Our industrial society, ever since it began, has spawned fierce critics. Two of the best known lived in America: the transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau and the economist Thorstein Veblen. Thoreau gave us the definitive masterpiece of life in the woods

“Drain the swamp!” It was Donald Trump’s campaign metaphor for purging everything bad in Washington DC. But he got his metaphor all wrong. Swamps are good. And, while Trump may not believe much in climate change, the UN climate conference

“Mike, she finish,” he says. His voice barely audible and downbeat as it always is, but now it also carries a hint of disbelief. I knew that he meant she was dead, but partly not knowing what to say and

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