About a year ago, I came out on Facebook with a personal profile attributed to my real identity. Yet, I continued to maintain a ‘more subversive’ pseudonymous profile but after realizing that I was using it less and less as I grew more comfortable with my new online voice, I eventually consolidated these personae and disclosed my true identity to my online friends. (As my alter ego alias may still some useful purpose when I’m concerned with shielding my identity, I won’t disclose it here.)
I have over the past couple of years become increasingly concerned with issues of ecological sustainability. My long-standing concerns were re-ignited with a heightened sense of urgency by the recent fervour over climate change. I’ve been an avid reader of history and upon reading Clive Ponting’s Clive Ponting’s A New Green History of the World I came to realize that the threatened impacts of impending climate change bring into sharper focus a nexus of many related environmental issues and their underlying causes. In short, our modern lifestyles in this industrial society have wreaked havoc upon the environment proportional to the extent that we consume products. Compounding this issue is global population growth and matters of global social justice, which will result in dramatically increased deterioration of our environment. Our planet imposes natural limits to growth and, if not already exceeded, we are on a trajectory to over-shoot its carrying capacity.
For most of the past 25 years I have been an investor in The Hunger Project, a strategic not-for-profit organization committed to ending chronic world hunger and extreme poverty by empowering women and men to end their own hunger. Whilst I remain a strong advocate for their work, Ive since come to believe that it is at the risk of becoming moot unless we can address some of the larger issues that confront us, some of which — at the risk of sounding alarmist — might, as some believe, be potentially civilization-ending if not simply risking the extinction of the human species. Yet, I remain a strong advocate for social justice; I believe that we cannot create a sustainable future without being inclusive and fair in considering the wants and needs of all people. Even apart from worse-case collapse scenarios associated with climate change or carrying capacity over-shoot, there will be an increasing risk of civil unrest, mass migrations and wars arising from population pressures, depletion of resources and an overwhelming sense of injustice related to growing gaps in wealth and opportunity, both regionally and world-wide. In this age of globalization, our interconnected world is much smaller than it used to be and will offer no refuge to isolationists who may want to ignore the plight of the increasingly resentful disadvantaged.
For the South, the earliest significant impacts of climate change, for instance, will likely be direct affects, such as droughts, crop failures, etc., while in the North we are more likely to be indirectly impacted by related global and regional security threats. The so-called War on Terror that has captivated much international attention over the past decade may just be a taste of what will come, with concomitant further erosion of civil liberties as corporate-nation states hunker down to protect their vital interests.
These topics and related matters are some of the subjects I intend to write about. I will undoubtedly write about other concerns and interests, too, in the areas of social justice, civil liberty, politics, popular culture, philosophy, privacy, security, information technology, free/libre open source software, (so-called) intellectual property, etc. Yet, I promise it won’t be all doom and gloom. While I won’t be blogging like a teenage girl about my personal life, I don’t intend to ignore what is good in the world. Nor will this blog always be so serious (I often feel compelled to express my sardonic sense of humour, not that you can tell from this post! ;-p) and I’ll also post photos as I re-kindle a long-neglected interest in photography.
I’m looking forward to this; it should be fun!