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  1. #21
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    Default Re: No problems in Canada - think again!

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    good morning dean. you are probably better read than i on gmo's, what's your take?
    This is a bit OT for this thread, but my take on GMO's is this....

    Yes, there are many mechanisms where genes are transferred from one organism to another (most notably, gut microbes tend to pick up genes that help digest food from the microbes that live on that food).

    This is not a targeted or directed process...it is part of how life exists, how life, evolution, and "biological time" unfolds. It isn't strictly random....there is some reason to how this works (a leaf is likely to harbor microbes that can metabolize some aspect of that leaf....it isn't just random chance that if I start eating that leaf that genes that would help me metabolize that leaf are shared with my already present gut flora).

    50,000 people (more or less) die in car accidents every year. Some of this is more or less random...and we are willing to accept that (the value of car transportation outweighs the cost in life). ...but in any case where such deaths are not random (ie, drunk drivers, poorly maintained cars, no license, etc), we take great pains to eliminate. What if those 50,000 deaths were not random...what if they were targeted?

    Exactly. A random vehicle death is not the same thing as a targeted vehicle death. The same mechanism (a car running someone over) is at play, but one is punishable, and one is not.

    The lottery is the lottery (and people play it) because it is a random system. If the lottery were rigged so that only beekeepers won, how many non-beekeepers would buy tickets?

    GMO's rely on mechanisms that do exist in nature....but once we start applying these mechanisms in a targeted, human centric manner, we are no longer doing anything natural. What are the consequences? I have some ideas, but essentially it's like going into Vegas with loaded dice.....you might win some money, but the fact that you can "win at will" throws the entire casino system out of balance.

    deknow
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  2. #22
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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    Thanks for the link. Good read!

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    thanks for your thoughtful answer dean.

    another poster points out that agriculture as practiced by humans has never been 'natural'.

    it appears that only time will tell if the correct balance of risk/benefit is acheived with gmo's.

    so far, there seem to be more upsides than downsides, jmho.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i'll answer that when you provide me the reference for your claim:

    "The pollen is contaminated with the neurotoxic pesticide (Imidacloprid/ Clothianidin/ Thiamethoxam) - at levels well above that which kills bees in the lab."
    OK - this is not really the place to get into detailed analysis of an academic research paper - but I will give you the short version.

    Krupke's paper was noted worldwide because it found that there were multiple routes of exposure to bees near corn/ maize fields:

    1. Bees were killed outright by exposure to planter dust - which contained huge levels of Clothianidin
    2. Bees were killed by consuming pollen collected from treated plants - in which levels of Clothianidin exceeded the LD50 (lethal acute dose at which 50% of exposed bees died)
    3. Soil was found to be contaminated with Clothianidin at levels above the LD50
    4. Dandelions growing nearby were found to be contaminated with Clothianidin above the LD50 level.
    Finally, Clothianidin is known to be highly soluble in water and highly persisten - meaning that it can leach from treated fields into neighbouring un-treated fields where it can be taken up by wildflowers or follow on crops.

    Dr Christian Krupke'e paper includes the following abstracts:

    DISCUSSION

    Because we found these compounds in pollen, oral LD50 is a
    relevant parameter in discussing toxicity to honey bees.

    In terms of acute toxicity (based on the oral LD50 of 2.8 ng/bee [23]), the
    amount of clothianidin on a single maize seed at the rate of
    0.5 mg/kernel contains enough active ingredient to kill over
    80,000 honey bees.

    The levels of clothianidin in bee-collected pollen that we found are
    approximately 10-fold higher than reported from experiments
    conducted in canola grown from clothianidin-treated seed [16

    Detection of clothianidin in pollen, both in stored pollen in cells
    and in pollen traps is a critical finding because clothianidin is even
    more toxic when administered to bees orally, with an LD50 of
    2.8–3.7 ng/bee [23,24].

    Given an average weight of 80–100 mg/ per bee, some of our
    pollen sample concentrations exceed the oral
    LD50.


    This, combined with the result that our samples of dead
    and dying honey bees consistently demonstrated the presence of
    clothianidin, suggests that the levels of both clothianidin and
    thiamethoxam found in our sampling of stored pollen in May of
    2011 may have contributed to the deaths of the bees we analyzed.



