Long term demographic trends in the Great Plains?
by haplopia, Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 03:37:23 PM EST
Does anyone here hail from the great flat spaces of the West, the area some people call 'The Bush Belt' because of their electoral trends?
I'm from the TX Panhandle and I realized long ago, that our way of life out there isn't going to work for long. We're draining the Oglala Aquafier by growing cotton and all that. I can't even begin to quantify the dangers of all the fertilizer runoff or the cr-p from the Pantex nuclear weapons facilty. A bit further north in corn and wheat country, streching from Oklahoma up to the Dakotas, family farms are losing to agribusiness and lenders. They can't compete for all sorts of reasons, including old school subsidies co-opted by big multicountry corporations, kids running off to cities, etc.
I believe the West is an arid place and its given to periods of awful drought. I have a decent scientific education and I can't imagine how these problems can be addressed by simple technological means. Look up the 'line of zero moisture balance' if you'd like to get a start on the fundemental issues. Then compare that to how quickly we're taking water from the land. Its just sad.
Does anyone out here have thoughts, or even better, some data on how the Great Plains are changing? I think it has been happening for quite some time but we'll only begin to see the effects, on both the level of the Electoral College and the House/Senate Representation.
In the next decade as the existing population ages, this could be huge. I wonder what you think...