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; Deuteronomy 28:24; 2 Chronicles 6:26-31; Haggai 1:5-11).

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.)