“Farms, More Productive Than Ever, Are Poisoning Drinking Water in Rural America.” Jesse Newman and Patrick McGroarty find that fertilizer and concentrated manure are polluting many rural wells. (Recommended by Jason Peters.)
“Christian, Conservative, Treehugger (and why that’s not an oxymoron).” John Murdock articulates a hope-filled vision of authentic creation care.
“A Grand Bargain to Save the Planet and Call Truce in the Abortion War.” While the details of a “Green New Deal” remain too sparse to know whether it would do much good, Charles C. Camosy has an intriguing proposal: pass a Green New Deal along with pro-life legislation.
“The Right Needs To Grow Up On Environmentalism.” Ben Sixsmith demonstrates why conservatives, of all people, should care about the health of the earth.
“Mobile is a Whole New Inkblot.” Pete Candler traces the contours of a complicated place that includes French Catholic immigrants, the last enslaved Africans brought to America, and Zora Neal Hurston.
“Poet Maurice Manning: A Voice in the Wilderness.” Erik Reece, a fine Kentucky author himself, talks with one of America’s finest living poets, Maurice Manning, about his place, words, and the value of silence.
“A Tiny Screw Shows Why iPhones Won’t Be ‘Assembled in U.S.A.’.” Jack Nicas reports on Apple’s ill-fated foray into American manufacuring: “Another frustration with manufacturing in Texas: American workers won’t work around the clock. Chinese factories have shifts working at all hours, if necessary, and workers are sometimes even roused from their sleep to meet production goals. That was not an option in Texas.”
“John Milbank: A Guide for the Perplexed.” Peter Leithart considers John Milbank’s theology, particularly his view of creation and his defense of an ontology of peace.
“Perennial Grains Could be a Key Weapon against Climate Change. But Not Quite Yet.” Tamar Haspel visits the Land Institute and reports on the progress they’re making—and the challenges they still face.
“Taming the Demon: How Desert Monks Put Work in Its Place.” Jonathan Malesic visits the Monastery of Christ in the Desert and tries to learn how the monks there value their work: “the monastic principles of constraining work and subordinating it to moral and spiritual well-being might help us keep our demons at bay and recover the dignity in our labor and in ourselves.”
“The Many Lives of Liberalism.” David Bell reviews three books that trace the contested histories of democracy, liberalism, and individual rights.
“Newspaper Closures Polarize Voting Behavior.” Joshua P. Darr, Matthew P. Hitt, and Johanna L. Dunaway “argue that the decline of local newspapers has contributed to the nationalization of American politics.” It turns out that when local papers close, voters rely more on party affiliation to help them decide whom they should vote for.
“Nowhere to Live.” Sophia Lee reports on California’s housing shortage, charting the ways that wealthy NIMBYism makes a bad situation worse. As one resident told her, “‘Look, I’m not trying to hide it—this is an affluent area. This is a very affluent part of the world that shouldn’t be punished because others have unfortunate lives.’” Community isn’t a commodity to be hoarded; it’s a gift to be shared.
“Move Over, Sex and Drugs. Ease Is the New Vice.” Jen Pollock Michel reminds us that technology’s promise to make life “frictionless” is a dangerous one.
“US Academics Feel the Invisible Hand of Politicians and Big Agriculture.” Big Ag has big money, and Kate Cox and Claire Brown show how it uses that money to supress research it dislikes.