Skip to Content

The Great Dust Bowl of the 1930s Was a Policy-Made Disaster

A friend of mine posted this article from this week and made me think. There is no doubt that the Dust Bowl was precipitated (or maybe in this case, non-precipitated) by an extreme climate event which caused a multi-year drought and hot conditions. But there is also no doubt that human policies on how to manage the land made it much worse. These policies were put in place in spite of warnings from ecologists, native Americans, and farmers. They resulted in the loss of millions of acres of topsoil and the ultimate migration of many people to California and other places away from the Plains. You can read the article here.

The article makes me wonder how the policies that we are making now will affect our ability to survive a coming extreme climate event. Will they help us, or will they make things worse? Because we know that eventually a climate extreme will happen, and we and our society will have to deal with it.