Holy shit-it really is the Great Depression! First the economic collapse and now the Dust Bowl is coming back! Not sure how many people know what the Dust Bowl really entailed and I’m certainly no expert but I know that it irrevocably changed the ecology of many of the western states. My cousins had a farm in Oregon where they used to grow sugar cane BEFORE the Dust Bowl…now…it’s impossible to imagine anything growing without irrigation other than desert sage. The land is completely arid and parched but perfect for farming flowers for seed. A few years back, they were digging a foundation and discovered a gatepost from the first farm 12 feet down. When the family had moved back after the dust bowl, they presumed their houses and farm had been destroyed by the storms and had no idea that it was actually buried under 12 feet of unusable, nutrient-depleted dirt and soil. I can’t imagine the area ever having been a sugar cane farm…but I really can’t imagine how devastating it must have been for that family to return to their homestead… which was once a tropical paradise…and find a completely stripped and barren landscape with no shelter or signs of sustenance.
Silver lining-if you’re looking to write the next great American novel, “Go West”-to quote the Village People! Steinbeck certainly turned the Dust Bowl into pay dirt. So if you can stomach being on the front lines of this unfolding human tragedy and ecological disaster, you’ll be sitting on Oprah’s couch before you know it!