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Senior Advisor
Jim Meade / Iowa City
Posts: 2,506
Registered: ‎04-30-2010

Re: Anyone watch Dust Bowl on PBS?

My impression of the presentation was that there was not just one cause of the dust bowl.  It was not just farmers plowing up the land.  It was not just the drought.  It was not just high grain prices because of the war years.  Many factors came together to casue what we know of as the Dust Bowl and the Dirty Thirties.

In my opinion, it is dangerous to take any one theme out of context and make it the object of single minded action.  It seems to me one needs a holistic approach to the situaiton.

Those who said the Great Plains should return to grass are ignoring the realities and pressures of the world food situaiton now and in the predictable future.

Those who say the Ogallal aquifer should be left alone or the future cities will be without water ignore that fact that future cities have options and choices of their own.

I think we spend too much time trying to preserve the ecolgoy that we have without recognizing that nature is changing on us.  Over the periods of the earth's existence it has seen many dramatic episodes of geology and climate.  Much of central America was once a great sea.  The icecaps are melting and our reaction is to build higher dikes?  In other words, we need to get away from the idea that we can control the climate and focus more on adapting to it as it changes.  Which is a very hard task.