Iowa is just too civilized. A gradient of civilized society runs from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border. Louisiana is as dysfunctional third world as any African petro-state. Parts of it reminds me of the most miserable parts of Angola. Arkansas is third world, but not quite so polluted as Louisiana. Missouri is one step up into moderately civilized, but not so bad that nature has been run out. Iowas is so civilized there is hardly any nature left. Minnesota is so thoroughly civilized they even let in such as Ilhan Omar to destroy it from within. Just as Rome once did and France and Germany did more recently.
As states and countries become more civilized, they usually lose touch with nature. They no longer understand basic human nature and they eliminate non-human nature. (Though they may proclaim their devotion to nature while while jetting to climate change conferences.) Resilience requires ecological integration. Iowa has little left of such. Just look at the broad swatch of non-resilient counties in North Central Iowa. They are as bad as corn-belt Illinois or the Delta of Mississippi or the High Plains of Texas.
But some Iowa counties are still in the top quarter of America’s most resilient counties, just as some in Louisiana are. The most fascinating counties are resilient ones which adjoin non-resilient ones.
Iowa has a great example of that: Washington and Louisa counties, just south of Iowa City and a couple of counties North of the Missouri line. Washington County has a big batch of Mennonites. Maybe they are keeping it resilient. I’ve also heard some of the small towns there are more than half Mexican. And that they have some big hog farms. How all that factors into making a community resilient is the question the Resilience Project explores. That’s why we’re headed up there to do some ground-truthing on our resilience model.
If you live in Washinton County, we really want to talk to you.