Current Events & Trends: Dust-bowl America returning?

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Dust-bowl America returning?

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Yet more corn was planted this year than in perhaps 70 years—in hopes of a record harvest. Instead the crops of the corn-belt states of the American Midwest wilt badly from record temperatures combined with bone-dry weather. Factor in unusually low grain stockpiles, and among the effects America is now buying corn from Brazil.

The Christian Science Monitor reports: "The hottest July on record in the Lower 48 and scant rainfall have created the widest US drought since 1956, wiping out much of the corn and soybean crops, which are used globally and domestically for food, feed, and ethanol production. In the US, which is the world's top exporter of corn, more than half the crop is now considered in 'poor' condition. The Agriculture Department on Friday [Aug. 10] slashed yield estimates by 12 percent, from 146 bushels per acre to 123 bushels per acre.

"American farmers had planted the largest corn crop ever this year, in response to high commodity prices and high global demand. The US was supposed to be 'swimming' in corn this fall. Instead, the harvest will be a 'train wreck,' Kelly Wiesbrock, a fund manager for Harvest Capital Strategies, tells the Reuters news service" (Patrik Jonsson, "Alarms Sound Over World Food Supply as Drought Wilts US Corn Belt," Aug. 10, 2012).

Food prices are soaring to record levels. The price of corn has risen over 40 percent in just a short while. Up to 75 percent of U.S. processed food contains corn. And unless significant rainfall materializes soon, the wheat and soybean crop is sure to suffer as well. If that weren't bad enough, federal laws mandate that about 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop be converted into ethanol to be mixed with gasoline for automobile fuel.

Bad weather of whatever kind brings back the debate of whether the culprit happens to be climate change or merely an act of nature. Many do not even consider the God dimension. Those who really believe in the existence of a personal God know that He ultimately controls the weather and can use it for blessing or judgment. Our Creator can punish national immorality or warn of worse to come by sending drought on the land (Leviticus 26:19-20 Leviticus 26:19-20 [19] And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: [20] And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.
American King James Version×
; Deuteronomy 28:24 Deuteronomy 28:24The LORD shall make the rain of your land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down on you, until you be destroyed.
American King James Version×
; 2 Chronicles 6:26-31 2 Chronicles 6:26-31 [26] When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against you; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess your name, and turn from their sin, when you do afflict them; [27] Then hear you from heaven, and forgive the sin of your servants, and of your people Israel, when you have taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain on your land, which you have given to your people for an inheritance. [28] If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillars; if their enemies besiege them in the cities of their land; whatever sore or whatever sickness there be: [29] Then what prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all your people Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house: [30] Then hear you from heaven your dwelling place, and forgive, and render to every man according to all his ways, whose heart you know; (for you only know the hearts of the children of men:) [31] That they may fear you, to walk in your ways, so long as they live in the land which you gave to our fathers.
American King James Version×
; Haggai 1:5-11 Haggai 1:5-11 [5] Now therefore thus said the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. [6] You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but you have not enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earns wages earns wages to put it into a bag with holes. [7] Thus said the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. [8] Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, said the LORD. [9] You looked for much, and, see it came to little; and when you brought it home, I did blow on it. Why? said the LORD of hosts. Because of my house that is waste, and you run every man to his own house. [10] Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. [11] And I called for a drought on the land, and on the mountains, and on the corn, and on the new wine, and on the oil, and on that which the ground brings forth, and on men, and on cattle, and on all the labor of the hands.
American King James Version×

Our Bible study aid The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy not only summarizes the prophetic legacy of American success as a nation, pinning down its historic ethnic origins, but also shows how God will severely punish the nation if it continues headlong on its downward, decadent path. (Sources: The Christian Science Monitor, Financial Times, Time, USA Today.)