Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Why "The Public Trust"?

Drat! I just had a three paragraph post full of wit and wisdom ready to publish and I somehow lost it. Bested by technology again!

Anyway, I was explaining why I chose the name "The Public Trust" over something like "Everett's Blog". The obvious reason is that nobody wants to read a blog named after its writer unless that writer is somebody with a proven record of being interesting (i.e. Matthew Yglesias or Andrew Sullivan). The less obvious reason is that I'd like the name to say something besides, "Look at me, I like to bloviate." I'd like the name to capture what the blog is about: law (especially environmental law), politics and bicycles. I think "The Public Trust" does that.

For the casual reader who may not be familiar with the public trust doctrine, it is a common law doctrine that basically states that the public has a right to use navigable and tidal waters and the land beneath them. It's an old idea traceable, I think, to Justinian's reign. It's been codified in many states' constitutions. Recently, it has been used in places like California to ensure that waterbodies like Mono Lake aren't used solely for irrigation and water supply, and don't succumb to the endless thirst of growing suburban populations.

For my purposes, then, the name includes a strong legal and environmental element. But, I think it also has broader connotations. To my mind, it suggests an interest in the public weal and a concern for the good of others. Atleast, that's what I hope it connotes. As for bicycles? Well, that's what the description line is for.