Die stofkom

Die stofkom

En toe word die ontevredenes weswaarts getrek - uit Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico; uit Nevada en Arkansas, families, stamme, uitgestof, getrek. Karvragte, woonwaens, haweloses en honger; twintig duisend en vyftig duisend en honderd duisend twee honderd duisend. Hulle stroom oor die berge, honger en onrustig - rusteloos soos miere, skarrel om werk te kry om op te lig, te stoot, te trek, te pluk, te sny - enigiets, enige las om te dra, vir kos. Die kinders is honger. Ons het geen woonplek nie. Soos miere wat skarrel vir werk, vir kos en veral vir land.— John Steinbeck.Die druiwe van toorn, 1939

'N Beloofde landToe pioniers in die middel van die 19de eeu deur die land begin trek, was hulle op soek na ideale landbougrond. Mans het die land begin skoonmaak deur die eindelose prairie te gebruik om koring te verbou, en die bome om huise, skure en buitegeboue te bou. met hul harde wortels. Die toneel was gereed vir die Dust Bowl. In 1930 was daar geen beter plek om 'n boer te wees as in die Suidelike Vlakte nie, waar mans en vroue ongetemde prairie in een van die voorspoedigste streke in die hele land verander het. Die res van die land het gesukkel met die aanvanklike gevolge van die Groot Depressie, maar in die koringland het boere 'n rekord-oes gepluk. Met die aanvang van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog was die vraag na koring verbasend. Tydens die oorlog het die land miljoene en miljoene skepels koring en mielies opgelewer, wat gehelp het om Amerika sowel as talle nasies oorsee te voed. Aangesien die droogte wat aan die begin van die dertigerjare begin het, voortgeduur het, het die boere egter steeds ploeg en geplant, maar in 1930 en vroeg in 1931 staan ​​die panhandvatsels van Oklahoma en Texas bekend as die welvarendste streke in die land. Die reën het eenvoudig opgehou.Oorsaak en gevolgDit het duisend jaar geneem voordat die natuur 'n duim bogrond op die Suidelike Vlakte gebou het, maar dit het net 'n paar minute geneem om 'n goeie slag te kry. Stofstorms het hele dorpe verswelg. Die primêre impakgebied van die Dust Bowl, soos dit bekend geword het, was op die Southern Plains. Die landbou -verwoesting het gehelp om die Groot Depressie te verleng, waarvan die gevolge wêreldwyd gevoel is. Honderdmiljoen hektaar van die Suidelike Vlaktes het in 'n woesteny van die Dust Bowl verander. Groot dele van vyf state is geraak - Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado en New Mexico.In 1932 het die nasionale weerburo 14 stofstorms aangemeld. Stof het alles bedek, maar tog het boere aangehou ploeg, met die hoop dat die reën binne enkele dae, of miskien maande, sou terugkeer. geskiedenis.'N Geringe bestaanGesinne het oorleef op mieliebrood, boontjies en melk. Hulle was bereid om enigsins vir enige loon te werk en ander mense se grond te plant en te oes.Toe die gesinne die grense van die westerse state bereik, is hulle nie goed ontvang nie - te veel mense was reeds sonder werk. Teen 1940 het 2,5 miljoen mense uit die Dust Bowl -state na die Stille Oseaan -state verhuis.In die herfs van 1934, met veevoer uitgeput, het die regering begin om duisende honger vee te koop en te vernietig. Hoewel dit moeilik was vir boere om hul kuddes op te gee, het die beesslag baie van hulle gehelp om bankrotskap te vermy.In die lente van 1935 waai die wind 27 dae en nagte sonder ophou. Mense en diere het begin sterf as gevolg van verstikking en 'stof longontsteking'.

GrondbewaringDie regering het boere begin verlig deur president New York, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt het geglo dat dit die federale regering se plig was om die Amerikaanse mense te help om deur die slegte tye soos die Dust Bowl te kom. Gedurende die eerste drie maande van sy presidentskap is 'n bestendige stroom wetsontwerpe goedgekeur om armoede te verlig, werkloosheid te verminder en ekonomiese herstel te bespoedig. Alhoewel hierdie eksperimentele programme die depressie nie beëindig het nie, het die New Deal die Amerikaanse bevolking ontsaglik gehelp deur na hul basiese behoeftes te kyk en hulle die waardigheid van werk en hoop te gee tydens moeilike tye. die vader van Soil Conservation, 'het hy 'n veldtog gelei om die boerderypraktyke te hervorm, lank voordat Roosevelt president geword het. Bennett het '' 'n groot nasionale ontwaking nodig vir die behoefte aan aksie om ons landboupraktyke te verbeter ''. Hy het 'n nuwe benadering tot boerdery aangemoedig om soortgelyke rampe te vermy.In April 1935 was Bennett op pad om te getuig voor 'n kongreskomitee oor sy veldbewaringsveldtog toe hy verneem van 'n stofstorm wat uit die westelike vlaktes in die hoofstad waai. Uiteindelik het hy geglo dat hy tasbare bewyse sou hê van die gevolge van slegte boerderypraktyke. Terwyl die stof oor Washington gaan lê en die middagson uitvee, het Bennett uitgeroep: 'Dit is waaroor ek gepraat het, menere.' Die kongres het gereageer deur die Wet op die Beskerming van Grond van 1935 deur te neem. Boonop het die Roosevelt -administrasie sy volle gewig en gesag agter die verbetering van boerderytegnieke gelê om te voorkom dat die stofkom herhaal word. President Roosevelt het beveel dat die Civilian Conservation Corps 'n groot band moet plant van meer as 200 miljoen bome van Kanada na Abilene, Texas, om die wind te breek, water in die grond te hou en die grond self te hou. Die administrasie het ook begin om boere op te voed oor grondbewaring en antirosie tegnieke, insluitend wisselbou, strookboerdery, kontoerploeging, terrassen en ander voordelige boerderypraktyke. In 1937 begin die federale regering 'n aggressiewe veldtog om Dust Bowlers aan te moedig om aan te neem. en ploegmetodes wat die grond bewaar. Die regering het die huiwerige boere 'n dollar per hektaar betaal om een ​​van die nuwe metodes te beoefen. Teen 1938 het die massiewe bewaringspoging die hoeveelheid blaasgrond met 65 persent verminder. Nietemin het die land nie 'n behoorlike bestaan ​​gelewer nie.In die herfs van 1939, na byna 'n dekade van vuil en stof, het die lug uiteindelik oopgegaan. Toe die reën terugkom, het droë lande gou weer hul goue koring opgelewer, en net so vinnig as wat dit begin het, was die Dust Bowl gelukkig gelukkig verby.


Befondsing word verskaf deur Bank of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, The Rockefeller Foundation, Wallace Genetic Foundation en lede van ... More

Befondsing word verskaf deur Bank of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, The Rockefeller Foundation, Wallace Genetic Foundation en lede van The Better Angels Society, waaronder die Dana A. Hamel Family Charitable Trust en Robert en Beverly Grappone.


The Dust Bowl - Geskiedenis

Die Dust Bowl het sy naam gekry na Swart Sondag, 14 April 1935. Meer en meer stofstorms het in die jare voor die dag opgeblaas. In 1932 is 14 stofstorms op die Vlakte aangeteken. In 1933 was daar 38 storms. Teen 1934 word geraam dat 100 miljoen hektaar landbougrond die grootste deel van die bogrond in die wind verloor het. Teen April 1935 was daar weke van stofstorms, maar die wolk wat daardie Sondag op die horison verskyn het, was die ergste. Die wind was teen 60 km / h. Toe tref dit.

