The Global Consequences of America’s Drought

The Global Consequences of America’s Drought

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There’s far more at stake than the price of corn on the cob and soy milk.

Most people are aware of the historic, unrelenting drought tightening its grip on the United States. But too few are seriously contemplating what this means, not just for America, but for the world.

To most people in wealthier nations, drought simply means ridiculously hot weather, parched lawns and plants, and perhaps a higher-than-normal electric bill. A lack of rain is an annoyance, like an itch, uncomfortable, irritating. Few consider drought to be catastrophic, even fatal.

It wasn’t always this way. There was a time when people understood that severe, prolonged drought meant extreme hardship, suffering and, if it persisted, eventual death. People understood that without rain, crops, fruit trees and pastures died, lakes and watering holes dried up, livestock starved. In the past, when a drought tightened its grip, farmers and their families, and even entire towns and cities, recognized early that they had two options: relocate or starve.

Although we’re in the 21st century, this reality has not changed. Except that unlike yesteryear, people today are ignorant to the fact that extreme drought kills.

Our ignorance stems largely from the fact that very few of us actually grow our own food. These days, cultivating food means strolling through the local, air-conditioned Walmart munching on free food samples while filling an oversize cart with all sorts of bright, colorful, plastic containers. Our food, in its journey from garden to gut, passes through an extensive network of tractors, conveyer belts, factories, blenders, chemical additives, trucks and stores. It’s prepared, processed and packaged, tied, dyed and fried, and in some cases, even buffed and waxed.

For many, this detachment has severed the connection between food production and nature.

But alas! Even in 2012, our food, at least the kind worth eating, still comes from the ground—and it still needs rain.

It’s true that the effects of drought have been somewhat mitigated by the use of wells and sophisticated irrigation systems, by globalizing the responsibility of food production, and by the creation of genetically modified, drought-tolerant seeds. But if the drought is extreme, or persists, such measures fall short. It’s like shooting a bear with a pellet gun: we can slow it down, create time and perhaps temporarily alleviate our fears. But in the end, the inevitable effects of drought will devour us.

And devouring us it is! Did you know that this is America’s worst drought in more than 50 years? Some are comparing conditions to the Dust Bowl conditions of the 1930s. It’s been described as a full-scale catastrophe, a “natural disaster of epic proportions.” By the end of June, more than 50 percent of the U.S. was experiencing moderate to extreme drought. The beginning of July brought no relief, and the plight has only intensified. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (noaa), this summer, 80 percent of the U.S. has been abnormally dry.

The United States Agriculture Department (usda) has already declared more than 1,000 counties in 26 states natural-disaster areas due to drought conditions. More counties are being added to the list every week, and summer’s only half over.

The impact is dramatic and far-reaching. Across America, farmers are slaughtering livestock because there’s not enough pasture, and feed is far too expensive. This may mean lower beef prices in the short term. In the long term, it means most of us will be eating more artificially fed, hormone-filled chicken. Last Friday, the usda reported that America’s cattle inventory was the smallest since the agency began a July count in 1973. In other words, America has as many cows today as it did nearly 40 years ago. Meanwhile, its population has shot up by nearly 100 million.

Corn plants struggle to survive in a drought-stricken farm field on July 19, near Oakton, Indiana. (Getty Images)

The same goes for the price of food and the many household items that contain corn, soybeans and wheat. It’s shocking how many items today, from soda to baby food, peanut butter to powdered sugar, talcum to toothpaste, contain corn in some form. It’s the same with wheat and soybeans. Now, according to the United States Drought Monitor, almost 90 percent of America’s corn and soybean crops have been damaged or destroyed as a result of the drought. Get this: The price of corn has jumped 50 percent in the last month, while soybeans are at record prices too. Meanwhile, the price of wheat, another critical staple, has increased 50 percent in the last five weeks.

It’s not hard to see how this will drive up food prices, which would most likely further undermine the economy. In fact, one economist believes the drought will knock 0.5 percent off the U.S. gdp this year.

But think beyond the rising cost of food. What happens if the drought continues to worsen, or even continues into next year, or even the year after?

Anxieties about increasing food prices will be replaced by anxieties about actual shortages of corn, soybeans and wheat!

Consider too that America is responsible for half of the world’s corn, and the majority of the world’s soybean and wheat. Reuters reported yesterday that “the soaring prices in the United States—the world’s largest exporter of corn, soybeans and wheat—has rattled food markets worldwide on fears that food inflation will be imported, food aid or supplies for hungry nations from China to Egypt will not be available, and food riots could occur as in the past.”