    Table 3. Pesticide concentrations found in pollen removed from maize anthers at anthesis. Samples were taken from the
    experimental field where hives were placed. All concentrations shown are expressed as parts per billion.1

    THIAMETHOXAM 1.7ppb

    CLOTHIANIDIN 3.9 ppb


    Table 4. Pesticide concentrations found in pollen samples removed from returning foragers of hives placed adjacent to maize
    fields at planting, all concentrations shown are expressed as parts per billion.1

    1 day after planting 6.7ppb
    2 days afer planting 3.4ppb


    Table 5.
    Pesticide concentrations found in/near apiary colonies during planting period in 2011, all concentrations shown are
    expressed as parts per billion.1

    samples of dead or dying bees contained Clothianidin at concentrations of: 6.9ppb, 10.8ppb, 3.8ppb, 4.9ppb, 13.3ppb


    Table 6. Pesticide concentrations found in unplanted fields near apiary during planting period in 2011, all concentrations shown
    are expressed as parts per billion.1

    Concentration in Dandelions in unplanted fields 1.4ppb, 3.9ppb, 5.1ppb, 1.1ppb, 9.6ppb, 15.4ppb


    Since the generally accepted baseline for Clothianidin toxicity - for Krupke was that the oral LD50 of 2.8 ng/bee - many of the figures quoted above show that the poison insecticide was present at many times this level - up to 15.4ppb in p0ollen, dead bees and wildflowers.

    I wouild stress that ALL of the above dosage levels are libnked to ACUTE LD 50s - i.e. levels at which bees keel over and die within a short time.
    There is no mention here of CHRONIC, SUB LETHAL EXPOSURE to far lower amounts. Many studies have confirmed that when bees are exposed to virtually undetectable amounts of neonics (Alaux, Pettis, Belzunces) they still die. Belzunces in France was able to achieve an LD50 with imidacloprid by feeding bees just 4 ppb in syrup; they all died within 48 hours. However, when he fed them ONE THOUSANDTH of this dose - that is 4 PARTS PER TRILLION ( 4 picogrammes) all of the bees died within 10 days. This is the clearest example of how a poison is hundreds of times more toxic if fed for much lower doses, but over an extended period - which is what happens when bees store contaminated pollen within the hive and feed it to brood and queen over a period of weeks or months.

    That would appear to be very convincing to anyone with an open mind. Not only is this convincing, but it fully explains the observed phenomena of global mass-bee deaths - from Australia, to New Zealand, to France, germany, UK, Italy, USA and Canada. In every case the mass death of colonies is consistent in time and space with the widespread introduction of neonics. you don't actually need lab studies - the Epidemiology is enough to convince any reasonable person what is the root cause here.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    another poster points out that agriculture as practiced by humans has never been 'natural'.
    Of course not. It is a common argument for GMO's to state that there is nothing "unnatural" about GMO....it is rarely (if ever) argued that GMOs are completely contrary to nature, yet "good".

    it appears that only time will tell if the correct balance of risk/benefit is acheived with gmo's.
    so far, there seem to be more upsides than downsides, jmho.
    1. Unless you can list (and quantify) the "downsides" along with the "benefits", it is impossible to compare them.
    2. It seems to me that humans have much the same general motivations as the rest of nature. Unless one can imagine an infinite future of a perfect well run government/regulation of GMO technology, it is impossible not to assume that at some point, in a quest for profit, any "balance" will be breached (think of a Bernie Madoff type of cheat....but one that can escape and reproduce). Already Bt is losing its efficacy because it is easy to build a resistance to something that is always present. How many replicating proteins are we willing to release into the wild? What are we willing to give up in return?

    deknow
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  6. #26
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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    all good points dean.

    cleary, it is erroneous to claim there is nothing 'unatural' about gmo's.

    and the profit motive as you point out can be a deliterious factor.

    one obvious upside would be reduced spraying and drifting of insecticides.

    another might be increased production at a reduced cost, but i'll have to defer to the farmers on that one.

    the biggest downside i'm aware of is the risk posed if quantities of neonics are released in dust clouds when proper precautions are not taken during planting.

    do you have a list of up and downsides with quantification?

    i'm no expert on gmo's nor an industry insider, just someone with a vested interest trying to stay informed.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    The world's most widely used insecticides (Imidacloprid) ... -borderbeeman
    I see this sort of claim bandied about, but I'm puzzled as to what, exactly, it means. It almost certainly isn't based on the amounts applied. So, what exactly does it mean? Applied in the most varied sorts of formulations? How are such things measured?

