The example of Leopold, who spent a good part of his life working on big problems, is to know the minute particulars of this farm here.
I might add—maybe only because I read it again recently—that in his Jefferson Lecture Wendell Berry had this to say about Leopold:
I don’t hesitate to say that damage or destruction of the land-community is morally wrong, just as Leopold did not hesitate to say so when he was composing his essay, “The Land Ethic,” in 1947. But I do not believe, as I think Leopold did not, that morality, even religious morality, is an adequate motive for good care of the land-community. The primary motive for good care and good use is always going to be affection, because affection involves us entirely. And here Leopold himself set the example. In 1935 he bought an exhausted Wisconsin farm and, with his family, began its restoration. To do this was morally right, of course, but the motive was affection.
I’ll add, and I think Berry would agree, that affection for the world is useless if it isn’t realized in affection for a place small enough to give yourself and your affection to, such as an exhausted farm in Wisconsin.
Read more by Jason Peters at Front Porch Republic