To be frank, I started blogging before I got all the mechanics down, and I’m still not quite sure what I’m doing at times. One thing I’m wondering is whether it’s hard for visitors to get to my “About” page. I just updated it and I’d like people to be able to find it easily because it provides the foundation for my posts.
If you’ve already seen it, no need to read on. If you haven’t and you have the time and the interest, you will find what I’ve put on my “About” page on the other side of the line of asterisks below.
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Here it is:
In case you’re wondering why I’m using a picture of a toddler for my gravatar, I guess I should explain. I wish I could say it’s because I, Sally Wengrover, was the first 18-month-old in history to earn a Ph.D., but, alas, that isn’t true. I chose that snapshot for my gravatar because, well, for one thing, it’s so darn cute, and, for another, because a picture of a child keeps me focused on the point of this blog, which is to do whatever I can to enable today’s children to have as fair of a chance at having a satisfying life as someone born in my (baby-boom) generation has had.
I guess I should tell you a bit about my life as an adult. To be brief, in my twenties I was an electronics tech at Atari, in California’s Silicon Valley. In my thirties I worked in Portland, Oregon, as a broadcast engineer, and in Marin County, California, as a 3D animator and instructor. When I was halfway through my forties, I went back to school to study environmental policy.
My mental transition from techno-geek to environmentalist dates back to my daily commute, via moped, from my apartment in San Jose to my job at Atari in Sunnyvale. Day after day, as I rode across miles of side streets, I witnessed acre after acre of habitat for wildlife being razed to make way for industrial parks. The sight of displaced egrets, stilts, and herons—their long, graceful legs splayed clumsily across dirt clods and parking-lot asphalt—led me to contemplate the ecological costs of technological progress.
For years thereafter, my mind played tug-of-war, pulling me back and forth between my fascination with high tech and my concern about the degrading condition of the environment. But as time went on and the rate at which the ecosphere was unraveling accelerated, I realized that I couldn’t sit on the sidelines and watch the ongoing deterioration. I had to invest my time and energy into searching for environmental solutions. So I went back to school and, blessed with the great Herman Daly as my advisor, I earned a Ph.D. in Policy Studies (with a specialization in Environmental Policy) from the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. While I was waiting to defend my dissertation and for a while thereafter, I assisted Jeremy Rifkin on his 2009 book The Empathic Civilization, as an editor/fact-checker/researcher/foot-noter/handwriting decipherer.
And now I’m trying to share the results of my decades of study. And my big message is this: We need to act immediately to reduce our environmental impact. Government regulations, market mechanisms, and greener technologies are necessary, but the environment is unraveling too fast for us to sit by and wait for those things to solve our problems for us. Each one of us needs to cut our consumption of stuff starting today.