    I'll be honest, I didn't get much farther than that in reading the initial post. I realize that virtually all insecticides pose threats to virtually all insects that come in contact with them. Despite that, let me just say that I have used and continue to use some pesticides, neonicotinoids and even imidacloprid specifically among them. Ever check to see that sort of active ingredient is in that top-spot application you just made to your pets? If a neonicotinoid can persist for weeks or even months in the ground or in a plant and be transferred after that time to pollen in a plant, is it much more of a stretch to imagine that the waste products excreted by a pet might also contain these systemic insecticides, which could then be taken up by plants growing at those sites, and later transferred into the pollen of flowers produced by those plants?

    I regard broad-leaf herbicides as being among the most detrimental pesticides to bees, yet few people seem to want to tackle addressing the dangers of reducing or eliminating populations of flowering plants that rely on and support populations of pollinating insects.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    cleary, it is erroneous to claim there is nothing 'unatural' about gmo's.
    ...but it is important to understand what the "it's natural" argument is if you want to understand why it is misleading (at best).
    one obvious upside would be reduced spraying and drifting of insecticides.
    Well, it would be...but it doesn't appear to be in practice. GMO corn with Bt inserted into it's DNA (and produced by the plant) has made Bt largely uselss...because it doesn't have to get sprayed....it sprays itself.
    Also, note that almost all of the GMO corn is also seed coated with neonics (an alarming amount by any measure).
    Also note that the other popular GMO option, "roundup ready" actually increases herbicide spraying.

    another might be increased production at a reduced cost, but i'll have to defer to the farmers on that one.
    ...which is also what the farming methods that led the the dust bowl were after.
    the biggest downside i'm aware of is the risk posed if quantities of neonics are released in dust clouds when proper precautions are not taken during planting.
    You've got to clear this up in your head. Imidacloprid is a systemic insecticide that is applied to seed, soil, trunk, or leaf. Imidacloprid is not inserted into the genes of the plant, it is not produced by the plant....it is distributed throughout the plant, and it is often used when GMOs are also used (especially in corn).
    do you have a list of up and downsides with quantification?
    I didn't claim that one could make such an analysis at this point.

    deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
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  9. #29
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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    yep, the unintended consequences and lack of a crystal ball. i guess those prarie land farmers had no way of predicting those years of severe drought and windstorms.

    so do we proceed with advances and trust that in the end we do more good than harm, and learn from our (hopefully not irreversible) mistakes?

    when it comes to feeding the world, do we have safer and sustainable alternatives?

    i don't know enough about it to comment.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    Also, note that almost all of the GMO corn is also seed coated with neon's ... -deknow
    Right. Ironic, but it's true. Purchasing "naked" transgenic seed is a challenge. And, in an ironic sort of way, it makes sense. See, the Bt traits are specific against specific herbivores on corn. Bt traits target European corn borer and corn rootworm larvae and corn earworm and some other specific insects. Those traits drive the price of the seed up, but they don't protect it against insects that might consume the seed before or as it germinates. To protect the investment of the seed, seed companies and growers desire the seed treatments on those pricey seeds.

    I'm still pretty undecided about what this means for bees. I've spent thousands of hours counting insects in corn fields, yet I rarely have encountered more than an isolated individual honey bee at any time in corn. I've never observed them collecting dew or water from guttation in corn. I do not commonly see them collecting pollen from corn. It certainly may happen, and it may happen far more frequently under different sorts of conditions, but I haven't seen much evidence that bees utilize corn fields much.

    You've got to clear this up in your head. -deknow
    I read that much differently than you, I think. The cited study from the U. S. about the risks of seed treatments (neonicotinoids, in particular) stated that the greatest risk to honey bees directly seemed to come from planting under very dry, dusty conditions and allowing dust from those seed treatments to drift onto plants blooming or about to bloom around the edges of those fields. Dandelions, in particular, were cited as a plant that takes up neonicotinoids under those field conditions. That makes sense to me.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    You've got to clear this up in your head. Imidacloprid is a systemic insecticide that is applied to seed, soil, trunk, or leaf. Imidacloprid is not inserted into the genes of the plant, it is not produced by the plant....it is distributed throughout the plant, and it is often used when GMOs are also used (especially in corn).
    You are so right! It seems like many folks are confusing the two. For example:
    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/sick...dified-plants/
    this link doesn't seem to have anything to say about Imidiclorid, it's about GMO.

