The Death of My Old Hometown: Sucking Out the Wealth, Filling the Gap with Fecal Pollution

Last summer, on a road trip between Minneapolis to Kansas City, I passed through a small town in Iowa where I lived from age two to five.  Here is a picture I took. I have few personal memories of my early years, and almost all of them are filtered through home movies that I watched … Continue reading The Death of My Old Hometown: Sucking Out the Wealth, Filling the Gap with Fecal Pollution

The “Least Resistant Personality Profile” and Factory Farms

While studying rural communities that face poverty, shocking rates of cancer, and poisoned fishing waters from industrial pollution, sociologist Arlie Hochschild learned about a disturbing money making scheme. A “waste-to-energy conversion” company wanted to build plants that burn highly toxic and noxious smelling waste—representing “locally undesirable land use.” This corporation paid half a million dollars … Continue reading The “Least Resistant Personality Profile” and Factory Farms

Hip-Hop Music, 24-Hour Gun Ranges, and Hog Shit

I was dismayed to learn that the Trade Lake Township board appears (at least temporarily) to be backtracking on its promise—voted under strong public pressure on June 13—to work vigorously to stop the proposed hog CAFO near Trade Lake. But I assume it is not too late to follow through. It is extremely likely that any … Continue reading Hip-Hop Music, 24-Hour Gun Ranges, and Hog Shit

Corporate Logic Vs. the Environment, Quality of Life, and Even Its Own Self-Interest….Please Let’s Stop It!

In few days I head for my summer writing retreat, a log cabin in the Wisconsin north woods where my mom grew up. It is halfway between Minneapolis and Duluth as the crow flies. This is where I go to detoxify from the toxic parts of working at a giant corporate university, to focus on … Continue reading Corporate Logic Vs. the Environment, Quality of Life, and Even Its Own Self-Interest….Please Let’s Stop It!