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Wendell Berry in Courier-Journal: "The ethics of 'innovation'"

In a Courier-Journal column on Aug.1, H. Dan O'Hair and Michael T. Childress, both of the University of Kentucky, come out strongly in favor of innovation. “Innovation,” they say in their title, “is key to Kentucky's economic future.” They support this proposition by citing experts, statistics, and studies, but they never say what innovations, or what kinds of innovations, they advocate. They do not venture even so far as the ordinary hope that the innovations in Kentucky's future might be good rather than bad.

This is a startling omission. People who know even a little history are aware that over the millennia humans (and other creatures) have experienced many innovations, not all of which have been good. One might think, then, that these gentlemen, calling so eagerly for more innovation, would exhibit some concern for the health of Kentucky's landscapes, ecosystems, and watersheds, on which Kentucky's people depend for their physical and economic health. But their article reveals not the faintest sign of any such concern.


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