Dust Bowl : The Southern Plains

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1.) The documentary, Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s by Donald Worster paints a surreal mosaic of life on the Great Plains during the dirty thirties. He does this by illustrating various causations and correlations as well as specific rural towns in the Dust Bowl that exhibit them, and public institutions whose objective was the restoration of the Great Plains to a fertile state as before the coming of the Capitalistic agriculturist that wreaked havoc on the ecosystem. Worster then uses the above as a fulcrum to his main argument, “…there was in fact a close link between the Dust Bowl and the Depression – that the same society produced them both, and for similar reasons. (p.5) He further goes on to explain that the crisis in the Great Plains was primarily caused by man and not nature (Worster, p.13). This was primarily due to the fact that man had never truly lived in equilibrium with the land on the high plains; they exploited the prairies to produce beyond their capacity, thus causing severe environmental breakdown. The fault was not all the agriculturists of course, part of the blame, as Worster points out, is rooted culturally in our capitalistic, industrialized values and ideals. One spokesman stated, “We are producing a product to sell, and that profitability of that product depended on pushing the land as far as it could go.” (Worster, p.57) To fully illuminate the problems at hand, he uses Cimarron County in the Oklahoma panhandle, and Haskell County,

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