Jordan’s Green Guide #conservation #environmentalism #sustainability #wtf

Wildlife conservation, environmental protection, sustainable development, and even “greening”; what do these things mean?  What the heck’s the difference between an environmentalist and a sustainability consultant? Between donating to a conservation group or to an urban sustainability group?

Well, you’re in the right place.  Below is a comprehensive history of the environmental movement as told by Sir Jordan Charles McKay III:


Phase 1

The turn of the 20th century.  The frontier is no more and man sees that trees are not inexhaustible as previously thought, “Hmm, I think I’ll refrain from cutting all of them down.”

====> Conservation Movement (national parks, land trusts, wildlife reserves, Sierra Club, etc.)


Phase 2

The post-WWII economic boom.  The skies and rivers darken as Industrial production starts hitting stride and  man sees the air and water he requires significantly degraded, “Hmm, I think I’ll put some kind of limit on the amount of junk I will cram into the air and water, lest I asphyxiate and dehydrate for lack of access to clean resources.”

====> Environmental Movement (Clean air/water acts, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and litigation/politically oriented non-profits like Natural Resources Defence Council and Greenpeace)


Phase 3

The late 1980s.  Abundance has produced a sense of scarcity and with increased global urbanism and capitalism emerging as the dominant political framework, man thinks, “Hmm, what about cities and the built environment? Will there be enough resources to feed all of this development? I think I’ll attempt to create a system wherein building and behaving in a manner, does not jeopardize future generations from being able to behave similarly.”

====> Sustainability Movement (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (i.e. Kyoto Protocol, Paris Agreement), Global Green, LEED certification, “green” investment in cities, etc.)

Something I find very interesting is that the evolution of mankind’s ecological consideration perfectly mirrors my personal journey.  First, I realized I liked nature and wanted to preserve it. Then I became engaged in participating democratically to affect change on the structural level, and I now find myself hell-bent on personal agency; on adjusting behavior to lessen the ecological impact.


Jordan McKay