They paved paradise

“Surrounded Islands” by Christo and Jeanne-Claude (1983).

From Moderan (1971) by David R. Bunch:

It was May. Everything was up; everything was out; Central Seasons had handed that big iron switch to ON to send old winter reeling once again. The plastic snow sheets had turned over and under as wheels spun deep in the ground, and the spring yard sheets had come up and over on the drums in that fair and equal exchange that makes seasons switch no problem in our great Moderan. How Nature used to struggle to bloom those blooms up! Everything in conflict, fighting for a toe hold, beating the frost down or being beaten down . . . petty struggle . . . to nothing . . . and all so unnecessary. Now we have it all on giant drums with yard sheets, divided into four – winter part, spring part, summer part and fall – and turning a season up in plastic is just play now where once old Nature struggled . . . hard.

From The Dust Bowl (2012) by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns:

Though it originated on the northern Plains, they referred to it all as “Kansas dust.” And many of them quickly had ideas about how to stop it from blowing across the continent. A Chicago business believed covering the Plains with its waterproof paper might do the job, while a steel company in Pittsburgh thought its wire netting would work better. The Barber Asphalt Company of New Jersey estimated it could spread an “asphalt emulsion” over the land for $5 an acre. A woman from North Carolina suggested that shipping junk autos west would simultaneously beautify her state while stopping the wind erosion on the Plains.

Other ideas included building wind deflectors 250 feet high, or planting Jerusalem artichokes, or using rocks from the Rocky Mountains, or spreading leaves and garbage from eastern cities. Someone else proposed using concrete, with holes carefully placed for planting seeds. None of the suggestions seemed to take into consideration that the area in question was 100 million acres.


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