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Free Content Introduction: Special Issue 'Gone with the Wind. Dust Storms and the Globalisation of Anti-Wind Erosion Measures in the Twentieth Century'

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To date there has been no systematic historical investigation of how and in what forums ideas about soil-related threats and models for combating erosion circulated, who were the protagonists involved and how these constellations changed over time. The present Special Issue addresses this gap by examining from different national and chronological perspectives the thesis of the epochal and global significance of the Dust Bowl in the twentieth century. The five articles integrate the conventional Dust Bowl story into a broader reticulation of multidirectional processes of transfer, long-lasting national traditions and regional approaches to soil conservation. Further research requires a better understanding arching across many scales - transnational, national, regional and local - and a closer look at the assemblages of substances, people, expertise, and regulation. The history of anti-wind erosion measures reveals recurring elements in time and space, but also processes of change. The Special Issue seeks to contribute to the generation of new soil stories and demonstrates the abiding intellectual vigour of global environmental history.
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Keywords: Dust storms; afforestation; desertification; shelterbelts; soil degradation; wind erosion

Document Type: Introduction

Publication date: October 1, 2015

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  • The half-yearly journal Global Environment: A Journal of History and Natural and Social Sciences acts as a forum and echo chamber for ongoing studies on the environment and world history, with special focus on modern and contemporary topics. Our intent is to gather and stimulate scholarship that, despite a diversity of approaches and themes, shares an environmental perspective on world history in its various facets, including economic development, social relations, production government, and international relations.
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