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William R. Jordan

Environmentalism has made much of the idea of community since Aldo Leopold proposed it as the crucial metaphor defining a healthy relationship between humans and the rest of nature. Community, however, far from being the solution to our environmental problems, is actually just a useful way of framing the problem. How, for example, do you form a working relationship with an ecologically obsolete system that owes nothing to you? The answer: You commit yourself to its restoration, cultivating a studied indifference to your own interests—a practice the author terms "holistic restoration."