Just as an addendum: I've lived in this area most of my ~5 decades, and it sort of straddles rural/agricultural and suburban. I've seen a huge changeover of farmlands to the same old sorry-assed shit: cookie-cutter housing developments, the sad refrain of Olive Garden-Target-etc. shopping, an absurd redundancy of storage facilities (because Lord knows we need all this CRAP stored in some rental place), and on and on. Grasslands converted to asphalt and cement, forests cleared, etc.
And then people wonder why we have uncontrollable flooding more frequently than we ever did before, why summers seem hotter and more smoggy and winters seem more brittle cold.
Tell you what, convert some of those "bastions of civilization" back to "non-environmentally friendly" pasture lands for beef farmers, and you will see environmental mitigation. Flood waters spongued up in fields, rather than running off parking lots. The comfortable feeling you get with lots of trees around, as opposed to the exposed feeling of being an ant on a sidewalk. Biodiversity and permaculture > monoculture and mindless development and idiots who write wonky stuff for Slate that they don't really understand.
Thanks, @Finnegan's Wake! I actually didn't read it....but you summed it up nicely, especially the parts that are totally out of line. The only reason I found the article is because Allan Savory's talk and other research I have done on the topic excited me SO much that I've done a few projects for school on it, and it popped up during my research. I wanted to keep it in mine and get other's thoughts on it, just in case I had to argue for it against a professor or classmate. But really, working with nature makes so much sense. Who would deny that? Mr. McWilliams Slate I suppose. LOVE the quote from the 'grass farmer'. So true.