Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Welcome to The Thin Green Line

I suppose you are all very tired of reading introductions in which the novice blogger professes to have never blogged before, but this being the truth, I suppose it can't be helped. So this is one of those introductions.
But there, we've dispnesed with that, so let us get on with the business at hand.
My name is Evan Brandt and I have been a reporter at The Mercury newspaper here in Pottstown, PA for more than 10 years now.
Having lived in the environment all my life, I have been a fan of it even longer than that.
As such, I have watched with dismay during most of my lifetime, mankind's speedy unraveling of the systems nature put in place to make this a planet capable of sustaining the life upon it -- ours in particular.
It is within the last two or three generations after all that we finally passed the tipping point (to use a phrase popular with pundits these days) into an era in which we are using resources faster than they can be replenished.
Two generations ago, would anyone have believed that we could actually deplete all the fish in the ocean?
It is now a question of when, not if.
Two generations ago, would anyone have believed that we would release so many noxious chemicals into the environment that their traces can now be found in blood samples of every human?
Two generations ago, would any American have believed that a land built on the tradition of an endless frontier would seek to satisfy its teeming population's yen for their own little corner of heaven by consuming -- as The Philadelphia Inquirer so succintly put it a few years ago -- "An Acre an Hour" of land?
If all politics is local, so too are all environmental issues and thus, all environmental reporting is local.
All things are entertwined and interrelated in the environment and so it is with environmental reporting.
A federal court case in Georgia declares as dangerous sewage sludge spread on a farm field? We do that here too.
Canada declares the chemical Bisphenol A dangerous? That chemical is found in half a dozen products at the local Giant.
That is way we have always tried to cover the environment at The Mercury, and the fair share of awards we've won along the way testifies to the boast that we know a thing or two about how to do it.
But space is limited in a newspaper, but the space on the Internet is limited only by the size of your server and this one isn't ours so .... expect to see a lot of extras.
Being new to blogging, as I noted above, we're starting slow, with this first, super-secret post, which we will re-tread in the newspaper on Earth Day for our big, splashy grand opening.
Expect to see technical difficulties by the score, and periods during which it seems I've fallen off the end of the earth and taken my blog with me.
We run with a slim crew at The Mercury and finding the time to post can be difficult on days filled with car crashes and misbehaving school board members.
Our goal here is to create a place where your desire for all things green -- from tips on which cleaner is more earth-friendly to which local streams are being threatened.
We will also be reaching out to the many local and state-wide organizations we know that are experts in everything from green gardening to sustainable communities in the hopes that they will share their expertise with us and, thus, with you.
To keep in touch with the wider world out there, it is my goal to post a link every day to a major environmental story somewhere in the world that might be of some interest to readers in the TriCounty area.
Some days, without a doubt, I will fail to do so, but keep checking back.
And write in.
Suggestions, criticisms, praise all are welcome here (some more than others obviously).
So long we we can keep it clean (no pun intended) all comments and replies will be immediately posted. If people start to misbehave, we'll have to revisit that promise.
That's about it for the first post.
Sorry if it's too long, but then anyone who reads me regularly knows I tend to get a little wordy.
But hey, there's a lot to say about the environment.
After all, it's the whole world.

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