A protestor complaining about rising food prices holds up a loaf of bread and an onion in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 18 2007. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)

The price of corn, wheat and soybeans has already surpassed levels reached during the drought of 2007/08, when rocketing food prices sparked riots in more than 30 countries.

Can you begin to grasp the magnitude of this crisis? In this globalized, interconnected world, persistent, widespread drought in a critical region—such as America’s breadbasket—doesn’t just mean agricultural disaster. It can mean financial and economic malaise, political and social chaos, even large-scale violence and wars.

Can other countries pick up the slack? Perhaps some of it. But it hasn’t stopped raining in much of Russia’s wheat-growing region in recent weeks. The same goes for Brazil. Australia produces an enormous volume of wheat, but it too is experiencing crazy weather.

Meanwhile, the global appetite for food grows.

Major floods and droughts, reduced yields, increased demand all converging at the same moment—it would be the perfect storm!

Some will say I’m arousing unnecessary fear and anxiety. Not true. I’m trying to awaken us to the facts. If you study history, you’ll see many examples of drought and its side effects wiping out economies, sparking unrest, upending governments, setting off wars—and killing untold numbers of people.

This may sound fanciful. But show me the man who can state with authority that this history cannot be repeated. It’s impossible. While science has revolutionized agricultural production, it hasn’t come close to enabling mankind to produce food without water. And until it does, we’ll all be at the mercy of extreme, sustained drought!

So, what’s the solution? How can you escape the drought?

Should we follow the example of Tom Vilsack, the U.S. secretary of agriculture, who told President Obama last week that he gets down on his knees every day and prays for rain?

That would be an admirable start. Of course, it would be pointless if you didn’t sincerely believe in God. Therefore, the process begins with a person acquiring the humility and intellectual objectivity to prove the existence of God, and that the Bible is the truth of God. Then, with your belief in God firm, and your faith in the Bible secure, one would only have to study God’s Word to see how to avoid drought and other natural disasters.

That study might begin in Leviticus 26, a chapter that explicitly instructs us how to receive the blessing of regular rain, followed by abundant crops and overflowing pantries. Notice it: “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full …” (verses 3-5).

In short, the solution to drought is national obedience.

Of course, that’s not about to happen. Society is so far removed from God that many will find that statement, let alone the thought of personal obedience to law, repulsive. But this instruction applies on an individual level too. God promises those who submit to Him, who actively seek to obey His laws, in letter and spirit, that He will give them peace and security—including physical protection and sustenance.

If you liked this column, you can follow Brad Macdonald on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brad_Mac007

A sad lesson in economic irony

Someone forwarded the below e-mail. It doesn’t credit the author, but it nevertheless makes a good economic point.

The food stamp program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is actually proud of the fact it is distributing the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever.Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to “Please Do Not Feed the Animals.” Their stated reason for the policy is because the animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.This ends today’s lesson.

While most people on unemployment and food stamps would prefer not to be, there is a growing segment of the population that is dependent on government handouts. And their ranks are set to soar as baby boomers retire and more people start relying on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other government pensions.

At the very least, the fact that more people are on food stamps than ever is certainly not something to be proud of. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (aka food stamp program) reported June 29 that a record 21 million families were now enrolled—that is more than 44 million individuals. Part of this may be because the U.S. Department of Agriculture is now partnering with the Mexican government to boost food stamp participation among Mexican nationals living in the United States.

Similarly, having more people receiving unemployment benefits, or otherwise dependent on the state, is also not a good way to stimulate the economy or create jobs. On July 17, it was reported that more Americans went on disability benefits in the previous three months than found jobs. This trend is clearly unsustainable in the long term.

These are signs the economy is in serious trouble. Increasing food stamp rolls is probably an indicator that the economy is getting worse. Increasing disability claims is probably a sign that people whose unemployment benefits have run out and whom still don’t have jobs are doing what they feel is necessary to keep money coming in.

Taking the above into consideration, now would be a great time to get out of debt and get your financial house into the best shape possible. Another “official” recession looks increasingly likely and there are few bright spots on the economic horizon.

Ignoring the Race Riots Won’t Make Them Disappear

Ignoring the Race Riots Won’t Make Them Disappear

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The trend of mobs of black youths committing crimes is growing. Authorities are helping no one by pretending it doesn’t exist.

It’s a disturbing video. A picture of brazen lawlessness—anarchy. A mob of perhaps 300 black youths besieging a Walmart, terrorizing staff and customers. It was filmed in Jacksonville, Florida, just a week and a half ago.

