Sunday, November 21, 2010

Where You At?

There’s a questionnaire that still pokes its head out of oblivion from time to time, titled simply “where you at?”. It asks the participant to answer a series of questions about their home place, a knowledge test of one’s awareness of local natural features and phenomena.

Answering these questions requires a knowledge of local ecosystems and the resource and waste streams of one’s community, city, or watershed. An individual can use the test to better understand the connections that exist between the self and those non-human features that exist all around us in daily life.

While the questions posed by the questionnaire do inquire deeply about a locality, it does not go beyond to show how these living and non-living phenomena are connected to other localities beyond our watersheds. As much as we need to understand how our lifestyles impact the places around us, and how the particulars of our localities shape our individual lives, we need to understand the ties that bind us to others. Our waste and resource streams are planetary, and we will make very little gain in modifying these streams unless we can understand how we, our ecological tribes, fit into the bigger picture.

This blog will continue to probe the depths of the ecological connections that both define us, and set us apart from our neighbors. Scale will be important as the reader will come to see. Everything is a whole and yet a part at the same instance. Understanding how those scales of existence interact can help us in understanding the plight of our planet, which may lead to more ecologically sensitive lifestyles.

That is the hope anyhow.

To the readers checking in for the first time, it is important to understand that this blog, the accompanying web guide, and the organization responsible for both, take a stance grounded in the understanding that only an ecological culture can allow for humans to remain on a planet fit for both them and the rest of the biotic community. It is a fundamental element of the Envision Cascadia mission – that is, to help create this ecological culture, this eco-tribe, within a chosen bioregion – the bioregion of Cascadia.

Why Cascadia? Why a region of this scale? These are questions that will be answered in coming blog posts. Keep in mind though if you choose to read on – there’s a question that has been asked, a question yet to be answered, a question for you, and a question that may just make or break the human experiment upon this planet: where you at?