A Confluence of Catastrophes
Over the years we have become used to periodic drought, flood, wildfire, recession, boom and bust cycles, race riots, famine (in faraway places), wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes and more recently have adjusted our lifestyles to the expectation of occasional terrorist attack.
It seems that we have proven our ability to cope with each of these occurrences as and when they occur, to recover from them, absorb the loss, and get back to the normal course of things. Life goes on. The optimist within us wins out every time.
Yet something unique in this tired old world’s history is now occurring which is testing the mettle of the realists within our society, the real thinkers, those who deeply consider just what is going on upon planet Earth. All of a sudden, there appears to be a confluence of numerous catastrophes that are affecting not just one or two nations here and there, but are beginning to affect the entire global system.
If you check the record books, you will see that the past two decades have been unique in the number of records continuously being broken in various fields of study from weather to economics.
Take weather for instance. Record floods, record drought, record cold and record heat, all have been a phenomenon of the past two decades compared to the rest of the period over which weather records have been kept. Recently the natural catastrophes in Burma and China have added their own statistics to the record books. At the same time, record drought ravages Australia and vast extremes of weather hit the United States.
Consider the corporate world. Record fraud and corruption from the highest levels of the boardroom down to junior bank officers has been not only a recurring, but an increasing theme of the past 20 years.
In the world of finance and economics, the United States continues to break records as to its level of indebtedness to other nations. Oil prices continue to smash records, with the result that there has been a record drop in the use of motor vehicular traffic in America. In the U.S., only one major airline remains solvent. In the meantime, while the U.S. is being squeezed by opec till its pips squeak, Middle East oil-producing nations are awash with capital.
Oil, gas, iron ore, coal, copper, steel and a host of other mineral products have hit record prices over the past year pushing construction bills way beyond realistic.
A great global armaments buildup within the non-English-speaking nations is under way as global tensions rise ahead of an arising new global order. Twenty-six armed conflicts currently blight the globe. Murder, torture and rape are a daily way of life in too many African nations caught up still in tribal warfare merging at times into genocide.
Then there’s food. The result of rampant farm input costs within a global economy that is literally out of control, coming on top of a time when unprecedented weather and industrial disruption has hit the world’s main breadbaskets, is drastically being felt at the family dinner table.
On the international scene, the institution set up to guide the world though its challenges, the United Nations, is a farce with its major entities taken over by a boorish lot of self-seeking Anglo-American haters intent on filling their own coffers while whole populations starve.
Cracks in the Dike
Isolated disaster can be handled within an economy that is in a healthy condition. But this unprecedented array of catastrophes, seemingly overtaking each other in strength of negative impact on world markets and populations, is occurring at a time when the pall of worldwide economic depression is being declared by some as an increasing reality.
Three high-powered financial institutions issued warnings just this past week about the state of the world economy.
Earlier this month the prestigious Bank for International Settlements (bis) sounded a warning bell on the outcome of the global credit crisis. The bank, which negotiates deals with central banks, “warned that the credit crisis could lead world economies into a crash on a scale not seen since the 1930s” (Banking Times,June 9; emphasis mine throughout). This warning came a year after the bank had reported its fear that the world had already moved into the mentality that presaged the Great Depression of the 1930s. The editor of Banking Times observes that “bis have indeed already warned of repeat of conditions that could be as extreme as the Great Depression, and are now describing that process as we move through it” (ibid.).
Last Tuesday, the Daily Telegraph reported that a team of bankers at Morgan Stanley had warned that conflicting policies between the Fed and the European Central Bank could lead to a “catastrophic event.” At issue was the bankers’ observation that indicated they see “striking similarities between the transatlantic tensions that built up in the early 1990s and those that are accumulating again today. The outcome of the 1992 deadlock was a major currency crisis and a recession in Europe” (June 17).
The same day, in an interview with the Telegraph newspaper, the Royal Bank of Scotland “issued a stark warning to investors … stating global stock and credit markets could be on the verge of a steep market sell-off as central banks have their hands tied by soaring inflation. ‘A very nasty period is soon to be upon us—be prepared,’ Bob Janjuah, credit strategist at rbs, told the UK daily paper’” (cnbc, June 18).
Then on Thursday, the Financial Times reported that German economist and former executive member of the board of the European Central Bank, Jürgen Stark, in a further warning had declared that eurozone inflation was unacceptably high having hit a 16-year high at 3.7 percent in May and a reason to be alarmed.
National governments and international institutions have operated for too long like a boy with his finger in the dike seeking to stem the flow from a great, swelling breach.
It’s time to get real!
This world is facing global disaster of unprecedented proportions. That’s not alarmist talk. It comes from a perspective of clear-eyed observation and analysis, born of decades of studying the global situation in relation to history, current events, and irrefutable Bible prophecy. It’s the perspective that Herbert Armstrong possessed from which he warned for over half a century that great global catastrophe, of which the world is now beginning to have a foretaste, would become a reality unless humanity changed the rapacious ways it historically has dealt with itself and the wonderful environment that God gifted mankind to care for.
The Trumpet is in the vanguard of declaring the unsavory news of the dark days ahead. But more than that—much more—the Trumpet is at the forefront of declaring the greatest hope for the future of mankind that lies just beyond this world’s looming darkest hour!
Read our booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like. Open your mind to the vision it contains and begin to look beyond this age of increasing catastrophe, on to the world of great peace and abundance that lies ahead! A world of the confluence of blessings!