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Letters: Environmental disaster caused the Great Depression

To the editor,

Today when students and news pundits talk about the Great Depression they always start with the stock market crash; this is not when the Great Depression started.

The crash was the result of a lager environmental disaster that had been griping the Midwest for years, the dust bowl. Crop prices were so low that many famers had no choice but to farm beyond what their land was cable of producing. This eroded the topsoil and then farmers could not produce anything. Then people could not eat and lived in desert-like conditions.

It wasn't until the formation of the Civilian Conservation Corps, which went out and planted billions of trees, that the land began to heal. Then farmers had to practice different farming techniques, and then farms started to make money again. 

The lesson here is that we cannot hurt the land for short term economic gains; otherwise something much worse could come our way.  We think it is bad when we have to cut back when we go to store. What if our farms could not feed us?  What if we could not let our kids go outside to play because the air was too polluted for them to breathe?  What if we could not drink the water that comes out of our tap or if no water even comes out of the tap? 

If we do not look at what happened in the 1920s and 1930s we could move from a recession into the Dark Ages.

Erik Packard,