problems in this world, and they range all over the map.  But they have one thing in common: they all boil down to . . . us.  How many of us there are, what we’re doing individually and collectively, and what impact that has on evrything else.  Yet, what is the single, central, quasi-religious theme that drives modern industrialized society? Growth! Yes, continuous, accelerating, damn-the-torpedoes growth. Growth of the economy, the human population, waistlines, you get the picture.  At Growth is Madness, John Feeney (and various guests) comment on all manner of issues of the day, tied together by their relationship with this central, underlying challenge of getting hold of our pillaging of the finite planet.

2) Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog.  The NP is all about raising awareness of What Nature Does For You — and, in turn, what you and I should be doing for Her (I know some people get bent out of shape by this female anthropomorphism, but I’ve always liked it and I’m too old a dog to change my tricks now).  While rocks are admittedly natural and have their charm, by “nature” I mean mainly living organisms.  What could illustrate more directly the link between biodiversity and human well-being than agriculture?  This site ranges over an eclectic array of topics, but if you dig around it’s full of fascinating commentary on our intimate symbiosis with the domesticated and wild organisms of this earth.

3) Blogfish. A thoughtful voice for conservation and enlightened use of the oceans and their resources. Mark ranges widely over the waves, from overfishing (lots on this) through climate change, invasive species, politics, the perhaps unexpected greenness of Wal-Mart — even dog surfing. Lots to think about there.

4) Shifting Baselines. Jennifer Jacquet and the all-star cast of Shifting Baselines always have something interesting, novel, provocative, and/or entertaining to say about the modern state of the world ocean, how it ain’t what it used to be, and how important it is to effective conservation and management that people understand that. 

5) Terra Rossa.  This blog purports to be “where conservatives consider a new energy future”.  I am not a conservative, but I welcome anyone working toward the common good of fixing the mess we’re in.  And it is enlightening to see how those of a different ideological stripe approach the growing environmental crisis.  Diversity of approaches is a generally healthy thing for society. The blog is a group effort and, perhaps predictably, the quality of writing varies from really thoughtful to somewhat one-dimensionally partisan (and many of the comments, I’m afraid, appear to have been written by rabid neanderthals). But I can say emphatically that it always makes me think. And that is what we’re after here.

And, just for good measure, I refer the reader to my previous nominees for bloggers for positive global change, all of whom may also be considered righteous thinking bloggers.  Kudos to all.  I guess I have to track down another five now. 

Hmmm, perhaps it’s time to start a “Natural Patriot Award” chain letter . . .


About Emmett Duffy

I am a Natural Patriot and an ecologist with expertise in biodiversity and its importance to human society. My day job is Professor of Marine Science at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
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2 Responses to So I’ve been thinkin’ . . .

  1. John Feeney says:

    Thanks for the nod, Emmett!

    It’s always nice to be recognized. Oddly, the importance of the topics on blogs like yours and mine (if I do say so) is not often matched by the volume of visitors or the level of recognition. So thanks.

    And keep up the great work here and in your “real” job. :) The world needs very “natural patriot” it can get!

  2. Emmett Duffy says:

    John: I feel your pain. As always, bread and circuses remain the top draws . . .