Eighty years ago today, the east coast experienced the most devastating dust storm during what is known as the Dust Bowl era or the Dirty Thirties. A combination of severe drought conditions and poor farming practices desolated the plains’ farmland. If you’ve seen The Grapes of Wrath, you will remember this was one of the reasons for the Okies’ western migration. On May 11, 1934, a wall of dirt blew in from the west with terrifying squalls that darkened the sky like a long solar eclipse and shut down cities along the east coast.
The government determined poor farming practices was one cause and swiftly implemented sustainable farming practices, which restored agriculture and helped rebuild the lives of farmers, the economy and created today’s “bread basket,” which helps feed the world. http://youtu.be/EeeH2CcYCV0
Modern Dust Bowl Equivalency
I don’t know anyone who denies poor farming practices contributed to the dust bowl. We don’t have dust bowls anymore so what we did must have worked. The government got the message to the people and got their support, even with a media limited to newspapers, word of mouth, movie new reels and only some with a radio or telephone. Plus, farmers lived with ravaged, barren soil and financial ruin and welcomed the help.
Like those folks in the 1930s, I don’t need a lot of science or news to tell me about the climate changes I see. The weather fluctuates more every season. Storms are wetter and bigger. Through the media, I have seen more frequent and severe hurricanes and massive chunks of icecaps falling into the sea, with marooned polar bears floating away. What the climate scientists say seems to confirm what my lying eyes see. Globalchange.gov has laid out steps needed to reverse the impact of fossil fuels, human activity and lifestyle choices on the planet. Yet the US remains the only industrial country without a climate policy for more than 30 years.
Does More Information Help or Hurt?
With thousands of virtual media outlets, we should be well informed. Yet between the changes in FCC regulations and the advent of the Internet, it seems easier for opinion or intentionally well-crafted “infotainment” or “newsiness” to be branded as fact with mass or even a niche appeal, particularly when each of us can choose what information sources to follow.
There are a lot of people in this country and in Congress do not believe science or what I see. I only hope if a dust bowl ever heads your way or your coastal home disappears below sea level, you will get off your smart phone and believe your lying eyes. (Skeezix Bratt)
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana