You might have heard snippets of conversations about food and water shortages, changing climates, and other worrisome topics. If you've brushed them off as unimportant or unrealistic, you might want to reconsider that. If you think that humans are too small to impact their environment or cause disasters, consider this — it's already happened.
During the 1930s, when the Great Depression was already wreaking havoc on the lives of millions, a series of droughts hit the American prairies. The droughts were simply natural events, but the damage done to the land — and subsequently to the residents' lives — could have been easily prevented.
This looks like an immense fire, but it's dust.
The Depression caused the price of wheat to fall, and though the government advised cutting back on production, many farmers planted even more crops. Prior to this, World War I and various other world events had caused prices to increase, and the area saw farmland multiply from 1900 to 1920. The increased areas of farmland meant less natural spaces and more potential for erosion. On top of the erosion, many cotton farmers habitually burned their fields at the end of the season, which sucked nutr