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During the 1930s, terrible clouds of dark dust were only witnessed in the states of western Kansas, eastern New Mexico, western Texas, eastern Colorado, and the Oklahoma Panhandle. The clouds of dust are the ones that led to the Dust Bowl. There are certain occurrences and unique environments, for which human beings do not have an explanation that justifies them. Usually, the environmental activities are merely attributed to the human assumptions and actions. This indicates that their reality is never as reliable as they keep shifting from one individual to another. The Dust Bowl was brought about by both human factor and ecological reasons.
Perhaps, a prolonged drought, extremely high temperatures and powerful winds were the primary reasons for these regions in the grasslands and plains to be reduced and become a mere desert. Although droughts were still a common phenomenon in these regions, human factors must have aggravated the situation to reach its extreme. Therefore, the essay is an analysis of the topic Dust Bowl, which is a paranormal or supernatural phenomenon that occurred in the vast land of the United States, including western Kansas, eastern New Mexico, western Texas, eastern Colorado, and the Oklahoma Panhandle. It also presents the scientific views and individual perceptions about such landscape and activities that might have led to its occurrence.
In 1934, the spring prolonged across the plains of western Kansas, eastern New Mexico, western Texas, eastern Colorado, and the Oklahoma Panhandle, was a condition that led to an intense sunlight in the mentioned regions (Dust Bowl ). Moreover, it created a devastating drought and the climatic condition degenerated into a catastrophic wind that swept across the area. For example, the daily temperature rose to an all time high of more than 1000 (degrees) Fahrenheit (Dust Bowl). Essentially, many people who lived in the area and those in the neighborhood of the affected regions were able to see clouds of a substantial amount of soil that actually seemed to be covering the sky (Dust Bowl). However, despite the massive dust, the intensity of the sun could not be minimized, meaning that its impacts was still being felt on the landscape (Dust Bowl).
Most living things dried, paving way for the massive wind erosion that really destroyed the dust in a vast area. The witnessed storm could also be seen from a distance as if it was a dark cover on the atmosphere. Furthermore, it was a wind action that increased the erosion, leading to a massive storm and formation of the unique landscape due to soil deposits in various places across the affected regions (Dust Bowl). According to Frank McCourt, in his novel, Angelas Ashes, chapter 15, the author states that:
The gatekeeper waves you in and you have to cycle for miles up long drives past lawns, flower beds, fountains to reach the big house. If the weather is fine people are playing croquet, the protestant game, or strolling around, talking and laughing, all decked out in flowery dress and blazers with crests and golden buttons and youd never know there was a war on (McCourt 315).
The worst effect of the storm was felt towards Texas and Oklahoma, since it was a concentrated dust from the western part of Kansas. It occupied the entire landscape and greatly affected the visibility in those regions (Dust Bowl). This means it was a purely dark cloud that completely blocked the sun rays, thus, created temporary shadows and calm over the areas it occupied. Ideally, a lot was said about the phenomenon, with various theoretical and non-theoretical explanations about the occurrence. The speed of the wind that was driving the cloud increased to an hourly rate of fifty miles, meaning that it was very destructive (Dust Bowl).
Since there are contextual and theoretical proofs of the existence of the Dust Bowl, the opinions that have been presented for the existence of such an ecosystem depends on ones psychological status and level of reasoning. Literally, something that science cannot explain is subject to human manipulations and misinterpretations (Worster 38). For example, paranormal activities are similar to illusive and fictitious stories, which a person might develop to convince the second party of a unique occurrence. This means that the harsh environmental condition in such regions is responsible for the formation of the Dust Bowl.
According to the Texas State Historical Association, the scientists accept that the methodology of interpreting the occurrence cannot be replicated (Henry and Nall 10). The Texas State Historical Association claims that severe droughts occur in about every twenty years, with less severe ones occurring between three and four years (Henry and Nall 11). In these regions, there is regularly less than twenty inches of rainfall in a year. The amount of rainfall was not enough for plants, but it is able to hold a thick wild grass that has the ability to resist unbearable environmental conditions.
According to Timothy Egan, if the thick wild grass was stitched on the prairie, the roots of these grasses would hold down the region's soils (Egan 14). However, in the years between 1931 and 1937, an inadequate rainfall and extreme sunshine led to a drought that became so severe to an extent that the grass did not survive, leading to a serious soil erosion by the wind. This grass not being present is what led to the Dust Bowl (Egan 17). In short, a strong wind blew a cloud of dust in its direction, thus forming bowls of different shapes across the affected regions. It was basically unbearable for people to live in such regions, because the already formed dust bowl was vulnerable to further wind erosion and deposited in different places.
