We want it now. And if it makes money now, it's a good idea. But it isn't necessarily a good idea if the things we're doing are going to mess up the future--it wasn't a good idea. Don't deal on the moment. Take the long term look at things." --Wayne Lewis, child of the Dust Bowl.
Discuss PBS’s The Dust Bowl, airing November 18th and 19th. Check local listings. Order on DVD/Blu-ray here.
What caused all the terrifying images of dust storms we saw? According to scientists and historians, a number of things. Some natural, like drought:
Some not so natural, like overplowing:
Planting the same crops over and over:
And most of all greed:
Ken Burns created another masterpiece, but this time his documentary went beyond his usual comprehensive collection of anecdotes woven together into a beautiful patchwork quilt to tell the story of a generation--there was something much more ominous about this one. It came in its surprisingly dark warnings to us as the film drew to a close. Don't be lured in by what sounds good and makes money now. Rather, think of the future. In all that we do we must think carefully of the future. This could happen again. And he wasn't just talking about dust storms. The message is as applicable today as it was then. But will those who need to hear it the most listen?