Happy Birthday Natural Patriot!

first_birthday.jpgDear friends, colleagues, family members, sparring partners, lost souls, and passers-by,

I am proud to say that, as of this day, the Natural Patriot has survived its first perilous year in this world (I’m referring to the blog, not myself.  I of course also survived the year but that’s probably less newsworthy). As is true of most species, the early days and months are the most dangerous stage of life history, and a newborn blog, all dewy and wide-eyed, emerging tentatively from the womb or wherever it emerges from to find its way in the world, is no exception.  There are apprehension, missteps, risk of starvation, fear of predators, fear of exposure. And of course the constant siren song of tossing it all in (“Why on earth am I spending my non-existent free time doing this?”). 

The vast majority of young animals, alas, don’t survive their first year, and I gather that the same is true of blogs, though I can’t locate the stats at the moment. Somehow we muddled through.  Makes me want to stand up and belt out an Aretha Franklin song — but that would surely kill my visitor stats so I’ll spare you.

So, in lieu of actually writing something new and compelling and worthwhile, I hope that you, gentle reader, will grant me the indulgence just this once (or perhaps once a year, if we beat the odds and survive another) of a retrospective exhibit.  Here then are some of the posts I am most fond of (Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!):

It all started with The Nature of Patriotism, an idea that I think is underappreciated but key to living a long and harmonious life as a global society.

I don’t want this to be just another partisan blog (though my colors undoubtedly show through).  Which is why I remain intrigued — and heartened — by the question: Is purple the new green?

Natural patriotism, like anything worthwhile, is not easy.  Which is why it is worth pondering The nature of natural, and its implications.

Holding that thought, it may be that long-term sustainability requires an evolution in our approach to our relationship with nature, namely one of Reconciliation ecology.  

But with all the other problems we face, Can we afford to save the world? Well, can we afford not to?  Addressing this most important question of the new millennium requires that we focus on The real economy.  

The root of Natural Patriotism is the intuitive understanding that the natural world is essential to our physical and spiritual life. Every once in a while, I slow down long enough to remember my Ocean soul and realize this. And now, even the scientific approach supports the idea that, to be melodramatic, Biodiversity is a secret to inner peace.

How to share that love?  The most inspirational and hopeful message I’ve read comes from Richard Louv, a true Natural Patriot.

Lest there be misunderstanding, a harmonious relationship with nature is not only an issue of esthetics or even spirituality, it is critical to our material well-being: Trees save lives.  Again, saving both trees and lives will require hard choices, which in turn requires recognizing that Economic growth is the opiate of the people.

wild_party.jpgSo there you have it.  Sorry I can’t throw a wild birthday party — I’ve learned a surprising amount of HTML and other arcane geekana in the last year, but haven’t yet figured out how to do that online.  But if you happen to feel inspired about a birthday gift, there’s no need to send cash, baked goods, or expensive merchandise (although I will surely not turn them down).  Instead, it would warm the cockles of the Natural Patriot’s heart if you simply tell a friend about the site (something good, I mean), subscribe by RSS if you haven’t already, and . . .

Sign in below with a comment! (just hello is fine)

Thanks, as always, for your support!

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.
This entry was posted in Biodiversity, Biophilia, Blogospheria, Natural Patriots. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Happy Birthday Natural Patriot!

  1. Mr. R says:

    Happy Birthday, blog. Being born on the 16th of January makes you a Capricorn, the sea-goat. From one astrological site, we should expect capricorns to be:

    Patient and wise. Practical and rigid. Ambitious. Tends to be good-looking.
    Humorous and funny. Can be a bit shy and reserved. Often pessimists.
    Capricorns tend to act before they think and can be unfriendly at times. Hold grudges. Like competition. Get what they want. Determined.

    “Often pessismists”? “Determined”? Methinks there is something to this astrology after all! Generally speaking, this blog is enjoyable to read, even when the views expressed are completely wrong. So good job and keep it up.

  2. happy birthday, natural patriot…
    and many more…

    keep fighting the good fight, emmett!

  3. Emmett Duffy says:

    Thanks for the support, guys. Being a crusty marine biologist, as well as a goat afficianado, I like the idea of the sea-goat. I would say about half of the characteristics attributed to Capricorn apply to the blog, which is more or less exactly what one would expect for the random coin toss that’s at the heart of astrology. I note also that there is a difference between a pessimist and a realist. Y’all come back!

  4. Happy Birthday Natural Patriot!

  5. Barack Obama says:

    I like how you are doing this blog. Keep it up, I support you. Oh, and Happy Birthday to the Natural Patriot.

    P.S. Vote for me

  6. Emmett Duffy says:

    It’s an honor to have you visit the Natural Patriot, Mr. Obama (did April 1st sneak up on me this year . . .?). You can count on me to get out the vote in November — I think I can promise you 2, maybe 3 of my readers!

    I suppose we’ll soon be hearing from Hillary in this scramble for media attention.

  7. kevin z says:

    Happy Birthday NP! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading you and look forward to more ramblings. You’ve made me proud to be a citizen of the Earth.

  8. Beth Gullette says:

    Happy Birthday, Natural Patriot! Good job keeping us all on task, Emmett. – from a proud little sister

  9. Conor Duffy says:

    I love you, Dad. You are the best. I lik emaking funny omments on your log, but this isn’t one. Happy Birthday to the natural patriot. Even though “Barack Obama” said it already. Pshaw! thats not me. I’ll be seeing you in approximately one minute.

  10. Way to go with the blog, chief. I think it’s time well spent. I spread the word about the Natural Patriot whenever I get the chance.

  11. Sir Hideous says:

    Nice work on Natural Patriot. Though I see the world through different lenses, your blog reminds me that many people in this world live in the cloud of unsupported science and fear.
    I also regularly read the Entertainment Tonight and High Times blogs for added perspective. All these things seem to make me whole!
    OK, I’m messing with you…sort of.
    Congrats on the NP.

  12. Emmett Duffy says:

    Thanks again to all for visiting and keeping me on my toes, laughing, puzzling, etc.