Here’s my go at blogging. I’ve always been a bit sceptical of blogs because they often come across as a bit pretentious and self-indulgent. But on the other hand, I guess they can also be a really interesting and useful insight into other ways of thinking – something we really, really need nowadays.

And yeah it may be a little self-indulgent – I suppose it is like a public diary – but then again if you can believe that my motivation for doing this is that I passionately care about the things I’m writing about, and want to promote as much thought in others as I can, maybe you can see past the initial slightly hedonistic impression!

I’ve called my blog ‘Within and Without’ because I think it’s a simple way of describing how I feel the ‘human predicament’ is.

We are both a part of nature, and apart from it.

On one hand, we are all ‘children of the universe’; we feel happy in nature, we are able to learn from from it, Planet Earth is our home. We see ourselves in nature, which is both comforting and alarming.

But on the other hand, there can be no denying that we are different from all other organisms with which we share this planet. Evolution has given us an intelligence and consciousness that catapults us into a different bracket altogether.

I’m really intrigued by where this line that divides us from nature is. How much are we a part of nature, and how much are we not? Should and can this change? How? And what is ‘nature’ anyway? For example, we use nature for our own needs, exploit it, exact power over it. But then nature can also be brutal and frightening. When is this brutality ‘natural’? If so, do we want to be ‘natural’? Or do we want to rise above it? And lose what in the process?

We can and must learn from nature, and yet somehow balance this with our ‘other-ness’.

I think that one of the key outputs that can and must come from this kind of thought is pro-environmental behaviour change – this will be another theme of the blog.

I studied environmental law, but now feel passionately that, though important, legal mechanisms can only go so far. The real crux of environmental solutions is people –  individual, human values must change for real sustainability to be achieved.

Human behaviour has caused these problems and human behaviour must and can solve them.

The concepts, dichotomies and models described above are what this blog will look into. Ideas will be written, drawn, painted, philosophised and imagined.

Comments and discussions very much encouraged and appreciated!