"Die impak is soos 'n graaf fyn sand wat teen die gesig gegooi word," het Avis D. Carlson in 'n New Republic -artikel geskryf. "Mense wat in hul eie erwe vasgevang is, tas voor die drumpel. Karre staan ​​tot stilstand, want geen lig in die wêreld kan die wervelende troebel binnedring nie. Ons leef met die stof, eet dit, slaap daarmee, kyk hoe dit ons van besittings stroop en die hoop op besittings. Dit word werklik. "

Die dag na Swart Sondag gebruik 'n verslaggewer van Associated Press die term "Dust Bowl" vir die eerste keer. "Drie klein woorde wat pynlik bekend is op die Westerse boer se tong, heers oor die lewe in die stofbak van die kontinent en as dit reën." Die term steek vas en word deur radioverslaggewers en skrywers gebruik in privaat briewe en openbare toesprake.

In die sentrale en noordelike vlaktes was stof oral.

Herman Goertzen onthou hoenders wat in die middel van die dag gaan slaap het omdat die stofstorm dit so donker gemaak het dat die hoenders gedink het dit is nag.
LeRoy Hankel onthou 'n wind wat so hard gewaai het dat 'n vragmotor 30 tot 40 voet in 'n straat afgewaai het.
Elroy Hoffman onthou hoe winde sade uit die grond waai.
Stan Jensen onthou hoe dit onmoontlik was om huise skoon te hou.
Walter Schmitt onthou hoe die winde tuimelkruie in heinings waai. Toe dryf die stof agter die tuimelkruide op en bedek die omheinings.
Harvey Pickrel het probeer om 'n trekker te koop –, die enigste truuk was dat hy dit uit die stof sou moes grawe voordat hy dit huis toe kon neem.

Die impak van die Dust Bowl het oral in die VSA gevoel. Gedurende dieselfde April as Swart Sondag 1935 was een van FDR se adviseurs, Hugh Hammond Bennett, in Washington DC op pad om voor die kongres te getuig oor die noodsaaklikheid van grondbewaringswetgewing. 'N Stofstorm het in Washington gekom van die Great Plains af. Terwyl 'n stowwerige somberheid oor die hoofstad van die land versprei en die son uitvee, verduidelik Bennett: 'Dit is waaroor ek gepraat het, menere.' Die kongres het dieselfde jaar die Wet op die Beskerming van Grond aanvaar.

Geskryf deur Bill Ganzel van die Ganzel Group. Die eerste keer geskryf en gepubliseer in 2003.


Swart Sondag

Op 14 April 1935 het 'n 'swart stof' Robert E. Geiger, 'n verslaggewer van die Washington (DC) Evening Star, en fotograaf Harry G. Eisenhard ses myl van Boise City, Oklahoma. Geiger het die term geskep Stofbak toe hy dit in 'n daaropvolgende artikel gebruik vir die Lubbock (TX) Aandjoernaal. Die Dust Bowl omvat die hele Great Plains, wat strek van die suidweste van Kansas tot in die suidooste van Colorado, noordooste van New Mexico en die panhandvatsels van Oklahoma en Texas. Alhoewel Baca County die grootste deel van die stofkom ervaar het, het stofstorms tot in die noorde gekom Burlington in Kit Carson County en Julesburg in Sedgwick County. Die provinsies Las Animas en Prowers is veral swaar getref. Stof bedek paaie en maak dit onbegaanbaar, versmoor vee, vernietig gewasse en verwoes die lewensbestaan ​​van duisende oostelike Coloradans.

Tydens die Dust Bowl het Colorado se vlaktes ook aan sprinkaanbesmettings gely. Sprinkane het floreer in die uitgedroogde weivelde en het eers in 1934 op Colorado afgekom. In 1937 en 1938 het swerms insekte die son byna verduister terwyl hulle hele landerye gars, koring en lusern verteer het. Die federale regering het werknemers van die Burgerlike Bewaringskorps en die Grondbewaringsdiens (SCS) om die plae uit te roei deur dit te vergiftig. Alhoewel sommige gesinne volhard het, het baie inwoners dit onmoontlik gevind om hulself te onderhou, en uiteindelik migreer hulle na plekke soos Kalifornië en Oregon. Baca County het byvoorbeeld 4,363 inwoners gedurende die 1930's verloor.


Lesse uit die stofkom

Walter G. Moss is 'n professor emeritus in geskiedenis aan die Eastern Michigan University. Sy mees onlangse boek is "An Age of Progress ?: Clashing Twentieth-Century Global Forces" (2008), wat 'n hoofstuk aan die omgewing wy.


Masjinerie begrawe in stof naby Dallas, Noord -Dakota, in 1935. Krediet: USDA.

Vroeg in die twintigste eeu het die Amerikaanse filosoof George Santayana geskryf dat "diegene wat nie die verlede kan onthou nie, veroordeel word om dit te herhaal." 'N Ander aanhaling, soms toegeskryf aan Mark Twain, bied hierdie regstelling: "Die geskiedenis herhaal homself nie, maar dit rym wel." Hierdie twee aanhalings het by my opgekom toe ek na Ken Burns se kyk Die stofkom verlede week-hierdie vier-uur lange PBS-dokumentêr deur die beroemdste filmdokumentêr van Amerika bly beskikbaar op sommige PBS-stasies of om aanlyn te kyk tot ten minste 4 Desember. Die verwoesting, persoonlike lyding en tragedies wat deur ons onlangse orkaan Sandy veroorsaak is van die Dust Bowl van die 1930's, maar hulle was naby genoeg om ons daaraan te herinner dat ons 'n basiese historiese les op ons risiko geïgnoreer het: maak die omgewing sleg genoeg en dit sal terugkom om u met wraak te blaas.

Kort na die begin van Die stofkom, vertel die verteller Peter Coyote die erge droogte van die 1890's wat plaasgevind het in die Great Plains, wes van die Mississippirivier en oos van die Rocky Mountains. Die droogte dien as 'n voorafskaduwing van wat vier dekades later sou kom, maar was katastrofies genoeg op sy eie manier. Nadat gewetenlose ontwikkelaars en 'n dekade van voldoende reën setlaars aangemoedig het om gebiede soos die westelike derde van Kansas in te stort, waar die bevolking meer as verdriedubbel het tussen 1885 en 1887, het die droogte in 1887 toegeslaan en tot in die 1890's voortgeduur. Baie van die nuwelinge het koring geplant, wat die kort grasse vervang het wat genoeg dierelewe gevoed het om vroeër inheemse Amerikaners te onderhou. Maar die setlaars het geïgnoreer dat periodieke droogte 'een van die bepalende kenmerke' van die Groot Vlakte was. Toe die droogte in 1887 terugkeer, het die opbrengs van koring afgeneem, die honger het toegeneem en baie mense het die vlaktes verlaat.

Maar hierdie geskiedenisles van die laat negentiende eeu is onvoldoende aangeleer. In 1909 het die kongres die vergrote opstalwet aanvaar. Dit het openbare grond beskikbaar gestel wat minder geskik was vir die boerdery as die wat deur die Homestead Act van 1862 oopgemaak is. Kansas, Texas, New Mexico en Colorado. ” Hierdie streek is deel van die 'Suidelike vlaktes', wat een van die kundige stemme van die program 'een van die gevaarlikste gebiede ter wêreld vir landbouproduksie' noem. Hy, die historikus van Kansas, Donald Worster, behoort te weet omdat hy geskryf het Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in die 1930's (1979), wat genomineer is vir 'n Pulitzer -prys - meer onlangs het hy ook nog 'n uitstekende boek geskryf, 'N Passie vir die natuur: die lewe van John Muir (2008).

