The Power of Scarcity

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One thing I took away from the article was just how under abundant the planet is, especially in some areas, and how sublime nature is.

"Both in the novel and in the desert itself, water's conspicuous absence is what makes it so powerful. The flooding that climaxes the novel is thematically situated to provide maximum counterpoint to the drought which originally forced the Joads to migrate west. Disenfranchised and dehumanized, the Joads can only curse the rising floodwaters even as they once prayed for a deluge to feed their parched crops. The cycle of alienation appears complete; people whose humanity was once integrally tied to the land and the weather now care nothing for the growing season or the health of the earth. Their survival has come to depend on shelter from the elements rather than the elements themselves."

This quote shows both of the original points I made quite well. The first is the absence of water, or under abundance, and how powerful it can be. The absence of water during a certain time lead to an entire people having to migrate west in order to find work, an entire culture was uprooted simply because of scarcity. This phenomenon, not necessarily this particular one, has happened countless times in the Earth's existence. Today there is a scarcity of oil, which leads to high gas prices (keep in mind I'm using scarcity as in the battle between unlimited human wants, and limited resources, so while there is not a "shortage" of oil, there is not enough to satisfy our wants completely).  In the 30's there was a shortage of jobs all around, and some people became hobos or even took their own lives as a result. This article made me think just how there is never quite enough of anything to go around, and made me realize the full extent of the power of scarcity.

The other thing I saw in the article is simple how powerful nature is. In the quote from before, it mentions how there was such a lack of rain, and then there was a flood. While this did not actually happen, seeing as it was from a book, occurrences like this DO happen in real life as well. While we can control where we go and how we react to the elements, no one can change the elements. There is no way any of us could have stopped hurricane Katrina, or the tsunami from 2004. I especially like how the article put it, when it said "Their survival has come to depend on shelter from the elements rather than the elements themselves." No matter what we as a people do, we cannot hide from mother nature.


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Aja Hannah said:

In the Environment class I am taking, we are discussing the same thing. The human footprint, renewable resources, and supply/demand. It's hard to think that some of the things we have on the planet won't be here soon because we are using all of it up and/or we are using so much of one resource that it leaves not enough for other people or animals. Animals can't adapt and become extinct.

Also, about the power of the elements, the article reminded me how strong water can be and wind too. We used to use these things (and are further developing them today) as a means of renewable energy.

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