Anthropocene Apocalypse – Soil erosion – Woody Guthrie – Dust Storm Disaster lyrics – the true story of human created disaster.

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The whole region of Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, once a fertile land was transformed into a great dust bowl in the 1930s due to over-farming, grubbing out of hedges, removal of trees and over-grazing. The quality of the soil cohesion was reduced and it was subject to erosion. When it was dry and the wind got up it blew the soil away creating huge dust storms that buried whole regions. It destroyed communities, made farming impossible and created illness and mass migration.

It is a salutary lesson for the way we manage the world. We cannot simply go on and on mistreating the land, polluting and increasing our population. There is a tipping point.

And if you think it was bad for humans just consider the impact on the flora and fauna!

Woody Guthrie documented this disaster in one of his many brilliant songs about the devastating effect of this man-made disaster.

Dust Storm Disaster
(aka. The Great Dust Storm)
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie

On the 14th day of April of 1935,
There struck the worst of dust storms that ever filled the sky.
You could see that dust storm comin’, the cloud looked deathlike black,
And through our mighty nation, it left a dreadful track.

From Oklahoma City to the Arizona line,
Dakota and Nebraska to the lazy Rio Grande,
It fell across our city like a curtain of black rolled down,
We thought it was our judgement, we thought it was our doom.

The radio reported, we listened with alarm,
The wild and windy actions of this great mysterious storm;
From Albuquerque and Clovis, and all New Mexico,
They said it was the blackest that ever they had saw.

From old Dodge City, Kansas, the dust had rung their knell,
And a few more comrades sleeping on top of old Boot Hill.
From Denver, Colorado, they said it blew so strong,
They thought that they could hold out, but they didn’t know how long.

Our relatives were huddled into their oil boom shacks,
And the children they was cryin’ as it whistled through the cracks.
And the family it was crowded into their little room,
They thought the world had ended, and they thought it was their doom.

The storm took place at sundown, it lasted through the night,
When we looked out next morning, we saw a terrible sight.
We saw outside our window where wheat fields they had grown
Was now a rippling ocean of dust the wind had blown.

It covered up our fences, it covered up our barns,
It covered up our tractors in this wild and dusty storm.
We loaded our jalopies and piled our families in,
We rattled down that highway to never come back again.