The Dust Bowl: A Study of the Reasons and Responses to Climate Change

This Weather topic submitted by Megan Motil ( on 3/1/98.

For the topic of my paper, I plan to dicuss the reasons for the droughts and dust storms of the American southwest from 1933-1939 as well as the physical, economic, social and personal results of these Climate changes.
The Dust Bowl has had an enormous effect in shaping the history of the American Weather psyche. Among the questions I hope to address:
1) How did farming practices contribute to the droughts and dust storms?
2) What were the changes and how rapid was the Climate transformation?
3) How did the change in Climate affect social and economic Stability?
4) How did these changes affect migration?
5) How does the art of the time address the changes in the Climate in the southwest and the economic disparity of agricultural laborers there?
6) How has the portrayal of the Dust Bowl in art shaped general perceptions of the Dust Bowl? How does the Dust Bowl live in our cultural memory? (Is it perceived as a scientific/climatological event or as a memery centered around human events?)

It is my hypothesis that much popular information available will cetner around issues of human suffering and dignity. How does this sort of distribution of imfprmation affect the way we view Weather? This manner of reporting the Dust Bowl is one of the long-term results of the environmental event.

Sources I have located for this paper range from journal articles to records and documentaries from Miami's Music Listening Library to photographic essays.

Some Sources include:
_California and Dust Bowl Migration_
Stein, Walter. Westport, Conn., Greenwood Press (1973). 302 pp.

_The Dust Bowl_ -- pictoral works (hopefully with some cool Weather shots of dust storms and such)
Mount Dora, FLA: Documentary Photo Aids (197?).

_The Dust Bowl: an agricultural and social history_
Hurt, R. Douglas. Chicago: Nelson-Hall (c1981).

_Dust Bowl Ballads_
Guthrie, Woody. Folkways Records FH 5212 (1964).

_Dust Bowl Diary_
Low, Ann Marie. Lincoln: UNiv. of Nebraska (1984). 188pp.

_Discover_ April 1, 1997 v18 n4 p16.
With statistical information about the dust bowl.

"Gaining Control of the Environment: The Morton County Land Utilization Project in the Kansas Dust Bowl."
_Kansas History_ Summer 1996 v19 n2 p140
Hurt, R. Douglas

"The Dust Bowl of the 1930s: Analog of Greenhouse Effect in the Great Plains?"
_Journal of Environmental Quality_ Jan 1,1993 v22 n1 p1.
Rosenzweig, Cynthia

"Dust Bowl Legacies: The Okie Impact on California 1939-1989."
_California History_ Fall 1989 v68 n3 p74
Gregory, James N.

"You could see it a'comin': In the 1930s a tidal wave of earth flooded the Great Plains, turning Wheat Heaven into the Dust Bowl."
_Smithsonian_ Jun 1,1989 v20 n3 p44
Parfit, Michael

And that's it. It seems I've got a lot of Research ahead of me.

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