'N Kombinasie van goeie weer, beter boerdery tegnieke, wêreldwye koringvraag wat deur die Eerste Wêreldoorlog veroorsaak is, en verbeterde landboutegnologie het baie goeie jare vir die Great Plains -boere gebring van 1909 tot 1929. Maar in die proses het boere miljoene hektaar meer van die inboorlinge vernietig. grasse, wat die gebied meer vatbaar maak vir erosie by droogte, net soos in die dertigerjare.

Aan die einde van 1929 het die Groot Depressie begin en teen 1931 was die koringpryse ernstig besig om te onderdruk. Toe was die winter van 1931-32 en die lente van 1932 baie droog en stofstorms het toegeneem, maar in die middel van die dekade het nog erger gekom. Die ergste storm was op Swart Sondag, 14 April 1935, toe die ergste stofstorm in die geskiedenis plaasgevind het. Regoor Oklahoma, Texas en Kansas het hierdie storm soms gewoed teen 65 myl per uur en ongeveer tweehonderd myl breed. Die donkerte het so erg geword dat mense nie 'n paar meter voor hulself kon sien nie. Verskeie mense wat hierdie storm as kinders beleef het, herinner hulle aan hul ouderlinge wat gesê het "die einde van die wêreld kom."

Hierdie getuies van Swart Sondag en baie van die ander lyding van die Dust-Bowl-jare is nou ou mans en vroue, en Burns, soos in ander dokumentêre films, maak goed gebruik van hierdie gewone mense. Hy is 'n soort Studs Terkel van dokumentariërs. Sy mengsel waarin hulle kortliks hul verhale vertel, saam met foto's, videogrepe, musiek (bv. Dié van Woody Guthrie) en die woorde van kenners lyk amper reg. Benewens die historikus Worster, is twee ander wat op die Dust Bowl geskryf het, veral goed: joernalis Timothy Egan, wie se Die ergste tyd: die onvertelde verhaal van diegene wat die Great American Dust Bowl oorleef het (2006) het 'n National Book Award gewen, en historikus Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, skrywer van Gewortel in stof: oorlewing van droogte en depressie in die suidweste van Kansas (1994).

Die totale effek van hierdie vermenging van media en bronne help ons nie net nie verstaan die oorsake en gevolge van die Dust Bowl maar om voel die lyding van diegene wat daardeur gegaan het. Soos Carl Sandburg se groot lang gedig van 1936, Die mense, ja, waar hy noem "woestyne wat ooswaarts marsjeer met stofwoestyne uit gehuilde bakke," wek Burns se dokumentêr populistiese gevoelens in ons siel.

Maar dit help ons ook om te besef waarom so baie van die geteisterdes, soos een vrou sê, president Franklin Roosevelt as 'n redder 'beskou het. Die tweede twee uur lange gedeelte van die dokumentêr beskryf baie van die regeringsagentskappe wat deur Roosevelt op die been gebring is om die oorsake en ellende van Dust Bowl te ontdek en te verlig. Ons hoor nie net van pogings deur bekende New Deal-programme soos die Works Progress Administration (WPA) en Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) nie, maar ook deur minder bekende organisasies soos die Soil Conservation Service, wie se hoof die voorsitter was van 'n Report of the Great Plains Komitee vir droogtegebied. Dit het tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat "die basiese oorsaak van die huidige situasie op die Groot Vlakte 'n poging is om 'n landbousisteem aan die streek op te lê waarby die Vlaktes nie aangepas is nie" en "dit is veilig om te sê dat 80 persent [daarvan] nou is in 'n stadium van erosie. ”

Direk nadat die verteller Coyote uit die verslag aangehaal het, sien en hoor ons president Roosevelt 'n Bismarck, ND -skare van agter in die trein toespreek tydens 'n droogteinspeksietoer van 1936. En terwyl hy praat, besef ons waarom so baie - en nie net in die vlaktes nie - hom as 'n redder beskou het. Soos die vrou wat hom 'n 'verlosser' genoem het, gesê het, 'het hy ons hoop gegee waar ons niks het nie.' In sy toespraak oor Bismarck het hy ook gesê dat ons land ''n plan van samewerking met die natuur moet uitwerk in plaas daarvan om voort te gaan met wat ons in die verlede gedoen het - om die natuur te probeer verdedig'.

Maar 1937 bring geen rus in die hart van die Dust Bowl terwyl die vernietigende stofstorms voortduur nie. Daar word gesê dat een inwoner sê: "Die enigste verskil tussen die suidelike vlaktes en die Sahara -woestyn was dat baie verdomde dwase nie in die Sahara wou boer nie." In 1938 kom daar egter meer reënval en bied dit 'n bietjie hoop. Teen die einde van 1939, gedeeltelik danksy beter weer en grondpraktyke, het die geteisterde gebied tot ongeveer 20 persent van sy vorige grootte afgeneem.

Met die koms van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog aan die einde van 1939 in Europa, die verligting van die Groot Depressie en beter weer op die Groot Vlaktes, het die vraag na en produksie van die koring in die streek toegeneem. Teen die vroeë vyftigerjare, toe 'n droogte van twee jaar na die suidelike vlaktes terugkeer en stofstorms weer verskyn het, het 'n paar lesse wat tydens die Roosevelt-jare geleer is, die skade versag. Sommige boere gebruik steeds bewaringspraktyke wat deur Roosevelt aangemoedig is, en byna 4 miljoen hektaar grond wat die regering tydens die stofkom aangeskaf en herstel het toe nasionale grasvelde die hoeveelheid grond wat wegwaai, verminder het.

Maar vandag, meer as 'n halwe eeu later, is die lesse wat ons het nie geleer uit die Dust Bowl -ervaring, roep om meer aandag. Soos historikus Worster aan die einde van die dokumentêr sê: 'Ek dink die Dust Bowl kan weer gebeur, maar nadruklik kan dit weer gebeur. Dit kan 'n kruipende Sahara word. ” 'N Groot probleem, soos 'n ander van Burns se karakters opmerk, is die afhanklikheid van die streek van besproeiingswater uit die Ogallala -waterdraer. Oor hierdie reuse -waterbron wat strek van Suid -Dakota tot in die noorde van Texas, sê hy dat dit gemiddeld ongeveer 100 voet diep was, maar dat die mense in die streek meer as die helfte daarvan opgebruik het. Op die huidige gebruikstempo het die waterdraer slegs ongeveer twintig jaar water oor.

Kyk na Burns se Die stofkom so gou nadat hy na die dekking van die nasleep van die orkaan gekyk het, herinner Sandy aan talle parallelle: die verwoesting wat die natuur kan veroorsaak, die geweldige swaarkry en lyding wat dit kan opdis, die hoop en hulp wat die federale regering kan bied, en, miskien die belangrikste, die behoefte om ons omgewing te respekteer. In 'n onlangse Tyd tydskrifartikel, "Sandy Ends the Silence", skryf Michael Grunwald "Hurricane Sandy - soos vanjaar se historiese hittegolwe, droogtes en veldbrande in die VSA, om nie eens te praat van 'n ongekende yssmelting in die Arktiese gebied nie - is die soort ding wat gebeur as jy die planeet met fossielbrandstowwe braai. ” Hy hoop dat die orkaan meer Amerikaanse burgers kan oortuig van die erns van klimaatsverandering en aardverwarming, dat dit nie net abstrakte akademiese debatkwessies is nie, maar wat tragiese gevolge kan hê vir miljoene werklike mense.

