Our Three Environments

In the science-fiction classic THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, the hero finally escapes from his house into his front yard.  His once normal world is now to him a limitless universe.  This, he knows, is conatined within an even more limitless universe; that of the earth in the solar system, the galaxy and beyond.

We, like the incrediable shrinking man, live in environments contained in and intersecting with other environments.

The fist, of course, is the natural envioronment.  The ecology.  We need to preserve and guard this or else we are like the "College Economist" in the Georgist jingle who found that without reference to land, he had nowhere to stand.  In our case, if we acquiesce in the degredation of our ecology, we not only have nowhere to stand, we have nowhere to exist!

The second is our built environment.  Our towns and cities are, we are coming to see and to advocate, for people to meet, greet and to interact.  They are where we work, play live and love.  They are not parking lots for office buildings.  They are more than "work stations" for suburbs, exurbs and edge cities.

Our third environment is our social environment.  It is the software to the hardware of the first two environments.  The words polite and civility derive from the ancient Greek and Roman words for city.  Politicians are polite in the polis and civilians are civil in the civitas.  In short, we treat each other as members of the same city.

These three environmets give us the scaffold of our efforts, the target we aim for, and the goal toward which we strive.


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