One of our favorite poems is Wendell Berry's "The Peace of Wild Things." A lifelong Baptist, man of letters, academic, cultural and economic critic, and farmer, Berry has been a strong moral voice for traditional agrarian values and the environment for many years.
Thursday's Winona Daily News includes a letter from Berry to John Heid, Right and wrong:
The following letter was written by Wendell Berry, author, farmer and environmentalist, to John Heid (formerly of Winona), in support of the Catholic Worker campaign against frac sand mining.
You have offered me the privilege of joining by letter with you and your friends in Winona in opposition to "frac sand mining." and I am happy to accept.
I will say, first, that there is never, for any reason, a justification for doing long-term or permanent damage to the ecosphere. We did not create the world, we do not own it, and we have no right to destroy any part of it.
Second, most of our politicians and their corporate employers are measuring their work by the standards of profitability and mechanical efficiency. Those standards are wrong. There is one standard that is right: the health of living creatures and the living earth.
Third, we must give our need to eat, drink, and breathe and absolute precedence over our need for mined fuels.
I wish you well.
It's not likely this will discourage those looking to loot a piece of wild things, but the gesture may give grassroots activists courage.
Photo: Wendell Berry, via the Villanovan.
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