Drie dekades gelede in die eerste uitgawe van 'n mede-outeur van die boek oor die twintigste-eeuse wêreldgeskiedenis, het ek die eerste keer melding gemaak van die gevare van aardverwarming. Drie jaar gelede het ek 'n opstel oor skeptici oor aardverwarming geskryf, wat die politieke motivering van baie van hulle aandui. Vandag, soos Grunwald aandring en 'n onlangse verslag van die Wêreldbank aandui, ignoreer of verklein ons die klimaatverandering wat deur mense veroorsaak word, ten koste van ons.

Maar die lesse van die Dust Bowl en die orkaan Sandy gaan verder as die misbruik van grond en klimaatsverandering. Hulle spreek die breër vraag oor ons misbruik van ons omgewing en ons onvolhoubare lewenswyse. Die Verenigde State is nog lank nie alleen in hierdie misbruik nie, maar die verbruikerssamelewing wat ons geskep het, is die ergste oortreder. In sy klassieke uit 1973, Klein is mooi, Het E. F. Schumacher geskryf dat “die 5,6 persent van die wêreldbevolking wat in die Verenigde State woon, iets in die orde van veertig persent van die wêreld se primêre hulpbronne benodig om aan te hou”. Teen die einde van die twintigste eeu gebruik die gemiddelde Amerikaanse burger nog steeds twee keer die energie wat 'n Europeër gedoen het en meer as 26 keer soveel as iemand uit Indië.

Teen die negentigerjare gebruik die wêreld as geheel twee keer soveel saaigrond, 9 keer soveel varswater en 16 keer soveel energie as in die 1890's. Om een ​​probleem op te los, het ons dikwels ander geskep. Om meer gewasse te skep, het ons byvoorbeeld meer besproei en meer plaagdoders gebruik. Maar nou, soos met die Ogallala -waterdraer, neem die ondergrondse watertoevoer vinnig af en plaagdoders het tot besoedeling bygedra.

In sy Iets nuuts onder die son: 'n Omgewingsgeskiedenis van die twintigste eeu (2001), skryf J. R. McNeill dat “die mensdom, sonder om iets van die aard te hê, 'n reusagtige, onbeheerde eksperiment op aarde onderneem het. Ek dink mettertyd sal dit die belangrikste aspek van die geskiedenis van die twintigste eeu wees. ” In 'n ander werk, Die komende anargie (2000), Het Robert Kaplan verklaar dat 'dit tyd is om' die omgewing 'te verstaan ​​vir wat dit is: die kwessie oor nasionale veiligheid van die vroeë een-en-twintigste eeu. ”

Naby die einde van Burns Die stofkom, sê joernalis Egan dat die mees basiese les wat die Dust Bowl -ervaring ons moet leer, is: 'Wees nederig. Respekteer die land self. ” Vier dekades vroeër in sy Klein is mooi Epiloog, Schumacher het geskryf: “die mensdom se bevolking en verbruik van hulpbronne moet na 'n permanente en volhoubare ewewig gestuur word. . Tensy dit gedoen word, vroeër of later. die ondergang van die beskawing sal nie 'n kwessie van wetenskapfiksie wees nie. Dit sal die ervaring van ons kinders en kleinkinders wees. ” Soos Pete Seeger eens gesing het: "Wanneer sal ons ooit leer?"


STOFKOM.

Die Dust Bowl -tydperk wat gedurende die droogtejare van die dertigerjare plaasgevind het, verteenwoordig 'n merkwaardige era in die nedersettingsgeskiedenis van die Weste. Vanuit 'n klimaatsperspektief word die droogte van die dertigerjare nog steeds beskou as die ernstigste op rekord vir baie dele van die Groot Vlaktes. Die droë weer het in die vroeë dertigerjare begin en vir sommige gebiede tot in die vroeë veertigerjare voortgeduur, met die mees intense droogtejare in 1934 en 1936.

Die ekonomiese, sosiale en omgewingsimpak wat verband hou met die dekade lange droogtegebeurtenis van die dertigerjare was verbysterend, maar nooit volledig gedokumenteer nie. Hierdie gebeurtenis het ook saamgeval met 'n ernstige ekonomiese depressie, beide in die Verenigde State en wêreldwyd, wat net die gevolge van droogte kon vererger. Vanuit 'n omgewingsoogpunt het die kombinasie van droogte, ekonomiese depressie en swak of onvanpaste boerderypraktyke in die Groot Vlakte gelei tot een van die ernstigste omgewingsrampe wat die Verenigde State ooit beleef het.

Van 1909 tot 1929 het boere twee en dertig miljoen hektaar sooi in die Great Plains uitgebreek. Baie van hierdie boere was onlangse setlaars en het beperkte ervaring met die klimaat van die streek. Nadat die beskermende omhulsel van die inheemse grasveld vernietig is, het die droë toestande en sterk winde wat in die gebied voorkom, 'n groter vatbaarheid vir die bogrond veroorsaak vir erosie. As gevolg hiervan het stofstorms byna oral gewoed, maar die gebiede wat die ergste geraak is, was in die Oklahoma (Cimarron, Texas en Beaver) en Texas panhandles, westelike Kansas en oostelike Colorado en noordooste van New Mexico. Die ernstigste stofstorms het tussen 1935 (altesaam veertig in daardie jaar) en 1938 (een-en-sestig) plaasgevind, hoewel talle ander tussen 1932 en 1941 gedokumenteer is. Daar word beraam dat 300 miljoen ton grond uit die gebied verwyder is in Mei 1934 en versprei oor groot gedeeltes van die oostelike Verenigde State. Teen 1935 waai 'n bykomende 850 miljoen ton bogrond in 101 provinsies van verskillende state. Daar word beraam dat wind -erosie teen 1935 meer as 80 persent van die hoë vlaktes 162 miljoen hektaar beskadig het. Interessant genoeg het die piekjaar vir winderosie in 1938 plaasgevind, nie die ergste droogtejaar nie, klimaatsgewys. Teen hierdie tyd was 5 duim bogrond verlore oor 'n oppervlakte van 10 miljoen hektaar en 2,5 duim het verlore gegaan oor nog 13,5 miljoen hektaar.

Bibliografie

Elizabeth Brooks en Jacque Emel, "The Llano Estacado of the American Southern High Plains," in Risiko -streke: vergelykings van bedreigde omgewings, red. Jeanne X. Kasperson, Roger E. Kasperson, and B. L. Turner II (Tokyo-New York-Paris: United Nations University Press, 1995).

R. Douglas Hurt, The Dust Bowl: An Agricultural and Social History (Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1981).

Vance Johnson, Heaven's Tableland: The Dust Bowl Story (New York: Farrar, Straus, 1947).

Alvin O. Turner, ed., Letters from the Dust Bowl (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2001).

Donald Worster, Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979).

Geen deel van hierdie webwerf mag as 'n openbare domein beskou word nie.

Kopiereg op alle artikels en ander inhoud in die aanlyn- en gedrukte weergawes van Die ensiklopedie van die geskiedenis van Oklahoma word gehou deur die Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS). Dit bevat individuele artikels (outeursreg op OHS volgens outeuropdrag) en korporatief (as 'n volledige werk), insluitend webontwerp, grafika, soekfunksies en lys-/blaai -metodes. Kopiereg op al hierdie materiaal word beskerm onder die Amerikaanse en internasionale wetgewing.

