All day I’ve been writing about Henry David Thoreau, whose 200th birthday would have been July 12th. I am shocked by how much I have to say about him and the other Transcendentalists. It’s as if, growing up within miles of Walden Pond, I picked up their combination of puritanism and unadorned joy through sheer osmosis. “Something in the water,” indeed. But more than that, Thoreau’s less-is-more” self-reliance and environmental philosophy is so, so precious in this moment in which we’re being held hostage by more-is-more maniacs.