That thought also occured to me. In a "natural" eco-system, the mix of plant
and animal life tends to mitigate the impact of short term climatic shifts.
According to the news reports I've seen, this "drought" started last
October. A single season with lesser rainfall. It seems to me the term
drought used to be used to define climatic shifts of much longer duration.
I am entirely struck by the television coverage of farmers disking failed
wheat into dry soil. In fact, two days ago, I startled my husband as I
yelled "whatever happened to no-till?" at the TV screen.
I believe we have created this situation, ourselves, by encouraging the
consolidation of smaller more diverse farms into large factory-style
production units. By the regionalization of crop and animal production i. e.
vegetables in California and Florida, fresh citrus in the southwest, juice
citrus in Florida (now Brazil & Argentina), wheat in Kansas, Texas and
Government farm policy that encourages fence to fence planting also
discourages the use of hedgerows and windbreaks.
In a natural system, there are riparian areas, open meadows, chapparal areas
and mixed forests. The Great Plains in their original state had more plant
species diversity than currently exists. Plants that thrived in wet
conditions or droughty conditions, those released by fire, annuals and
perennials all lived together on the Plains. Animals that used various
species moved through the area at different times rather than being forced by
confinement to overuse all species.
We have seriously disrupted every ecosytem we have touched and seemingly
failed to learn anything from great disasters like dustbowls and massive
floods. How arrogant we are to believe our technology can overcome our