Gebruikers stem in om nie hierdie materiaal af te laai, te kopieer, aan te pas, te verkoop, te verhuur, te huur, te herdruk of andersins te versprei nie, of om na hierdie materiaal op 'n ander webwerf te skakel, sonder toestemming van die Oklahoma Historical Society. Individuele gebruikers moet vasstel of hul gebruik van die materiaal onder die Amerikaanse outeursregwetgewing se "quotair gebruik" -riglyne val en nie inbreuk maak op die eiendomsreg van die Oklahoma Historical Society as die wettige kopiereghouer van Die ensiklopedie van die geskiedenis van Oklahoma en gedeeltelik of geheel.

Fotokrediete: Alle foto's word in die gepubliseerde en aanlyn weergawes van Die ensiklopedie van die geskiedenis en kultuur van Oklahoma is die eiendom van die Oklahoma Historical Society (tensy anders vermeld).

Aanhaling

Die volgende (volgens Die Chicago Manual of Style, 17de uitgawe) is die voorkeuraanhaling vir artikels:
Donald A. Wilhite, &ldquoDust Bowl,&rdquo Die ensiklopedie van die geskiedenis en kultuur van Oklahoma, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=DU011.

© Oklahoma Historical Society.

Oklahoma Historical Society | 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73105 | 405-521-2491
Site Index | Contact Us | Privacy | Press Room | Website Inquiries


The Dust Bowl - History

Oklahoma was and is identified as "the Dust Bowl State" even though it had less acreage in the area designated by the Soil Conservation Service as the Dust Bowl than did the contiguous states of Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. The lore of the Dust Bowl still circulates around the Oklahoma image as fiercely as the dust storms that blew through its Panhandle.

Sunday, April 14, 1935, started as a clear day in Guymon, Oklahoma. The temperature was in the upper eighties, and the citizens, in their fourth year of drought, went to the Methodist Church for a "rain service." The congregation packed the church and lifted prayers seeking divine intervention for moisture the minister said that "good rains within three weeks means a harvest God rules all, and our last resort is prayer." By late afternoon the skies were darkened, but not by rain clouds. Instead, the worst of the black blizzards hit Guymon.

Throughout the southern High Plains temperatures fell more than fifty degrees in only a few hours as winds as high as seventy miles an hour blew black soil from Canada and northern plains states. Total darkness lasted for forty minutes and was followed by three hours of partial darkness. The relative humidity decreased to less than 10 percent. As the nation had become aware of the dust storms, journalists such as Associated Press staff writer Robert Geiger were in Guymon writing a series of articles. In his April 15 release for the Washington, D.C., Aandster he wrote, "Three little words—achingly familiar on a Western farmer's tongue—rule life today in the dust bowl of the continent. If it rains."

Geiger used the term "dust bowl" for the first time in print. Within three months "dust bowl" was being used throughout the nation. He specifically referred to "the western third of Kansas, southeastern Colorado, the Oklahoma Panhandle, the northern two-thirds of the Texas Panhandle, and northeastern New Mexico." That area is almost identical to the Dust Bowl boundary as formally designated in 1939 by the Soil Conservation Service as the geographical extent of the severe wind damage by 1939.

For various reasons, the word "Oklahoma" quickly became synonymous with the term "dust bowl." In truth, Texas and Cimarron counties, in the heart of the Dust Bowl, suffered the worst damage, most severe storms, and most dramatic sand drifts. Coincidentally, when Geiger first placed the term "dust bowl" in print in April 1935, and when other journalists reported the "Black Easter" storm, their datelines stated "Guymon, Oklahoma." This geographical reference firmly planted the Oklahoma–Dust Bowl connection in the public mind.

When the dust storms began, singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie lived in Pampa, Texas. He was an Okemah, Oklahoma, native, but the dust storms occurred far from his Oklahoma hometown. His 1940 recordings, including "The Great Dust Storm," "Talking Dust Bowl Blues," "Dust Pneumonia Blues," "Dust Bowl Refugee," and "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You," released under the title Dust Bowl Ballads, made him known as "Oklahoma's Dust Bowl Balladeer." However, those songs actually drew upon his experiences in the Texas Panhandle in the early 1930s.

Guthrie also wrote songs about the Dust Bowl migrants, and most of them actually were from Oklahoma, but not from its Panhandle–Dust Bowl area. Examples are "Tom Joad" and "Do-Re-Mi." Mostly cotton farmers from eastern and southern Oklahoma, Guthrie's migrant heroes were sharecropper and tenant farmers forced off the land by improved mechanized farm equipment, extremely low prices for cotton, and the Great Depression. Moreover, because the New Deal's crop reduction program paid the farms' owners to plow under their land, the sharecroppers and tenants who had actually worked the land were made homeless and became migrants.

Sayings and stories about Oklahoma weather, as well as Guthrie's songs and John Steinbeck's novel Die druiwe van toorn, helped perpetuate Oklahoma's Dust Bowl image. Some of the more critical statements included "Oklahoma has four seasons, often within the same week." Stories circulated that even with all the doors and windows closed the dust was so thick that a strong light bulb "looked like a cigarette burning and you couldn't see your hand before your face." One story claimed that a man's car was stalled by the sand when he opened the door, he shot ground squirrels overhead tunneling for air. The wind velocity was so wicked that one man said, "You can fasten a logchain to a fence post or tree, and if it isn't blowing straight out, it is a calm day." Some people said that farmers were advised not to rotate their crops, for the wind would do it for them. Folks referred to dust storms as "Oklahoma rain." Women would hold their pans up to a keyhole and let the wind and sand clean them. It was so dry for so long that frogs could not learn to swim and would drown when put in water. Some said, truthfully, that "the wind blew the farm away, but we didn't lose everything—we still got the mortgage."

Other weather lore proclaimed that "dust had to be thrown in a man's face to revive him after he fainted when a drop of rain hit his face," and "the wind blew away so much soil that postholes were left standing above the ground one farmer hitched up his team and wagon, gathered the postholes, and stored them in his barn for future use." These are just a few of the many wry sayings and descriptive exaggerations that emerged from the Dust Bowl era. Woody Guthrie summarized the problems and life in the Dust Bowl with "dust sometimes gets so thick you can run your tractor and plows upside down. So dark you can't see a dime in your pocket, a shirt on your back, a meal on your table, or a dadgum thing. Only thing that is higher than that dust is your debts. Dust settles, but debts don't."

The word that became synonymous with the migrants who traveled west to work was "Okie." Reportedly, Ben Reddick, a journalist with the Paso Robles Press in California, saw in migrant camps numerous "old cars with Oklahoma license plates reading 'OK'." On the back of a photo depicting the camps and the autos he wrote the word "Okies," which was published as the caption. Thereafter, the term spread, applied to migratory workers. Somewhat tongue-in-cheek, Will Rogers and others sometimes said facetiously that the migration of Okies to California raised the intellectual level of both states. In many western states Okie continues to be used as a derogatory term, despite Oklahomans' numerous attempts to turn it into a complimentary term. However, those who live here generally consider themselves to be "Oklahomans," not "Okies." While "Okie" had been used before the dust storms hit, it became one of the traditional elements associated with the Dust Bowl era. Unfortunately, no matter how much research and no matter how many books and articles are written about the Dust Bowl, Oklahoma remains in the minds of many as "the Dust Bowl State."

Bibliografie

James N. Gregory, American Exodus: The Dust Bowl Migration and Okie Culture in California (1989 reprint, New York: Oxford University Press, 1991).

Woody Guthrie, Bound for Glory (New York: E. P. Dutton and Co., 1943).

Caroline Henderson, Letters From the Dust Bowl, ed. Alvin O. Turner (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2001).

Kenneth E. Hendrickson, Jr., ed., Hard Times in Oklahoma: The Depression Years (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1983).

