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It’s difficult to know how to compare enormous disasters with one another.
What has been unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico is often called the “greatest environmental disaster” we’ve faced as a nation.
My mind turned to an earlier environmental disaster we endured for years in the 1930s. That was the Dust Bowl when a combination of drought and our farming practices in the Great Plains launched the top-most layer of the Earth into the sky again and again.
I was thinking of both the Gulf of Mexico and the “Dirty Thirties” when I got up around dawn to drive 60 miles and meet with a group of wheat farmers and agricultural extension educators. We gathered — thank goodness — at a small town café that opens early. Black coffee (known to some of us as the elixir of life) was fresh and hot and flowing freely.
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