Man's physical universe



Our Farm Lands Are Headed for the Sea.

Someone has said that "dictatorship, rather than democracy, has

characterized civihzed man's attitude toward nature during many ages

in the past." Instead of cooperating with nature, we have tried to

impose our imperious will ; but nature, acting slowly but surely, continues

to work in accordance with laws that cannot be changed at will.

For example, the Europeans came to North America as ruthless

conquerors, exploiting its rich natural resources and its native population,

taking what they wanted, and destroying the rest. They cut down

Fig. 61. Soil erosion on a Brown County farm. (Courtesy of the Farm Security

Administration. Photograph by Jung.)

and burned forests to provide fields for crops and pastures for animals.

They drained swamps and lakes to make available the rich land at

their bottoms.

he is

It is not until recently that man has begun to see that

losing some of his most precious resources because he has failed

to study the ways of nature and has failed to seek nature as an ally.

Man has tried and is still trying to force nature to do his will and has

failed because of his ignorance.

When the natural processes of erosion are disturbed, soils, which

took centuries to deposit, may be removed in only a few years. This

process is called accelerated erosion.

If our soil continues to be carried away at the present rate, our huge

dams and reservoirs will become useless within a hundred years; Mead

Lake, impounded by Boulder Dam, will fill up.

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