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Environmental Economics

The Essential Agrarian Reader: The Future of Culture, by Norman Wirzba

By Norman Wirzba

Combining insights from the disciplines of schooling, legislations, background, city and neighborhood making plans, economics, philosophy, faith, ecology, politics and agriculture, those essays enhance a worldly criticue of recent culture's courting witht the land, whereas providing sensible choices.

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While taxpayers absorb the costs of tax incentives and price subsidies to induce big producers to set up shop in their states or counties, local communities must deal with disgusting odors, contaminated ground and surface water, accumulated toxic waste, and stressed infrastructure mechanisms like roadways and waterways. These costs are rarely picked up by the producers responsible for them. As consumers we should be asking whether or not the free exchange of products, the stewardship of public goods like soil and water, or more fundamental yet, informed public discussion about food issues can result from a context where integrated corporate monopolies set pricing and production.

Agriculture—Environmental aspects. 3. Agriculture—Social aspects. 4. Human ecology. 5. Agriculture—Moral and ethical aspects. I. Wirzba, Norman. 1—dc21 2003008808 This book is printed on acid-free recycled paper meeting the requirements of the American National Standard for Permanence in Paper for Printed Library Materials. Manufactured in the United States of America. Member of the Association of American University Presses For Wendell Berry mentor and friend Contents Foreword Barbara Kingsolver Introduction: Why Agrarianism Matters—Even to Urbanites Norman Wirzba PART 1: AGRARIAN PRINCIPLES AND PRIORITIES 1.

The cultural neglect of natural habitats has had its corollary in the animosity between the country and the city, each side claiming for itself moral purity or human excellence. Farming folk have routinely described their way of life as conducive to peace, balance, and simple virtue, and the ways of the city as promoting strife, ambition, and greed. City folk, on the other hand, have considered cities as the entry into sophistication, creativity, and enlightenment, and farms as places of ignorance, provincialism, and limitation.

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