“Restoring Localism.” Joel Kotkin claims that if there’s one thing both conservatives and progressives should be able to agree on, it is the need to devolve power to local governments: “The country’s Founding was based largely on the idea of giving communities control over their own money and their own fate. The decades-long rush to centralize power—whatever the political orientation—has undermined our union, and left the country on the road, inevitably, to a new kind of interminable conflict. It is time to reverse course.”
“The $3 Billion Plan to Turn Hoover Dam Into a Giant Battery.” Ivan Penn reports on a proposal to use solar power to pump water from below Hoover Dam back into Lake Mead. As you’d expect, this idea is quite controversial among the communities it would affect.
“Five Books.” Brian Miller recommends some of the books that inspired him to take up farming.
“Congress, Not Trump’s Trade War, is the Root of Farmers’ Woes.” Gracy Olmstead examines how unhealthy incentives in the US Farm Bill exacerbate the effect of Trump’s trade war.
“Trump’s Farmer Bailout and America’s Broken Food System.” Emily Atkin sounds a similar note: “the farm industry relies so much on exports partly because the government highly subsidizes the production of food sources that Americans don’t eat or need.”
“Soybean Farmers are Surviving Trump’s Trade War—Even without his $12 Billion Aid Package.” And as Caitlin Dewey reports, Trump’s promised farm bailout won’t help most farmers that much anyway.
“Guebert: The Danger of Losing Farming’s Soul.” Apparently, Minnesota only needs about 11 ginormous dairy farms, at least according to one big-ag dreamer. Alan Guebert isn’t impressed. (Recommended by Patrick Deneen.)
“The City’s Buried Treasure Isn’t Under the Dirt. It Is the Dirt.” Richard Schiffman examines New York’s growing awareness of the value of uncontaminated soil.
“Here’s How America Uses Its Land.” Dave Merrill and Lauren Leatherby gathered land use statistics to compile a fascinating series of graphics.
“On Teaching.” Wilfred M. McClay reflects on the task of teaching and argues it has three essential purposes: to liberate students from their electronic caves, to teach them to “fall in love with beautiful things,” and to offer them the human presence of a teacher who cares for them.
“Look Up From Your Screen.” Nicholas Tampio likewise defends embodied education: “it is obvious that children learn more when they engage their entire body in a meaningful experience than when they sit at a computer.”