How a natural disaster that happened 90 years ago prophesied our climate-ravaged future

Flooding in India and Bangladesh leaves millions homeless and at least 28 dead

Millions of homes are underwater and at least 28 people have died as widespread flooding caused by monsoons ravaged Bangladesh and northeastern India, Reuters and The Associated Press reported.

Fifteen people were reportedly killed by lightning strikes in Bangladesh, while four died in landslides. At least nine people have been killed in India’s Assam state.

Both countries have called out their armies to help distribute food aid and rescue stranded people, with soldiers using “speedboats and inflatable rafts to navigate through submerged areas,” according to AP.

Rain is expected to continue through Sunday, at least, exacerbating what one Bangladeshi government expert described as the region’s worst flooding since 2004…READ ON

How a natural disaster that happened 90 years ago prophesied our climate-ravaged future

Imagine that you’re a farmer during the Great Depression. Since the stock market crashed in 1929, you have struggled to make ends meet for yourself and your family. If you lived in certain regions of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas or other Plains states, you would stare in horror as giant clouds of dust overtook your land. Your hard work, your future plans, your very life itself — all being overwhelmed by, and buried in, piles of dust.

Dust storm approaching Stratford, Texas, April 18, 1935. (Wikimedia Commons / NOAA / George E. Marsh Album)

This horrific scenario was quite commonplace during the United States during the 1930s, and is referred to today as the dust bowl. After the Homestead Act of 1862 made it possible for white Americans to buy western land at extremely low prices, aspiring farmers began snapping up the newly-acquired western territories for cattle grazing and planting vast fields. Unfortunately, they did not apply dryland farming techniques, or agricultural methods that protect the soil from wind erosion when farmers must do their job without irrigation. As a result, the native and deep-rooted grasses that had kept the dirt in place for centuries was suddenly gone…READ ON

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