1930s dustbowl in reverse

To the editor:

In Malibu, the Joad family loads furniture on their 2014 Lexus.

They’re heading to the Keweenaw Peninsula in the middle of Lake Superior where they will never worry about drought, earthquakes, or high crime again.

If this drought persists for years and whole cities dry up, where do Californians go?

Will America’s Midwest and East Coast look like Lebanon’s or Jordan’s refugee camps? Let’s do the math! If 10 percent of California’s 40 million people – or 4 million – move, roughly one million empty houses east of the Rockies might contain them. First, vacation destinations such as the Keweenaw and Florida with many empty homes would be quickly bought up.

Next, empty farm towns in the heartland. Last, the Great Rust and Crime Belts.

During the 1930’s dust bowl, most people left Oklahoma and Kansas. What if 20 million had to leave California? Where would they go?

Tom Dumble

CALUMET