Clements Center Noon Talks

William deBuys

An Update on a Great Aridness: Two Years Later

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 
The DeGolyer Library on the campus of Southern Methodist University
6404 Hyer Lane at McFarlin Blvd.
12 noon to 1 p.m

Two years ago, William deBuys wrote A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest (Oxford University Press, 2011) which examined the precariousness of life in the Southwest and the likely impact on the region of climate change, which promises to transform the Southwest as emphatically as it is already altering the Arctic. In this talk, deBuys, Clements Center Senior Fellow and author of six books, will give an update on climate change, new data, and its impact on the Southwest since A Great Aridness was published.  

DeBuys states that “climate change only makes more urgent the big task that has always been before us: to learn how to live in the marvelous arid lands of this continent without further spoiling them. It is an old challenge. We have already had a lot of practice, and we should be better at it. We can be.”

DeBuys earned an MA and PhD in American Civilization from the University of Texas at Austin. He was named a Lyndhurst Fellow for 1986-1988, a Carl and Florence King Fellow with the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at SMU in 1999-2000, and a Guggenheim Fellow in 2008-2009. DeBuys returned to SMU as a Clements Center Senior Fellow in 2014 to complete David Weber's unfinished volume, First Impressions of the Southwest. DeBuys lives on the farm he has tended since 1976 in the remote village of El Valle in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains between Santa Fe and Taos.