We live in critical times. So has every other generation of American citizens. We cannot realize the promise of our American Revolution by restoring the past. We cannot become the "summer soldier and sunshine patriot" of Thomas Paine's The American Crisis.
We ended the Dust Bowl by returning much of the landscape back to its native state and changing how we treated the land we continue to occupy. And we will end disasters like Hurricane Sandy the same way.
Ken Burns' eloquent film reminds us that the fate of nature and people are bound irrevocably together. We disregard dark clouds of dust looming in the distance at our peril. History is not was, but is.
Ken Burns, America's premiere documentarian, has tackled topics from jazz to the Civil War. His new film chronicles the Dust Bowl, the massive ecological disaster that plagued a large swath of U. S. farmland during the 1930's.
Though the show is aesthetically pleasing in terms of lighting, set, and sound design, the script and the acting are simply not up to par. The show's best moments occur when actors are silent, as the design is able to express itself without the burden of slow-moving dialogue.
As rising temperatures and soaring demands for food and energy put more pressure on our planet's resources, we can invest wisely in food and environmental security by helping America's farmers, ranchers and foresters act as good stewards of our lands and waters.
On April 2nd, after a long wait of 72 years, the 1940 census will be released, and in a historic first, the collection will emerge online in digitized form -- a remarkable snapshot of a nation still recovering from the Great Depression and not yet aware of its approaching entry into war.
It's time for a new Steinbeck. And we had better find her quickly, because what's coming if we don't find a new way of relating to ourselves and the world that we are all part of will make the Dust Bowl look like a tempest in a teapot.