Rust, a parasite growing on barberry bushes brought west by settlers, severely damages wheat crops. Later epidemics of wheat rust lead to the outlawing of barberry bushes in 1918.
Epidemics occur again in 1904 and 1916 before the state outlaws the culprit carriers. The problem is eradicated over the next decades through the efforts of “Barberry Bees,” organized to dig up bushes, “Rust Busters Clubs” in schools, and bounties paid for reporting barberry in the 1940s.*
Some days it is burdensome to read chapters of history like the Rust Plague. It feels like humanity, myself included of course, is a one-trick pony. We fail over and over to see cause and effect.
When confronted with the tragic, we react with externalizing our pain. It must be someone else’s fault that I have this problem. Moreover, You are a convenient target for our misuse or overuse of natural resources.
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