Rich Land, Poor Land: A Study of Waste in the Natural Resources of America

Rich Land, Poor Land: A Study of Waste in the Natural Resources of America

Rich Land, Poor Land: A Study of Waste in the Natural Resources of America

Rich Land, Poor Land: A Study of Waste in the Natural Resources of America

Excerpt

The story goes that an old Nebraska farmer was sitting on his porch during a dust storm. Asked what he was watching so intently, he replied: "I'm counting the Kansas farms as they go by."

The people of America have been sitting on their porches watching their continent go by. Kansas farms are good farms, and the North American continent is a good continent. Its beauty, its prodigality in natural resources, its great north and south wedge laid broadside on the temperate zone, make it perhaps the best continent on earth. It is not a little tragic that we should sit on our porches while this great, good continent goes out from under us. It is our homeland. It is where our children must stay. When it is gone -- in the sense of a hospitable environment -- where shall we live? Many Kansas farms have gone; the whole Dust Bowl is going. Other areas, as we shall see, involving millions of people have lost their resource base of land, water or mineral deposit. We have been called the richest nation ever known, and probably we are -- now. But how rich is the most lavish . . .

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