Robert Jensen is Emeritus Professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and collaborates with the New Perennials Project at Middlebury College. He is the author of the forthcoming It’s Debatable: Talking Authentically about Tricky Topics, to be published in spring 2024 by Olive Branch Press.
People often want to ignore the complexity of that process, downplay how often interests conflict, and avoid confrontation. In this essay, I suggest we throw ourselves into the mess and hash it out—respectfully, in public, based on shared intellectual standards.
It’s hard to escape from beauty if you’re ready to observe the biotic activity and geologic history of the world. Beauty is essential, and I’m saying that, even with the desecration of the ecosphere going on right now, it’s still there.