Author: Emily

The Dust Bowl Is Not the End of the World

The Dust Bowl Is Not the End of the World

Opinion: Climate change puts these readers’ rural towns at risk. Why they want to rebuild

A farmer cuts a crop in the farm field in his corn crop. The field is surrounded by a row of corn stalks. (File photo)

Wes Dyer

I grew up in the rural Midwest during the dust bowl era. People still talk about it. It’s still hard to remember those days. It was the height of economic despair and there was nothing going for us.

It was the Great Depression. I remember what we had when my grandfather arrived in America, that was all we had, was a cow and a pig. We didn’t have a dollar to our name. We didn’t know what the farm would look like when he built it and we didn’t know why he built it.

We didn’t know why the farm had cows and a pig anymore. We didn’t know there would be any more jobs, and why we would need to get paid if the farm was going to survive.

I grew up in a small town. I never knew any of my neighbors and all we had to look forward to was a lot of rain and snow.

When you’re in the Midwest, you realize you’re not as far from the ocean as people think.

Our life was about what we had. That was all that there was.

Today, it’s not that life is less important. It’s not that people are poorer. It’s that people have less. It’s no longer a place where you walk or you drive to work on a daily basis.

What has changed is our ability to access water.

We have more water than we could ever drink if we wanted to.

At the same time, we have less than we could ever use.

And there’s a reason for that.

You have less of something you want more of. It’s the way of the world.

And people in the Midwest know that. They see how many people are here without jobs, how many kids are hungry. They see how many people are homeless.

Most important, these people know they’re the ones who have to fix this, fix it.

No amount of legislation,

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