Readers of Sunday’s Dallas Morning News might have seen an extraordinarily long and comprehensive editorial about Wendell Berry, Kentucky’s gentleman farmer, philosopher, and writer. Writer Rod Dreher spells out why Berry’s political and personal convictions might be more relevant and necessary than ever. And it seems to me an unusual–though wonderful–thing to allow so many column inches about someone who’s not from Texas and not even making news…especially during a presidential campaign in which the candidates have spent little time talking about the environment.
Dreher points out that while Berry’s iconoclasm might have alienated the political right and left over time, his dedication to local living and maintaining a connection to the community might appeal to a broader range of Americans now. In a sense, Dreher says, Berry has been ahead of his time, and now he’s right on time. Berry’s belief that we must stop consuming beyond our means echoes the calls of environmentalists these days, who urge us to eat locally and tap local sources for alternative fuels.