When I first started blogging, technically when I first started it was an email list that became an email newsletter, then a blog, I started because of two specific actions that were occurring in tes country, the widespread rollback of environmental protections, and the unilateral decisions being made in Washington by one party and one president whose first term would be up in about a year.
George W. Bush was president, he had just started what seemed like an unwise second war in the oil rich Middle East, environmental actions removing restrictions were regularly happening with the sign of his pen, and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Area Refuge (ANWAR) was continually popping up in emails from conservation groups.
So much of what we were doing seemed to be revolving around energy, oil that is, black gold, Texas tea. The price of gas was approaching $2 a gallon, and instead of doing what previous generations did by investing in Universities and solving problems, many in the country seemed content to delay the problem for further generations by drilling now and using up the dwindling resources rather than daring to consider how to fix the problem.
Never mind that just two decades earlier foreign countries in the Middle East exercised the leverage they had on our economy by restricting oil sales. An OPEC decision could literally thrust us into the beginning of a deep depression immediately. Yet we continued to ignore and delay logical changes in how we live, and float in the breeze of an unstable Middle East that doesn’t really seem to like us very much.
I was frustrated and began blogging (or newslettering) about how important it was to replace Bush with Howard Dean, Wes Clark, John Edwards, John Kerry or whoever. I was literally an ABB person – Anybody But Bush. And as we approached the 2004 election, blogging became mainstream and a logical place to write. Sites popped up that made it easy to blog. I used one site for about a 2 years, I don’t remember what it was, maybe Homestead, then Blogger for many years before the current incarnation in WordPress. And what happened over those years is that I increasingly ignored the environmentalist base and core of what is important to me, my three boys and any grandchildren I might eventually have, in favor of partisan political blogging activism.
Today I am entrenched in partisan activity — in my blog, volunteering for the DFL, and in the candidates I support. And where has that gotten me?
A friend from church recently said about the current state of politics:
“No respect, no creativity, nothing constructive, nothing positive. I just struggle to engage in a process that has become so divisive and so destructive.”
I used to think that that was exactly why we should be involved, to change that. Now I am beginning to think that it won’t change and I have better things to do with my time. I know one blogger who has already done that.
Anyway, I found some of those old blogs and thought maybe I need to return to my roots. After all, I have been an environmentalist since I was a little kid. When I was in elementary school, I was very interested in saving whales. I think I was in 5th grade when a librarian at Fulton Elementary in Minneapolis, who knew of my interest in whales, gave me a pamphlet that had a picture of a cute baby harp seal on the front of it. When I opened it up, it was graphic pictures of seal hunters with clubs, bloody baby seals, and pools of blood on the rocks.