Guy Logsdon, The Dust Bowl and the Migrant (Tulsa, Okla.: Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, 1971).

Donald Worster, Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979).

Geen deel van hierdie webwerf mag as 'n openbare domein beskou word nie.

Kopiereg op alle artikels en ander inhoud in die aanlyn- en gedrukte weergawes van Die ensiklopedie van die geskiedenis van Oklahoma word gehou deur die Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS). Dit bevat individuele artikels (outeursreg op OHS volgens outeuropdrag) en korporatief (as 'n volledige werk), insluitend webontwerp, grafika, soekfunksies en lys-/blaai -metodes. Kopiereg op al hierdie materiaal word beskerm onder die Amerikaanse en internasionale wetgewing.

Gebruikers stem in om nie hierdie materiaal af te laai, te kopieer, aan te pas, te verkoop, te verhuur, te huur, te herdruk of andersins te versprei nie, of om na hierdie materiaal op 'n ander webwerf te skakel, sonder toestemming van die Oklahoma Historical Society. Individuele gebruikers moet vasstel of hul gebruik van die materiaal onder die Amerikaanse outeursregwetgewing se "quotair gebruik" -riglyne val en nie inbreuk maak op die eiendomsreg van die Oklahoma Historical Society as die wettige kopiereghouer van Die ensiklopedie van die geskiedenis van Oklahoma en gedeeltelik of geheel.

Fotokrediete: Alle foto's word in die gepubliseerde en aanlyn weergawes van Die ensiklopedie van die geskiedenis en kultuur van Oklahoma is die eiendom van die Oklahoma Historical Society (tensy anders vermeld).

Aanhaling

Die volgende (volgens Die Chicago Manual of Style, 17de uitgawe) is die voorkeuraanhaling vir artikels:
Guy Logsdon, &ldquoDust Bowl Lore,&rdquo Die ensiklopedie van die geskiedenis en kultuur van Oklahoma, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=DU012.

© Oklahoma Historical Society.

Oklahoma Historical Society | 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73105 | 405-521-2491
Site Index | Contact Us | Privacy | Press Room | Website Inquiries


National Youth Summit - The Dust Bowl

On October 17, 2012, the National Museum of American History (NMAH) partnered with the National Endowment for the Humanities, WETA television, and Smithsonian Affiliations to present the National Youth Summit on the Dust Bowl. The program, related to Ken Burns’ new film The Dust Bowl, connected thousands of high school students and united them in a national dialogue regarding the Dust Bowl’s legacy on both the environment and the culture of the United States. Students discussed the importance of environmental awareness and the effects humans have on the natural world. In recognizing the Dust Bowl as an ecological disaster of primarily human origin, young people worked together to imagine ways a similar catastrophe could be avoided. Together, students across the country generated ideas for how each of us could be a responsible steward of the delicate environment in which we live. Students left the Summit with a better understanding of the Dust Bowl and the role of science and citizens in national policy.

Modeled on the successful Summit presented on the Freedom Rides in 2011, the National Youth Summit on the Dust Bowl included a live webcast from Washington allowing young people to engage with a distinguished panel of experts to discuss the history and legacy of the Dust Bowl. In addition to the students in the live audience in Washington, the program brought together students in Regional Town Halls at ten museums around the nation, who participated in the webcast and then discussed local environmental issues with experts at each museum. PBS affiliate television stations around the nation filmed students at each of the Regional Town Halls, providing videotaped questions for the national panel and a short film documenting the program. Hundreds of thousands more students watched the Summit in their schools and homes and engaged electronically over the internet. The "dust bowl," words coined by an Associated Press reporter in 1935 to describe the southern plains that rain had forsaken, was one of the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history – in which the heedless actions of thousands of individual farmers, encouraged by their government and influenced by global markets, resulted in a collective tragedy that nearly swept away the breadbasket of the nation.

It was a decade-long natural catastrophe of Biblical proportions, encompassing 100 million acres in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico – when the skies withheld their rains, when plagues of grasshoppers descended on parched fields, when bewildered families huddled in dark rooms while angry winds shook their homes and pillars of dust choked out the mid-day sun.

It was an epic of human pain and suffering – young children struck down by "dust pneumonia," self-reliant fathers suddenly unable to provide for their families and mothers unable to feed them, followed by the largest exodus in the nation’s history, as 2.5 million desperate Americans left their homes and faced an unknown and often cruel future.

And it is also the story of heroic perseverance a study of the roles and limits of government and a morality tale about our relationship to the land that sustains us – a lesson we ignore at our peril.

Students learned the history of this important episode in American history, but they also looked to the present as they discussed crucial issues that face the nation today. The Summit inspired students to explore the choices we have and the consequences that follow in production of food, fiber, fuel, housing and infrastructure. Agriculture in the Dust Bowl region today relies on irrigation from the Ogallala aquifer, which has transformed the High Plains into one of the most agriculturally productive regions in the world. Water use in the region, however, exceeds the rate of recharge to the water supply. As one of the modern legacies of the Dust Bowl, students considered how to balance the need for food for a growing population against the risks of aquifer depletion. Other issues like fertilizer use, soil conservation, herbicide and pesticide use, genetic engineering, and organic farming and the slow food movement were raised during the Summit.


The dust bowl of the 21st century is here. History is repeating itself

After three years of extreme drought, the soil of southeastern Colorado has been ground into a fine powder, like brown flour, that easily goes airborne.

The Stulps are using the latest technologies and soil conservation practices developed after the Dust Bowl, including no-till farming, which allows for growing crops without turning the soil.

"You don't want to risk unnecessary tillage," he said, pointing to a particularly erodible area of land. "If you plow that once, it will probably start blowing."

They also use stripper headers on combines when harvesting wheat, which strip only the grain, leaving most of the stalk standing, which helps keep the soil in place.

"We are changing our practices on the farm rapidly," Stulp said. "But is it rapid enough to deal with what's coming next?"

  • 1

I think I've seen pictures like this before:

Ya mom and dad always talked about how bad it was in South Dakota when they were kids. They had to tie a rope from the house to the windmill so when they went to get water they could find their way back to the house!

To bad folks didn't learn the first time around.

We had a couple move into the Joshua tree desert and it's anything but bare, we have so many shrubs and grasses and yuccas. The very first thing they did is CLEAR their entire acre -- everything except a few Joshua trees. Many people do that because they're afraid of snakes. In this case I was very surprised because they actually want to be self-sufficient and of course their dirt is going to be rock hard and dead as a doornail.

On a larger scale, a developer is FARMING the desert and I just finally posted the pics I took of the project:
http://highdesertdirt.com/blog/2013/06/20/rhodes-farming-to-get-permit-for-homes/

The biggest upside to the 2008 financial crisis was that two developers went broke BEFORE they started clearing. I moved here because it's such a beautiful drive from Kingman, 60 miles of mostly natural desert with the occasional residence here and there. I didn't even know that so much land was privately owned. It's scary what people can do to the land.

Then there is the problem of local govt requiring clearing or mowing "to reduce fire danger," so we get more sand and dust blowing around from all the mowers. We have a 2 acre piece, right now it is a beautiful meadow with wildflowers and wheatgrass, etc, scattered over most of it. I would love to just let it grow, then do a chop and drop later as we start forming swales and berms and planting trees, for a restoration agriculture savanna, but I imagine the town council will be after me soon for not mowing it down and leaving the bare dirt and dried top growth to just blow away in the strong gusty winds we get up here at 5900 feet elevation. We are in a drought, with fires all over the state, so once spring growth is cut, it doesn't do much growing until next spring unless we add tons of water to irrigate, which could end up salting and killing the natural vegetation.

