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Disagreements about using the word “sustainable” as a guiding concept for the future of agriculture are not new. Sustainable agriculture first came to public attention with the USDA “low input sustainable agriculture” or LISA program in 1988. I wrote an essay in the mid-90s making the case that we didn’t really need to define sustainable agriculture, as long as we could agree on 1) what we wanted to sustain, 2) for whom, and 3) for how long. My answer was that we wanted to sustain agriculture, which is a purposeful intervention into nature, for the benefit of people, specifically but not exclusively, for as long as the sun shines or forever. Read More
Do we live in a world of abundance or a world of scarcity? The economic world is a world of scarcity. The economy is a means of allocating “scarce” resources among competing uses or ends. Scarcity means there is not enough for everyone to have all of everything they need or want. The natural world is a world of abundance. The bounty of nature is enough for everyone to have all of everything they need. The challenge is learning to share so that everyone’s needs are met.
No matter how much I think I understand some things, I find I can always learn more. Love is one of those things. Love is the only thing I can think of that is as important to life as purpose. Life without purpose is meaningless, but life without love is hardly worth living. Love probably has about as many different definitions are there are people capable of loving. There are also different kinds of love. Over the years, I have come up with my own definition of love, which I feel encompasses all of the others. It is not a particular catchy or compelling definition, but it is concise – and I think “it works:” Love is a belief in inherent goodness. Read More