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On the Line

Terry Tempest Williams pays tribute to those who made the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge a reality.

Ruth Conniff tells how Obama sold out on global warming.

Save the Earth One Trip at a Time Katie Alvord
After a trial separation from my car, I'm convinced we can all drive less.

The Nightmare of School Lunches Ann Cooper
Let's make our children's health a priority.

The News from the Land Wendell Berry
The disappearance of species does not augur well.

An Interview with Wendell Berry
Taylor Lee Kirkland "Every minute that you entertain yourself without paying some corporation to entertain you, you're acting radically," says the writer and farmer.

Between Soil and Soil Wes Jackson
To take a swipe at Isaiah, the plow has destroyed more options for future generations than the sword.

Reconstructing Our Desires Barbara Kingsolver
The honorable choice is to power-down.

Bill McKibben Matthew Rothschild "We better start figuring out how we're going to live on a degraded Earth," says the writer and activist.

Solar Energy Gold Rush Jason Mark
An alternative energy bonanza is upsetting some environmentalists.

Vandana Shiva Matthew Rothschild "The length of women's walk for water in the Third World is the most important indicator of economic progress," says the eco-feminist.

Saving the Seas David Helvarg
The BP disaster was not even the largest threat to our global
Cataloguing Waste Susan J. Douglas
Mail order is the Manifest Destiny of consumerism.

David Suzuki Matthew Rothschild "We invented the idea of the future, and now we're turning our backs on the very survival strategy of the species," says Canada's preeminent environmental journalist.

Ten Steps to a Less Toxic Future Florence Williams
The average American child is walking around with more than 200 industrial chemicals coursing through her bloodstream.

Margaret Atwood Matthew Rothschild "A lot of people in this biosphere are in lifeboat situations," says the novelist.

Dave Zirin ponders Brett Favre's legacy.

Poem Ellen Bass

Our Favorite Books of 2010

Jim Hightower says God should have asked Adam and Eve for a security deposit.
Index Ina Lukas


From drone strikes against Americans overseas to broad surveillance powers to indefinite detention, Obama certainly...

A thoughtful, optimistic, progressive speech about the better possibilities of American democracy just as the most...

Some highlights from the confirmation hearings of one of the most opposed U.S. Attorney General nominees in history...

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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