By Ted Strong
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -- A passive populace obsessed with easy answers has led to an economy that is destroying America's land, author Wendell Berry told a packed-in crowd at the University of Virginia on Thursday evening.
"Simple solutions will always lead to complex problems, surprising simple minds," he said.
In a lecture in the full auditorium of the Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature and Culture/Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, Berry outlined the need for small-scale landholders engaging in forestry and farming, as opposed to the industrial-scale operations now in place.
The talk was so popular that seats in the auditorium ran out long before the 5:30 speech began. Eventually, a pair of university police officers shooed away the overflow crowd waiting outside.
Even some of those who made it inside were left without seats, and Berry invited them to sit on the stage near him.
Large-scale and corporate operations cause long-term damage to the environment and to rural cultures, he told the crowd.