The First Green New Deal
Monday September 21, 2020 | Craig Eyermann
Chester Nez grew up on the “Checkerboard,” an area of land broken up into privately owned plots adjacent to the Navajo reservation in northern New Mexico. There, his family tended its herds of sheep and goats, eking out a living through subsistence farming, much as their Navajo ancestors had done in the difficult environment. By modern standards, they would be considered to be living in near extreme poverty.
It was the era of the Dust Bowl. High temperatures and severe drought combined with traditional and early mechanized farming methods to dry out and loosen the topsoil in the nation’s southwestern plains. Topsoil that blew away with the winds in massive dust clouds during the 1930s. It was both an economic and environmental disaster. (more…)