The available pieces of land were used to increase farm hectares. The Dust Blows in western Kansas, eastern New Mexico, western Texas, eastern Colorado, and the Oklahoma Panhandle were controversial land forms, which science and human beings could not explain sufficiently, because they continued changing in terms of location and shape. According to the Texas State Historical Association, in Texas alone, the number of farms increased from 436,038 in the year 1920 to 495,489, within a period of ten years (Henry and Nall 14). These were all farmers using such farmlands for agriculture. According to Frank McCourt, in his novel Angelas Ashes, chapter 15, the author states that:
Now hes back to overcoats and a bolster that sends up a cloud of feathers when you touch it. Mum says, Pity about you. Im sorry about your troubles. The Abbot has his own bed, and my mother has the small room. Were all together again, no Laman tormenting us. We make tea and fried bred and sit on the kitchen floor (McCourt 319).
Due to the increased need for agricultural products, farming activities became so common. This is because the soil dried, since it was highly exposed to the dry weather conditions and, thus, fragmented to sand (Egan 27). Though it was persistent, the disappearance of the grass and other plants in the areas bordering and those, occupied by Dust Blows in western Kansas, eastern New Mexico, western Texas, eastern Colorado, was difficult to clarify. According to White, a scientific research has not yielded fruit on the matter, and people only base their arguments on assumptions and environmental changes in the affected regions (White). There are researchers, who have claimed that the Dust Blow was a graveyard, since people cannot survive well in such areas. Many people watched the occurrence from a distance, since the cloud of dust was huge and catastrophic. The farmers themselves must have caused the dust bowl. They would farm and at the same time graze their livestock on these lands, thus, depleting the natural thick grass that covers the region. The imagination of being trapped in the Dust Bowl made many people avoid the area, fearing for their lives. Scientists assume that since the area usually experiences high wind and heavy storm, such occurrences could cover residential places, leading to deaths. This means that many people started avoiding the specific zones that experienced heavy storms (Egan 32). Therefore, it means that the scientific documentaries and personal reflections about the occurrence have a significant correlation with the norms of people living in the affected areas. Normally, dry weather conditions have always been witnessed in the grassland area and prairie land, but such extreme conditions of sand storms had not been witnessed before.
In addition, the Dust Bowl was recognized by the Board of Geographic Names in the US due to the impacts of soil erosion and high number of people, who were mysteriously displaced without information of their whereabouts (Worster 41). Increased human activities actually exposed the soil to the wind erosion, since there was no vegetation to hold the soil. This, however, led to the government taking measures to ensure that it protected citizens from the impacts of such an event in future. The main controversial issue about the impacts of the Dust Bowl is the claim that there was a number of people, who vanished there, could not be accounted for, but some were not near the place during their disappearance. Indeed, this sounds as a unique and contentious issue for archeologists, who have studied the area and people living there. For example, according to White, nothing in the form of human remains could be discovered (White). Moreover, the Dust Bowl discovered in 1934 was without any person. Dead bodies that were discovered around the affected area were actually not within the Dust Bowls, but miles away from the place. Due to the mysteries surrounding the Dust Bowl occurrence, many people still attributed them to catastrophic, environmental and strange powers in the regions.
In May 1934, a dust storm covered the white house; this led to the government reacting to find a solution to the problem (Gregory 111). The Dust Bowl was so catastrophic that one would wonder about the environmental conditions that were responsible for the storm. In addition, other crucial questions lingered around people in the affected regions. Some issues indeed disturbed many people, for instance, whether human activities in the regions were solely responsible for the draught or it was just a catastrophic event. Literally, no convincing explanation has been put forward to clarify the phenomenon.
The government had also realized that it was the increased farming activities that caused the Dust Bowl. This led to the creation of the Soil Conservation Services (Gregory 111). The program was meant to repossess this land from the occupants by the government by purchasing it from them (Worster 44). It is predominantly through religious or cultural beliefs that the people might use to explain such activities, for instance, environmental changes. Typically, one would argue that since culture varies across the diverse groups of people, the explanation for catastrophic activities takes different directions according to the peoples beliefs (Gregory 111). These measures by the government show that the Dust Bowl was mainly accelerated by human reasons. Thus, the reason the government decided to reduce human activity was to end the calamity and ensure it does not happen again.
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In summary, the Dust Bowl that covered western Kansas, eastern New Mexico, western Texas, eastern Colorado, and the Oklahoma Panhandle in the 1930s was so catastrophic that it affected several operations in the affected region. It caused a destructive drought, and the resultant condition led to a tragic wind that swept across the area, with daily average temperatures rising beyond 1000 Fahrenheit. It was obvious that a number of human activities, which were carried to increase the agricultural productivity, led to the soil erosion. However, it is essential to note that the destruction of topsoil was merely attributed to the human hypothesis and actions. This indicated that they were not dependable for making future decisions, but acted as platforms for formulating future research arguments. This is because the hypotheses were subject to future conditions, thus kept shifting from one individual to another.
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