Image from imdb.com

Shouldn’t the first post of any blog answer the question: “So why are you doing this?” Well hopefully I will answer that below. Before I do, the “Why?” for me goes all the way back to an episode of the late 60’s TV show The Prisoner. My family must have been watching reruns in my youth, and in the episode called The General, the protagonist – Number Six played by Patrick McGoohan – asks a simple question to “The General”, which was the supercomputer for the ages. Yes, that simple question was “Why?”. The General, which could answer anything, could not answer this seemingly simple question and soon began to blow up. For a young child watching, it was surprisingly not the smoke and flames spilling out of the computer that stuck with me but that question: “Why?”. Even after all these years that scene has fixed itself in my mind, even when I forgot the name of the show, and had to enlist my family to help me track down that episode for this post. So…Why this blog?

Another blog?

Mediakix estimates that there are a minimum of 440 million blogs worldwide. These range from the highly professional Huffington Post to numerous microbloggers posting lifestyle advice. So do we need to be the ones to add the 441st millionth blog? Well, if you are reading this, we thought so, and especially on the topic of human interactions with environment and the value of that relationship. Now there is a lot of land/sea-scape that you could cover on this topic, but we will focus on issues of coasts, oceans, and water. Plenty.

As we move through the 21st Century, how we address issues of development and natural resource management, both along our coasts and up the watersheds must start from a common understanding of the issues and facts. Our goal is not to directly change political beliefs and ideologies but to help elevate the dialogue that many people are seeking. We wish to fill that niche from the social-behavioral-economic perspective.

The content in BlueValue will be written by many talented individuals with various backgrounds that are interested in exploring this intersection of humans and the natural environment and at the same time bringing others along for the ride. Managed by the Socio-Economics Group at the Harte Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, we will also sprinkle in some policy and connect with the natural sciences.

While the word “value” will bring to mind “money” for many people, what we hope to show in this blog is that value can be revealed in many forms.

While we do not expect to be blowing up supercomputers with our questions and answers, we have challenged ourselves to provide insight into the issues of the day in a very approachable manner. I always think back to my grandmother who asked me “What is economics?” as I was heading off to graduate school.

grandma ruth
Photo by the Yoskowitz family

Well, like any budding scientist I wanted to sound much more sophisticated than I was and the answer I gave her was pompous and unintelligible. After that, I made a commitment to communicate not only through scientific journal articles but also in a manner that my grandmother could understand.

So the promise we make you, our readers, is to discuss issues that are relevant to a broad community but not so watered down that you won’t be able to find those nuggets of unique information applicable to your own situation. We hope to play the role of provocateur that, as academics, we miss out on when writing in traditional academic outlets.