I have put in a couple of small covercrop areas, which I had to water some to establish, but are now growing well with being watered only once a week or so, and have a few garden beds, mostly sunken beds we dug out and filled with woody debris and spoiled hay, leaves, etc, and a new windbreak we put in along the west side (most of our wind comes from the west). We are hauling in woodchips from the next town (20 miles each way) and spreading on our paths as quickly as we can, in between all the other garden projects, so it is a slow process, but the mulch is making a difference already in settling the dust and holding in soil moisture.

We see neighbors out mowing a lot, and everytime the wind blows, dust billows up from the dry, bare soil.

That sounds a little ridiculous. I know there have been a lot of fires, but you can't just cut everything down. I could see 20 ft around a house, maybe even 50 feet on the side the prevailing winds come from.

  • 1

I am hoping if we just mow the area outside the fence, between the property line and the roads on 2 sides, and maybe a strip inside the fence line, they will let it go. I see other properties, including one across the street from my garden, that is owned by the town, or at least they have a very large propane tank there to supply the town hall, that hasn't been mowed, and has just as much tall grass and wildflowers, for its size, as my place.

Part of the problem, I think, is caused by the mowing--all the native grasses and perennial herb layer are cut down by the summer mowing before they can set seed, but after the cheat grass has seeded itself, so the areas of cheat grass keep spreading. The dried cheat grass is very flammable, so if someone throws out a match or cigarette, or we get a strike by dry lightning, very common here in the summer, the dried cheat grass catches fire and the fire spreads rapidly in the wind to whatever else is growing nearby. That kills a lot of the natives, or at least sets them back a lot, while the cheat grass seeds actually thrive on fire. So the problem grows and grows.

So yes, they keep beating their heads against the same steel door, and we all get the headache. Good analogy.

Actually, the fires aren't totally a bleak picture. A friend who happens to be a cattle rancher, reminded us yesterday during a discussion about the recent fires, that places that burned 2 years ago are green with abundant grass and young browse for the deer and cattle, but I'm sure there must be better ways to manage the land here, and I am trying to learn the permaculture way as quickly as I can absorb the knowledge. This forum helps a lot, as do books and videos by Mark Shepard, Geoff Lawton, Alan Savory, Sep Holzer, and Joel Salatin that I have been reading and watching lately.

The same thing happened (is happening) here in Albuquerque.

All around the city the trees in peoples yards are dying. I see mostly Juniper and mulberry dying. Yet, the other day in the foothills of the mountains, I saw cactus that were browning up and dying too!

Yeah, fire isn't the problem in regards to topsoil loss considering the number of plants which thrive and keep the soil in place after what seems to be a very destructive event. Permaculture has an answer to keeping home and land safe from wildfire too. I remember visiting parts of southern Colorado a couple months after a wildfire and what would have been the understory of the forest was absolutely lush, way more so than the unburned areas.

Brett, I guess it is time to check in with some friends in Arizona to see how their trees are doing. Can't imagine that if the cactii are dying that things are going well though.

My heart goes out to those out west, hope you get some rain!

we have to forest our farms and farm our forests

Andrew, I am not sure what you mean about the drought option, although I have learned from my studies about permaculture, that many of the drought events are directly related to agriculture, tilling the land, cutting down trees, and changing the way the water moves through the land. I have read that many streams in the Rocky mountains of North America dried up after miners in the 1800s cut down the trees to shore up their mines etc. And the dust bowl of the 1930s was strongly effected by prairie grasslands being plowed up and turned into "productive" farms instead of "just grass." Sadly, it is easier to look back at the mistakes made 100 or more years ago, than to look at our own mistakes, or to see that there is a way to do things differently now. Instead, we get caught up in maintaining customs, even though they cause us pain and problems.

My hope is that if enough of us (permies, restoration agriculture, agroforestry types, of whatever persuasion and emphasis, learning from folks like Joel Salatin, Mark Shepard, Geoff Lawton, Alan Savory and lots of others) keep planting perennials and greening our bits of land, we can make a difference and help to create the changes we want to see.

we have to forest our farms and farm our forests

we have to forest our farms and farm our forests

  • 4

Isn't that why we are here, at permies, and doing our permaculture projects? The more of us who actually do choose this path, and keep working on it and telling others about it, the better chance we have to get past whatever history we have that leads away from abundance. So, keep learning, keep sharing, keep planting trees and other perennials, keep making swales, and keep choosing abundance.

As one wise man said, if we have our permaculture project at least started, even if it is still tiny, we at least have credibility to talk about it. We need to start, and be the examples of what abundance can look like, if we want others to follow. Don't just talk about permaculture, but live it first.

I love my little food forest. It is not very big, and maybe not as abundant as I would like, yet, but every time I walk outside and see what is growing, I am refreshed and renewed to continue the effort to expand my system, and to learn more and teach more.

we have to forest our farms and farm our forests

  • 1

On a related topic, weather, I have been reading several posts on the unusual oscillation of the jet stream over North America. Jeff Masters and other climate scientists are saying that the jet stream is starting to oscillate and gets stuck in a holding pattern that results in incredibly dry conditions and record breaking heat for about two weeks. The pattern then unlocks and allows the jet streams return to a normal pattern.

The stuck pattern is responsible for the record high temperatures over the western half of the U.S. (dust bowl) and record rain falls on the eastern half (flood city).

Clearing the soil is not only terrible for erosion and creating a dead soil (if repetitive).

Clearing the soil can be especially damaging in dry hot climates. Or windy climates.

And the worst is that near-desert landscapes (like the midwest) have reduced evaporation, as compared to forests. Reduced evaporation causes more extremes in temperature. This by its own creates changes in the atmospheric pressure which creates disruptions in the jet stream, which provokes the extreme weather we are commonly ovserving in the previous decades and especially years.

You do not even have to bring the global warming hypothesis. Just this per se, creates extremes in temperature and precipitation (drought and heavy rains). Having bare soil everywhere is a very bad idea. It is asking for deserts to invade both the US and parts of Europe. And this is not natural climate change, it is manmade climate change, and it has nothing to do with CO2 but desertification.

If this keeps gradually this path. we will all end up like the Middle East, living in deserts caused by historical agricultural desertification, and eventually we will blown ourselves with wars, when growing food becomes complicated. This is something very important to avoid.

Anyways I do not wish to start any discussion in politics, climate change, etc. I think nearly everyone here agrees that excessive tilling, compaction, monocrop agriculture can cause desertification, which leads to weather extremes and the dust bowl conditions.

Our projects:
in Portugal, sheltered terraces facing eastwards, high water table, uphill original forest of pines, oaks and chestnuts. 2000m2
in Iceland: converted flat lawn, compacted poor soil, cold, windy, humid climate, cold, short summer. 50m2

Paulo, I agree that clearing and tilling and leaving the land bare, is bad and leads to lots of problems, but I don't understand your comment that it reduces evaporation. In my experience, the dry soil and air from tillage, or mowing the grass and weeds as is done here, actually increases evaporation, higher than precipitation. The air in Colorado is so dry it sucks moisture out of the ground as fast or faster than we can add it back in. Even snow evaporates to the air instead of melting into the ground. I do believe that clearing the land, cutting trees, etc, reduces precipitation, and moisture in the soil. After the early miners cut a lot of trees for mine timbers, etc, the local streams stopped flowing, and streams and springs have been restored by increasing forest cover.