Such events have become common in America. In hundreds of incidents in cities and towns throughout the country, gangs of young people are coming together to commit random acts of terror—stealing, vandalizing, intimidating, assaulting, even raping and killing.

If you just read the stories, the one characteristic generally uniting the criminals is their age. Reports always mention their being young adults and teens.

But if you watch the videos—the footage from surveillance cameras, or the jerky cellphone images that these youths proudly upload to YouTube—another commonality becomes unmistakably clear: These kids are almost all black.

It’s the invisible fact. It’s missing from report after report on these incidents.

In fact, politicians, law enforcement officials and other authorities, reporters and media analysts do more than just ignore the racial component. Often they flatly deny it, even to the point of lying about it.

This is what makes the book White Girl Bleed a Lot, by award-winning author Colin Flaherty, such an astonishing read. It thoroughly documents what is nothing less than the modern rise of the race riot in America: dozens upon dozens of dozens of events with a clear racial component, many of them black-on-white or black-on-other-race assaults punctuated by blatantly racist hate speech.

What makes it even more astonishing, though, is the prevalence of officials brushing over or covering up the truth. They believe that simply acknowledging the undeniable racial aspect of these events is itself racist—apparently a bigger problem than the crimes themselves.

Take Miami Beach. For five days each year around Memorial Day, it becomes a destination for a massive influx of 350,000 to 400,000 black visitors. In the last few years, the event has turned the city into what many have described as a war zone—with widespread noise, vandalism, violence, car crashes, gunfire and assaults on police—and has left more damage in its wake than a hurricane. Flaherty calls it “the biggest race riot in America.” News reports mention the violence and destruction, but never the race of the perpetrators. The same is true of Myrtle Beach, which on the same weekend each year becomes the meeting place for some 300,000 African-American bikers. Last year, this upscale family town witnessed a heap of mayhem—including five armed robberies, a stabbing and a shooting—all within a single eight-hour period that weekend. But, the official line goes, it had nothing to do with race. “[I]sn’t it strange, for good or bad, that 300,000 black bike enthusiasts can come to a small town, and no local media mentions the group or its members even once?” Flaherty asks.

It was at a mob scene in Wisconsin last July that the statement Flaherty used as the title for his book was uttered: A white woman under attack heard her black assailants say, “Oh, white girl bleed a lot.” That night, a large group of blacks attacked a group of a couple dozen people who were watching fireworks, and a BP service station was ransacked, possibly by the same group. The police chief responded by insisting that crime is colorblind—after all, the mob also assaulted blacks and Asians, in addition to whites. A few weeks later, hundreds of black people beat up whites at the Wisconsin State Fair in Milwaukee. Around the same time, a similar horrifying incident went down at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, which the attackers were overheard calling, “Beat Whitey Night.” One reporter called the reporting on race a rush to judgment and insisted it never happened.

Perhaps America’s flash mob capital is Chicago. A group of 70 blacks suddenly storm a McDonald’s. Fifty black youths mob a Walgreens on the Magnificent Mile. Over a dozen black teens board a Chicago Transit Authority buses, attack passengers and steal their cell phones. A hundred black teens assault two people on bikes and throw them into Lake Michigan. On Memorial Day 2011, against a backdrop of several of these types of crimes, violent gangs of blacks began to assault people and riot, while others callously cheered and egged them on. City officials quickly closed the beach for the weekend. But they subsequently refused to acknowledge that race or criminality had any bearing on their decision—and, strangely, even denied there had been any violent activity. They insisted their decision was made purely to protect people from the heat.

Amid all these attacks, Chicago Tribune readers began to question why the paper never reported the fact that the attackers were all black. “There are good reasons not to identify the attackers by race,” the paper responded. “It’s the newspaper’s sound general policy not to mention race in a story, whether about crime or anything else, unless it has some clear relevance to the topic. … My question to readers accusing us of political correctness is: Why do you care so much about the attackers’ race? If you fear or dislike blacks, I suppose it would confirm your prejudice. But otherwise, it tells you nothing useful.”

No relevance, nothing useful. In most cases, those who are covering over the racial aspect of these events are trying to lower the temperature, defuse the crisis. It’s understandable. Most of them are surely sincere.

However, looked at squarely, the real undercurrent to this trend is that authorities in government and the media areafraidto tell the truth. They fear the backlash it could cause among blacks.

Their silence, however, isn’t calming anyone down.

Many people blame the authorities. Police often get involved in these incidents; commonly, some youths are arrested—sometimes, even shot. When pictures or footage of white police officers dealing with young black people is published or aired, it unavoidably carries a strong racial message.