    Quite frankly, I'm surprised that there aren't more studies concerning the levels of Imidicloprid in corn pollen. I suspect the logic goes something like this--corn is wind pollinated, so we don't need to look at that. I saw something similar concerning using Imidicloprid to control the Emerald Ash Borer. Ash trees don't need bees. What they ignore is, bees DO use ash trees.

    Why don't the Academic and Scientific beekeepers speak up on this? Clearly they should know that just because a plant is wind-pollinated doesn't mean that pollinators don't collect that pollen. I admit to being only recently aware of this info, but surely that's not the case with the experts?

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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    I do not commonly see them collecting pollen from corn. It certainly may happen, and it may happen far more frequently under different sorts of conditions, but I haven't seen much evidence that bees utilize corn fields much.
    My bees often collect pollen from a cornfield close to one of my yards. The seed is treated. I have noticed no problems from this practice and the hives have good survival [100% last year and around 85% this year so far]. But the farmer does not plant with an air planter so I escape that problem.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    Agree with camero on bees in corn, can't say anything about effects on the bees, but the fields can be 'buzzing' although, I don't see a lot of bees, but can sure hear them. It's easy to say gmo and neonics go hand in hand for some crops.... 90% of the corn is gmo.... if 90% was non gmo, I still think most of it would be treated. I hear conflicting reports... France is back pedaling, no noticeable improvements since the ban, but again, I've seen documentaries claim otherwise. I think it warrants study, the persistance bothers me the most.

    deknow, overall use of herbicides have increased I believe when you look at the numbers, but it also comes from the fact that a lot more land became available to farm using the technology. I think if you looked at amounts per acre, there is still a decrease in pesticide usage. I don't understand why people are surprised when resistance comes up. We all know the result of using the same trait over and over is. People just look at the $$, don't want to reduce income with proper rotations or refuge requirements anymore because it's just too easy now.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    I don't understand why people are surprised when resistance comes up. We all know the result of using the same trait over and over is. People just look at the $$, don't want to reduce income with proper rotations or refuge requirements anymore because it's just too easy now.
    Some beekeepers should read this in reference to their mite treatments. That's why some treatments don't work anymore!

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    O.K., so we believe/know/accept that insecticides can be lethal to honey bees. Now, what comes about because of it?

    In the initial post, the summary stated that "neonicotinoids are an unacceptable risk to honey bees." That's pretty strong language. If that risk is truly unacceptable, something has to give. What? Get rid of neonicotinoids? I doubt that will happen any time soon. Stop keeping honey bees? I doubt most beekeepers would go along with that. So, what?

    The initial post also states:

    Scientists at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), together with experts from across Europe, concluded on Wednesday that for imidacloprid "only uses on crops not attractive to honeybees were considered acceptable" because of exposure through nectar and pollen. Such crops include oil seed rape, corn and sunflowers. -borderbeeman
    I checked the EFSA's Web site, and found this press release from Wednesday, January 16, 2013:

    http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/n...aign=beehealth

    I can't find where they state generally that neonicotinoids pose an unacceptable risk to honey bees. They seem to specify that certain formulations and applications under certain conditions pose significant risk to bees, but they also stipulate that they lacked data to make final assessments.

    Keep us posted, if you will, on what steps are taken in Europe regarding registrations and legal uses for some of these chemicals. I don't expect much for changes in North America in the near future based on demand for grains.

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    yep, the unintended consequences and lack of a crystal ball. i guess those prarie land farmers had no way of predicting those years of severe drought and windstorms.
    Some unintended consequences are predictable, some aren't....but you should do a little reading up on the causes of the dust bowl...short term thinking wrt farming practices paid off short term (with predictable long term results).

    so do we proceed with advances and trust that in the end we do more good than harm, and learn from our (hopefully not irreversible) mistakes?
    Talking about "advances" is like talking about "change". What do these advances look like? Who benefits? What are the impacts? What separates an "advancement" from a "mistake"?

    when it comes to feeding the world, do we have safer and sustainable alternatives?
    What does "feeding the world" mean? Who do you want to feed? What resources do you want to spend feeding them? How many humans is the earth supposed to be able to support? Is it in our own best interest to use GMO technology to up the number of humans we can support? Can we expect a stable and "sustainable" result form doing so?



