The Dust Bowl: Could We Face It Again
The Dust Bowl was a very tragic event for many thousands of Americans. Many people in the Great Plains region were faced with some of the hardest challenges in their life. A lot of families were forced to leave their homes for some other place where they could find work because the barren land was unable to produce crops to support their farming lifestyles. Woody Guthrie sings, "On the fourteenth day of April of 1935, there struck the worst of dust storms that ever filled the sky. You could see that dust storm coming, the cloud looked death-like black and through our mighty nation it left a dreadful track" (The Great Dust Storm). The severity of the Dust Bowl was not due to any single factor. During the 1930's the Great Pains were plagued with drought. Their average rainfall was far less than normal, and many temperature records were set that have not been surpassed today.
Along with the natural factors that played a role in causing the Dust Bowl humans also increased the rigorousness of the situation. In Donald Worster's essay, titled Grassland Follies: Agricultural Capitalism on the Plains, he discusses many of the ways that people were actually major causes of the Dust Bowl. Worster says that, "farmers tore up the vegetation on 5,260,000 acres in the southern Plains" (213), and he believes that people plowing up the land in order to plant wheat is one of the major causes of the dust bowl. I agree that the people were a factor in causing the Dust Bowl, but the severity of plowing up the land would have been minimal if the crops had had enough rain to grow. We must learn about the actual causes...