The return of the Dustbowl. It has been a long time coming, but never unexpected. Recent years have set records in terms of heat (the last 6 months have been the hottest in history), and America’s breadbasket has felt the affects twofold. Many attribute this to our current agricultural system, which promotes monoculture, or the production of one crop. This means that in times of severe drought or disease, our crops are far more susceptible to the threat due to their lack of diversity.
This is not the first time we have seen a Dustbowl. Between 1932 and 1940, the Midwest experienced a drought that killed most of the wheat crop in the region, leading to hundreds of thousands of acres of nothing but dust and wind. As the great Spanish philosopher George Santayana once wrote:
“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Watch an excerpt from Dirt! The Movie below about the original dustbowl, and check out this national geographic article to see how it is currently making a comeback.