    deknow
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  17. #37
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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    See, the Bt traits are specific against specific herbivores on corn. Bt traits target European corn borer and corn rootworm larvae and corn earworm and some other specific insects...but they don't protect it against insects that might consume the seed before or as it germinates. To protect the investment of the seed, seed companies and growers desire the seed treatments on those pricey seeds.
    Yes, but in fact, the corn rootworm has been developing resistance to Bt.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...82815Z20120309

    ...something that was so predictable, that it was actually predicted.
    http://michaelpollan.com/articles-ar...in-the-garden/


    I read that much differently than you, I think. The cited study from the U. S. about the risks of seed treatments (neonicotinoids, in particular) stated that the greatest risk to honey bees directly seemed to come from planting under very dry, dusty conditions.....[/QUOTE]
    Yes, that is what the study ended up saying...but the effective mode of action of these systemic pesticides is that the plant takes them up and expresses them throughout their tissue. This is entirely different from a Bt gene that is spliced into the DNA of the corn so that the corn itself produces and expresses the toxin.

    deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    Yes, but in fact, the corn rootworm has been developing resistance to Bt. -deknow
    I'm well aware. I stated such things even here on Beesource years ago. I've stated similar things with regards to all sorts of evolutionary adaptations, too. Bees adapting to tolerate mites, mites adapting to more efficiently parasitize those tolerant (or "resistant") bees, and so on the cycle goes.

    But all that is beside the point of this thread. The point here is about neonicotinoids, the risks to bees, and what can/should be done about the situation.

    ... but the effective mode of action of these systemic pesticides is that the plant takes them up and expresses them throughout their tissue. -deknow
    I think we're muddling the issue further here. I read the post by squarepeg as a simple statement of one of the conclusions of the paper. I didn't detect any confusion in his post between neonicotinoids and GMOs. I was attempting to clarify the way I read his comment.

    I do think the idea of "expressing" neonicotinoids by systemic action confuses systemic pesticides and GMOs. Systemic insecticides like neonicotinoids are not "expressed." They are transported (that is, they are "systemic," or enter the vascular system of the plant. "Expression" gives a connotation that the plant is producing the insecticide from genetic information, rather than simply moving an applied chemical throughout the plant.

    But I sense we're splitting hairs here. The real question remains: What will society choose to do about the issue?

    And, more directly to the thread, what are possible recommended courses of action from rehashing ideas like here initially posted in this thread?

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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    dean>"Some unintended consequences are predictable, some aren't....but you should do a little reading up on the causes of the dust bowl...short term thinking wrt farming practices paid off short term (with predictable long term results)."

    i did a little reading on it since you brought it up. the folks at columbia have a different take than yours:

    "had the SSTs been known in advance, it would have been possible to predict that the drought was to occur and, perhaps, the environmental and social catastrophe of the Dust Bowl could have been ameliorated."

    http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div...dustbowl.shtml

    it's not that i disagree that unsustainable farming practices were employed, but to the point of this discussion, humanity has always been and continues to be on one huge learning curve.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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    Default Re: Free Download of all Key Bees & Pesticides Reports

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i did a little reading on it since you brought it up. the folks at columbia have a different take than yours:
    "had the SSTs been known in advance, it would have been possible to predict that the drought was to occur and, perhaps, the environmental and social catastrophe of the Dust Bowl could have been ameliorated."
    ...and how is this a "different take" than mine?

    The paper you cite (and link to) is specifically focused on one aspect of the dustbowl, and asked if the drought could have been predicted. It would be a mistake to claim that this article is about the causes of the dust bowl. The author links to another article (which he is also one of the authors of) which states clearly:
    ....But the Dust Bowl drought was not meteorologically extreme by the standards of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Indeed the 1856-65 drought may have involved a more severe drop in precipitation. It was the combination of drought and poor land use practice that created the environmental disaster.
    Much of the Plains had been plowed up in the decades before the 1930s as wheat cropping expanded west. Alas, while natural prairie grasses can survive a drought the wheat that was planted could not and, when the precipitation fell, it shriveled and died exposing bare earth to the winds. This was the ultimate cause of the wind erosion and terrible dust storms that hit the Plains in the 1930s.
    http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div...dustbowl.shtml


    Regardless, the action that would have had to have been taken to prevent the dust bowl even if we could have predicted the drought would have been to:

    1. Change the weather
    or
    2. Take some measures to mitigate the damage done by unsustainable farming practices

    deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

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