The grasses and other plants here are mostly bunch grasses, or clumping wildflowers, etc, with large spaces between each plant. A common practice here is to mow the weeds, leaving large bare patches of dirt, that are dry and dusty, and lead to plumes of "dust devils" whenever the wind blows. My son and I are working hard to collect and lay wood chips on our paths, to hold down the dust, but it is a slow process.

Yes, we, as a whole, are creating our own problems, and need to work together to create the solutions. I believe permaculture is one of those possible solutions. I just watched one of Geoff Lawton's videos, about how he rehydrated a property he once owned, turning it from a grassed and gullied place, to a place of abundance, with numerous dams and swales on 5 acres, with fish and frogs, and many fruit trees, creating a lush sub-tropical paradise.

we have to forest our farms and farm our forests

A lack of trees does many bad things. One, you do have a lack of transpiration. (i.e. pulling water from the ground and breathing it out at the leaves), it also means there is no wind break, so the speed of the air across the surface is usually faster, much faster, which results in drying out the soil faster. Also, when there is a rain, due to the ground being so level from working it for planting, water runs off, no irregular features to catch water and allow it to go underground. The roots, and of course debris of trees (limbs, leaves, etc) help capture moisture.

There is a round a take here were two rivers come together. One is almost always clear, the other almost always muddy. Guess which one goes through conventional farm land?

It amazes me that people don't see the muddy river and think "there goes my wealth" - it isn't a big jump from understanding you need good soil to grow good crops to seeing a dirty river and thinking "that is my future going down stream"

Not to go political, but the consequence of having lots of people on the planet is that each of us has to be caretakers, not exploiters.

Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica

Brett Andrzejewski wrote: On a related topic, weather, I have been reading several posts on the unusual oscillation of the jet stream over North America.

In what forum is the topic / or the posts?

Has anyone had a look at my arguments about having a weather/climate forum?
https://permies.com/t/26088/tnk/climate-forum
Thanks if you can give your opinion.
I am not sure I explained well my reasons. Anyway for sure, "greening the desert" is very climatic oriented because weather is very central.

It amazes me that people don't see the muddy river and think "there goes my wealth" - it isn't a big jump from understanding you need good soil to grow good crops to seeing a dirty river and thinking "that is my future going down stream"

Part of the problem, I think, is caused by the mowing--all the native grasses and perennial herb layer are cut down by the summer mowing before they can set seed, but after the cheat grass has seeded itself, so the areas of cheat grass keep spreading. The dried cheat grass is very flammable, so.

No way to make a good file about the logical chain of what causes what? and present it to the press and locals etc? If a local newspaper could run a feature on the topic, to open the idea that at least the mowing question should be assessed.

Xisca - pics! Dry subtropical Mediterranean - My project
However loud I tell it, this is never a truth, only my experience.

Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica

here is a a link to a few pictures around Colorado Springs yesterday:

youll never hear it called the next dust bowl though

http://www.cloud9farms.com/ - Southern Colorado - Zone 5 (-19*f) - 5300ft elevation - 12in rainfall plus irrigation rights
Dairy cows, "hair" sheep, Kune Kune pigs, chickens, guineas and turkeys

Bill, agricultural land use in the US is largely driven by agricultural subsidies. Most of the improvements implemented as a reaction to the Dust Bowl were plowed under decades ago. (Don't be quick to blame it all on corporate farmers. Most farmer's are loath to turn their backs on subsidies) The Dept. of Agriculture, farmers and Congress knew this was inevitable but have doggedly marched to the precipice with their eyes wide open.

Sometimes there is nothing to do in reaction to sustained (decades long or longer) drought but move. That is a reality that may face us, as it was faced by earlier inhabitants of marginal arid and semi-arid lands. The inability, reluctance or refusal to adapt to changes in climate have doomed civilizations throughout history.

Dry farming opened up millions of marginal acres to cultivation, but we pay a stiff price when drought comes. Farming is always a gamble and farming (and grazing) marginal lands is a big gamble, even when using the most appropriate methods.

I hope this current drought is one of the 3, 5 or 7 year kind. It has been some centuries since the American West has experienced a 20 year or 200 year drought, but they have occurred in the past and we are not immune to it happening again -- regardless of our carbon output.

Intelligent land use can green damaged (even centuries old damage, so long as the overall weather patterns are conducive to it) and it can change microclimates. The trick, I suppose, to dealing effectively with prolonged drought is to not get caught with your pants down (your fields and pastures bare and fallow), and make the appropriate adjustments to land use to deal with it in such a way as to minimize the negative near and long-term impacts to the land. Realistically, prolonged drought reduces the carrying capacity of the affected area, so unless you can transport water in, the surplus population will need to move. Central Asia and the American West have shown this pattern of migration many times throughout history. Unfortunately, California is not the refuge it was in the '30's -- not that it couldn't be, but that is another subject.


Stofbak

During the 1930s, the Midwest experienced so much blowing dust in the air that the region became known as the Dust Bowl. The term also refers to the event itself, usually dated from 1934 through 1940. The heart of the Dust Bowl was the Texas panhandle and western Oklahoma, but atmospheric winds carried the dust so far that East Coast cities sometimes found a powdery layer of dirt on windows, streets, sidewalks and automobiles. On the Great Plains, however, dust storms were so severe that crops failed to grow, livestock died of starvation and thirst and thousands of farm families lost their farms and faced severe poverty.

Factors of the Dust Bowl

Most authorities cite two factors as the cause of the Dust Bowl. In the 1920s, with the coming of tractors and mechanical farm implements, farmers on the Great Plains plowed up huge tracts of land once covered with grasses that held the soil in place and helped to keep in moisture in the topsoil. Without the grass cover, the wind could lift dirt particles into the atmosphere where they were carried east by the prevailing winds. During the summers of 1934, 1936 and 1939-40, little rain fell, creating drought conditions in Iowa and across the Midwest. Extreme high temperatures topped 100 degrees sometimes for weeks at a time. Crops withered in the field and again, the soil was left with no cover to prevent the topsoil from blowing into the air.

The result was that the huge clouds of dust formed, often so strong that they blocked the sun creating darkness and limited visibility even during the day. Even when families stuffed rags under the doors and around the windows, dust filtered into homes covering everything. One woman recalled that when she sat up in the morning, she could see the silhouette of her head outlined in dust on her pillow.

The Dust Bowl and The Great Depression

The extreme weather came on top of farmers struggling to survive during the Great Depression. Guaranteed high prices during WWI and government appeals to farmers’ patriotism encouraged many to expand their herds and their cropland. When the war ended and demand for extra production fell, farmers continued to produce at record levels. Surpluses developed, and farm prices fell sharply making many farmers unable to pay their mortgages. Farm foreclosures across the Midwest skyrocketed and the situation looked desperate. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal boosted farm prices by paying farmers to limit production. While those programs were just beginning, however, the drought years of 1934 and 1936 made life even more difficult for farm families and the small towns that depended upon them. In Oklahoma and nearby regions, many families joined a mass migration to California, piling up whatever they could onto their automobiles. They became known as the "Okies."

Conservation Efforts

The Dust Bowl taught the United States to explore better approaches to land management. Western lands with too little rainfall to support grain crops like corn or wheat should be left as pasture to maintain a grass cover that can retain moisture and keep topsoil in place. The federal government began support for programs to plant trees as windbreaks, to terrace hillsides, and to implement other land management programs. It also produced a famous film, "The Plow That Broke the Plains," that dramatically illustrated the relationship between farming practices and the Dust Bowl.

Both weather and human efforts contributed to the Dust Bowl. Iowans who lived it remember the frightening appearance of dark clouds of descending dirt. They suffered through it but also learned some valuable lessons about the need to respect the natural environment.