Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

What the Dust Bowl Can Teach Us About Climate Change

If you were making your way across parts of Texas last year, you would be forgiven for wondering if it all wouldn’t simply burn up and turn to dust. A new documentary shows how that literally happened to a wide swath of the country during the thirties because of human actions.

“The dust bowl was the greatest manmade ecological disaster in the history of the United States, and perhaps the world,” says documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, who has a new two-part series on the dust bowl airing Sunday and Monday on PBS. In Texas, the dust bowl hit the panhandle hard. And during the drought last year, dust storms once again kicked up around Lubbock, with an amazing intensity you have to see to believe.

In the interview above with Inside Climate News, Burns talks about some of the lessons to be learned as we enter a new era where manmade activity is once again changing the climate.


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