The Kentucky farmer and essayist Wendell Berry seeks a third way, the way of hope. For Berry, good work is worth doing regardless of whether it will fix our global problems. By grounding ultimate hope in a given redemption, he is freed to do good work without having the impossible pressure of fixing global problems. So while some of the many technological and political ideas bandied about are worth pursuing, such solutions are a poor foundation for hope because they will inevitably disappoint us: no technology can make us live forever, and no political system can make us live in harmony with one another. If global efficacy is the standard of our work, then most of us have no good work to do. As Berry writes in regard to environmental challenges, “If we think the future damage of climate change to the environment is a big problem only solvable by a big solution, then thinking or doing something in particular becomes more difficult, perhaps impossible.”
Read all of "Labours of Love" by Jeffrey Bilbro at Comment Magazine.