Leonardo DiCaprio, Brazil’s Fires and Nuclear Destruction

Leonardo DiCaprio attends a press conference
Toshi Oki/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Leonardo DiCaprio, Brazil’s Fires and Nuclear Destruction

According to most celebrities, media pundits and politicians, the greatest threats to world peace right now are United States President Donald Trump and climate change.

Take, for example, Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, Cristiano Ronaldo and French President Emmanuel Macron—all of whom recently shared dramatic pictures of Brazil’s raging fires. These photos, we are led to believe, provide irrefutable evidence of an imminent planetary apocalypse. Well, as it turns out, all four shared photos that were taken either years ago or of a different location entirely (the photo Madonna posted on Instagram was taken in 1989—30 years ago).

As amusing as this apoplectic fascination with the faux dangers of climate change and Donald Trump is, it is, in fact, dangerous. How? One reason is that it takes the eye off the true threats to human survival. Threats like the breakdown of key international nuclear treaties and the new global nuclear arms race.

In the West, many consider nuclear weapons a bit passé, an outdated threat from a bygone age. How often do you see the threat of nuclear war being seriously discussed on cnn or Fox News, or in the pages of the New York Times? Compare the level of concern about nuclear conflict with the level of alarm about climate change or Donald Trump or Brexit or America’s problem with racism. There is no comparison.

Yet nuclear war, or some sort of nuclear crisis, is much more of a threat to human survival than these other issues.

When it comes to the topic of nuclear weapons, there is a tendency to assume that the global nuclear equation hasn’t changed much since the end of the Cold War. In this equation, America and Russia control 90 percent of the nuclear warheads, while the rest are split between Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan and Israel. Many think because all these countries are pointing their nuclear warheads at one another, creating a stalemate of sorts, that nuclear war is unlikely.

The truth is, the nuclear equation is changing quickly and dramatically. A new global nuclear arms race is underway. Here are some notable developments from just this year:

  • In February, the U.S. announced that it was withdrawing from the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, following repeated breaches by Russia. This crucial treaty was responsible for eliminating thousands of nuclear warheads and preventing both nations from developing and using medium-range nuclear missiles.
  • The expiration of the treaty has initiated conversations in Europe, and especially Germany, about the need to develop Europe’s nuclear capabilities. Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s former vice chancellor and foreign minister, wrote in an article titled “Europe and the New Nuclear-Arms Race”: “Europe is now entering a potentially dangerous period and must play a much more active role in the nuclear-arms debate.”
  • The New start Treaty, the last remaining nuclear treaty between Russia and America, expires in February 2021. As it currently stands, it is unlikely that Russia and America will renew the treaty, leaving both to engage in a full-fledged nuclear arms race.
  • Tensions are high between India and Pakistan, historic enemies and nuclear powers. Conventional war is a real possibility; some believe as early as October or November. Speaking to his nation recently, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan noted the high-stakes nature of any conflict. “If this issue worsens to a war situation,” he said, “then one must remember that both the countries are nuclear states. And no one wins a nuclear war. It is not like destruction will take place here; the repercussions will be felt across the world.”
  • Earlier this month, a nuclear explosion at a military base in northern Russia killed five scientists and created a cloud of radioactive gases. Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear agency, admitted that it had been testing new weapons, but provided no further details. Evidence confirms the explosion of some sort of small nuclear reactor. The consensus among Western experts and intelligence officials is that the failed test was part of Russia’s attempt to develop a nuclear cruise missile (a superweapon that nato calls the ssc-X-9 Skyfall).
  • In May, there were rumors that Russia had secretly installed nuclear missiles in Venezuela. Russia has publicly admitted to sending military personnel and nuclear-capable strategic bombers to Venezuela.
  • In March, a senior official said the Russian government had deployed “squadrons” of nuclear-capable bomber aircraft to the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
  • One of the key themes in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s State of the Union speech this year and last year was the powerful new weapons Russia has added to both its conventional and nuclear artilleries. The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, a report produced by the U.S. Department of Defense, confirmed Putin’s boasts: “In addition to modernizing ‘legacy’ Soviet nuclear systems, Russia is developing and deploying new nuclear warheads and launchers. These efforts include multiple upgrades for every leg of the Russian nuclear triad of strategic bombers, sea-based missiles and land-based missiles. Russia is also developing at least two new intercontinental range systems, a hypersonic glide vehicle, and a new intercontinental, nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo.”
  • Just yesterday, an article in the South China Morning Post reported that China will feature its strategic nuclear missiles and advanced fighter jets during its National Day military parade on October 1. “Military analysts said the show of nuclear strength was intended to demonstrate China’s enhanced deterrence and second-strike capability, especially to the United States,” reported the Post.
  • Meanwhile, Iran is known to be in breach of the 2015 nuclear deal and is actively working on various components of its nuclear program. Over the summer, Tehran admitted that it had exceeded both the agreed upon limits to its uranium stockpiles, as well as the level of purity. Meanwhile, in July, Iran conducted ballistic missile tests aimed to improve its capacity to deliver a nuclear payload.
  • To the east, North Korea continues to aggressively develop its nuclear program. An upcoming report to be released by Japan’s government will reportedly identify North Korea’s ballistic and nuclear programs as a “serious and imminent threat.” U.S. intelligence officials estimate that Pyongyang now has as many as 60 nuclear warheads and that it has successfully developed miniaturized nuclear warheads capable of fitting inside ballistic missiles.

Each one of these points marks a major development in the global nuclear equation. When you look at them all together, it is clear that the post-Cold War nuclear equation is radically different and much more alarming than most people recognize. Today, Russia, China and North Korea have moved beyond simply seeking nuclear weapons; they are aggressively seeking far more sophisticated and powerful nuclear capabilities. Meanwhile Iran is on the precipice of developing nuclear warheads that it can use to create chaos and usher in the return of the 12th imam.

How is it that in spite of this alarming picture, all most people can talk about is eliminating plastic straws?

If you are concerned about a coming nuclear explosion, I encourage you to read Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door,’ by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry. This booklet is built around Jesus Christ’s prophecy in Matthew 24, which describes the time we are living in today and forecasts worldwide nuclear devastation.

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved …” (verses 21-22). These verses are about a time when there is the potential to destroy all living creatures—a time of tribulation exceedingly worse than at any other point in history. This isn’t a reference to climate change; Jesus is referring to nuclear tribulation.

“So all this nuclear insanity is also a part of the sign of the Second Coming and the sign of the end of the age when Christ will save humanity from totally exterminating itself!” writes Mr. Flurry.

We cannot afford to take the present nuclear arms race casually. It is many times more alarming than the fires in Brazil (as devastating as they are) or the presidency of Donald Trump. Don’t make the common mistake of believing fake news and overlooking real news.

Believe your Bible. Believe Christ’s warning in Matthew 24. The world events discussed in this chapter are tragic, but they are leading to the most joyous and exciting event ever—the return of Jesus Christ.