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"Wendell Berry got it wrong"

Wendell Berry is one of the greatest writers of our time. His award winning books, essays, and poems have captured the soul of rural America. Yet, the rural lifestyle that Berry writes about with such passion and grace is a reality that no longer exists in most of America. When I interviewed Berry a few years ago, he told me that America, especially rural America, was worse off as a result of high tech, intensive agriculture. Many of the staunchest critics of modern agriculture quote Berry in their call for a return to a more agrarian lifestyle. Yet, a just published study from Stanford University demonstrates with factual clarity that our world would be much worse off without modern agriculture.



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The study Mr. Truitt refers to, "Greenhouse gas mitigation by agricultural intensification," can be found here:

Hasn't it always been a major theme of Berry's writing that the so-called "experts" in the universities have claimed that "agribusiness" is beneficial in any number of ways? I'm not sure how one more "study" greenwashing industrialized agriculture could mean that Berry "got it wrong," when he has been debunking such greenwashing from the beginning.

Besides, some of the "old fashioned" bad practices mentioned in the article are practices Berry has criticized, not advocated. For example, I'm pretty sure Berry has never said that we should cut down forests and convert them to grasslands wherever possible.

I guess all this article proves is that Berry is a writer of such stature that, like Thoreau, people who have apparently never read him think (incorrectly) that they know what he advocated.

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