“Who’s Preserving Harlan Hubbard’s Beloved Payne Hollow?” Bob Hill writes a lovely account of the Hubbards’ remarkable life and explains the hopes of the recently formed nonprofit organization Payne Hollow on the Ohio: “The goal is to honor the Hubbards’ place in American history, develop a stewardship plan that will include creating educational materials about them, honor their legacy and offer the appreciation they deserve. The tricky part will be to create a way to allow visitor access to what remains a remote area while still protecting the quiet environment Anna and Harlan Hubbard had always cherished.”
“Cutting-edge Tech Made this Tiny Country a Major Exporter of Food.” Laura Reiley surveys the technology behind the Netherlands’s remarkable food production. Though it’s a small country, it “has become the world’s second largest exporter of agricultural products by value behind the United States.” They are mastering a capital- and energy-intensive mode of production, but this industrial agriculture is also vulnerable to rising gas prices. Some agricultural technology can be a great boon, but so much of this conversation fails to make the crucial distinction between demonic and redemptive technologies.
“Stop Ignoring the Real Environmentalists.” Ashley Colby writes beautifully about the kinds of people that don’t fit the neat narratives of environmental politics: “The thread that connects both the urban liberal and the rural conservative in my research was a care for the hyper-local environment that produces their food due to their proximity to it. This is why we must look beyond the self-proclaimed “environmentalist” to find transformative responses to environmental problems. There is a clear disconnect between Just Stop Oil demands and what’s actually needed for a more sustainable and balanced relationship with our environment and natural resources. If we just stopped oil tomorrow, where would we get our food or medicine or clothing?”
“The Mutuality of Country People.” Crystal Wilkinson talks with Wendell Berry about his new book, literature, and Kentucky culture. (Recommended by Niaz Khadem.)
“Eat, Pray, Herd. How an I.T. Guy Found Career Happiness Owning 78 Camels.” Michael M. Phillips profiles Mohamed Isaaq, a man who fled war-torn Somalia when he was a teenager, became an IT worker in Ottawa, and then returned home to make a life as a camel herder. But as Mokhtar, one of his herding partners, notes, this pull to return home is normal: “He never thought himself clever enough to have taken a chance on the West, the way Mohamed did. Nor can he imagine a better life than the one he has. ‘When people come home, it’s not strange,’ Mokhtar says, sipping sugary tea with camel’s milk under a pink pepper tree. ‘When people leave—that’s strange.’” (Recommended by Samuel J. Howard.)
“A New Effort to Help Places Mired in Poverty.” Peter Coy explores the benefits and drawbacks to various government programs aimed to revitalize local economies: “The history of what’s known as place-based industrial policy is not encouraging. . . . Yet the political impetus for place-based aid never went away, and has even strengthened under the Biden administration. The reason is simple: Giving up on place-based aid feels to a lot of people like giving up on whole swaths of America and those who have struck roots there.”
“Distributism Needs a New Name.” Dale Ahlquist proposes a new name for what Chesterton and Belloc termed “distributism”: “The advantage of the term ‘Localism’ is that it already has a recognizable meaning: the support of local production and consumption of goods; local control of government; promotion of local history, local culture, and local identity; and the protection of local freedom. It is about directness and decentralization, whether in government or in commerce. It is opposed to globalism.” (Recommended by Tim Wolter.)
“2022: Ten Reasons I Am Thankful This Thanksgiving.” Brian Miller models the gratitude that should mark this season of the year—and, in fact, all seasons.
“Canada’s Orwellian Euthanasia Regime.” Amanda Achtman probes some of the problems with Canada’s euthanasia program, called MAiD: “Shame on us if, in our advanced and prosperous country to which much of the world would love to come, our inability to support one another adequately in our communities is what is really leading to requests for euthanasia. Do we dare to look around at the loneliness and abandonment driving people to deaths of quiet desperation and say that maybe the cause of death is actually us? We are not sufficiently present. We do not yet know how to patiently abide difficult situations. It’s been a long time since we’ve held someone’s hand tenderly, patiently, even for a long while. Maybe we’ve never done it.”
“A Tribute to David L. Schindler: Teacher and Friend.” Conor B. Dugan remembers the life and legacy of a kind and wise scholar: “For Schindler, everything was a gift and because he lived his life in gracious response to that gift, he was a tremendous gift to the world. He helped us see more deeply and clearly.”
“Wendell Berry’s Different Sense of Patriotism.” John Yohe discusses Wendell Berry’s unconventional perspective in Need to Be Whole on racism and patriotism: “These are subjects some might say an old white man has no business talking about. It’s these people, though, whom Berry’s trying to engage, because to talk about race in America necessarily, according to him, involves talking about class, poor whites, and the rural/urban divide.”