Putting families back on the farms

American farming is in a dismal condition. Decades after giant, polluting industries – paper, leather, chemicals and many hazardous substances – were either shut down or forced to clean up, we are left with giant, polluting farms.

Maine had numerous paper mills and tanneries that fouled the rivers and air of countless “mill towns,” and were famously restored by Sen. Ed Muskie’s Clean Air and Clean Water acts. Agriculture, however, has been nearly exempt from anti-pollution rules.

These landmark environmental laws target “point sources,” such as smokestacks, discharge pipes, and automobile tailpipes. They’re easy to see and measure, and hence to regulate...

...

In Wisconsin, “America’s Dairyland,” where my people are from, half the dairy farms have shut down in a decade, falling from 14,000 to 7,000, as chronicled in a recent New Yorker issue. Production hasn’t declined; remaining farms are much larger....

   ...more



- - Volume: 8 - WEEK: 35 Date: 8/25/2020 9:10:34 AM -