While reading Wendell Berry's essay, In the Presence of Fear, I found myself taken aback by a lot of points he made. What really made me think the most was a point he made in the very start of the essay, "People will think that they have made a sufficient change if they have altered their "values" or had a "change in heart" or experienced a "spiritual awakening" and that such a change in passive consumers will cause appropriate changes in the public experts, politicians, and corporate executives to whom they have granted their political and economic proxies." This made me think for awhile because it so true. People all the time complain about problems they see in the world and read articles and watch videos that make them feel differently but they never do anything about the change inside of them. The problem is that a feeling is not going to change anything. People need to start acting when they have a change of heart. When someone sees something they don't like, they should change it, not just think about it.
To focus on the environmental issues Wendell Berry discusses, I read Eli's exploration and his focus on a local economy. I think seeing more local food industry pop up around us would be a beautiful thing. It would be healthy for our environment, healthy for our economy, and healthy for us. So why aren't we acting upon this?
My major is Pre-Law with a focus of Environmental Policy and Decision Making. I did a lot of research this year on the dying bat population which is something I'm very passionate about. The bat population has decreased by 80% in America and hardly any Americans knows about it. I think this a huge cultural issue. The dying bats have created a huge problem in the agriculture industry because of the fact that bats are responsible for eating thousands of tons of insects every night and a recent study showed that losing the bat population could result in billions of dollars in increased pesticide costs and agricultural damages each year. Farmers have nick named bats their "pest control crew" and the bats are worth $74 per acre. The pesticides farmers use in places of bats in turn make our food unhealthy. So it really is a problem for us for people that are ignoring the fact these beautiful creatures are dying. Below is an info graph from the white nose syndrome explaining the disease that is killing the bats. As of right now, there is no cure for white nose syndrome but you can read more about it on whitenosesyndrome.org.