To many, it reinforces the explosive belief that blacks are under attack in America.

After a series of attacks in Chicago by almost exclusively black mobs mostly on white individuals, the city’s superintendent of police stepped up and bravely addressed the racial aspect of the violence. How? By blaming the inner-city violence on some kind of racist conspiracy: specifically, “federal gun laws that facilitate the flow of illegal firearms into our urban centers across this country that are killing our black and brown children.” What? In front of a cheering audience, he called these laws “government-sponsored racism,” comparable to segregation and slavery.

This is supposed to alleviate the problem of black youths creating violent flash mobs?

Colin Flaherty began researching this phenomenon with the intent of writing a magazine article about it. But the evidence quickly piled so high that he realized he had a book on his hands. White Girl Bleed a Lot is filled with so many examples, one column can’t even begin to communicate the scope of the problem.

The sad truth is, this isn’t going away. It is growing. To pretend it is something other than what it is—race riots in America—is misguided and solves nothing.

“The dangers to the nation as a whole are an even bigger problem,” wrote Thomas Sowell in a review of Flaherty’s book. “The truth has a way of eventually coming out, in spite of media silence and politicians’ spin. If the truth becomes widely known, and a white backlash follows—turning one-way race riots into two-way race riots—then a cycle of revenge and counter-revenge can spiral out of control, as has already happened in too many other countries around the world.”

This is a racist bomb that has been building for years, decades, in this country. As Ayn Rand once said, “We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.”

God’s prophecies, recorded millennia ago in the Bible, speak of racial discord creating enormous problems in our world today, with massive race riots culminating in burning cities. It is a subject the Trumpet has repeatedly visited as growing tensions have heightened the relevance and urgency of these prophecies. To learn more about where the Bible says this trend is leading, read our article “Race to War.”

The wounds of victimhood, the emotions of grievance, the demand of each race for its own version of justice, no matter the cost—these forces are boiling in America, and the lid is starting to blow off.

Why? Because of human nature—unbridled and undisciplined. It is human nature that creates prejudice, jealousy and envy, competition and strife, resentment of authority, vanity, lust, greed—evils that always end up leading to violence.

But feeding that human nature, inspiring it, is that invisible force, the “god” that “deceiveth the whole world.” Satan the devil is the supreme racist—he hates all races, and passionately aims to destroy the human race! And he is stirring racial hatreds in the nations today, laying the groundwork for a terrifying social explosion!

Why are so many people fretting over money?

The British consumer may be more cash-strapped than suspected. The Daily Mail reports that on average people spend three hours a week fretting over cash:

Struggling consumers spend the equivalent of one week a year worrying about money … says a study.With families facing the toughest squeeze on living standards since the ’20s, it found the average person spends three hours and 15 minutes a week fretting over finances. …The findings were published today in the first of a series of Quarterly Consumer Reports into how people in Britain are coping with the financial downturn.

And how are people coping with the financial downturn? You guessed it—by making the worst financial mistake possible:

The Which? Quarterly Consumer Report … says more are being forced to take on new forms of debt to make ends meet. …Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “Consumers in Britain are going through the tightest squeeze in their living standards since the 1920s.”Many consumers are clinging to the edge of a financial cliff with savings at rock bottom and personal debt levels sky high.”Shocking numbers of people say they are forced to take on new forms of debt just to make ends meet, and many more would not cope with unexpected shocks to their incomes or household bills.” Those aged 18 to 29 have borne the brunt …. Almost half in this age group run out of money every month.

Turning to debt is almost guaranteed to make your financial problems worse. The Daily Ticker reports that 30 percent of Americans are not prepared for a financial emergency:

Nearly three in ten Americans have no money saved for a financial emergency, according to a recent survey by Bankrate.com.Twenty percent of people polled said they have less than three months salary saved up for an unexpected financial crisis.

According to the report, only 42 percent—less than half of Americans—are financially prepared for the proverbial rainy day.

What’s the biggest money problem for these people? According to budgeting expert Steven Simth, the majority of Americans live “pay check to pay check,” and the recession and bleak jobs market has exacerbated the problem.

Since America’s economy is largely consumption based, an economic recovery is unlikely as long as consumers are trying to reduce their debt levels. More than likely, another “official” recession will be here soon.

If finances have got you down, or you are one of the 30 percent without an emergency fund, you need to read Solve Your Money Troubles! and The Financial Law You Can’t Afford to Ignore.

China Shows Press New Elite Choppers

The Chinese military allowed foreign media an unusual peek into its military capabilities at Beijing on Tuesday. Reporters viewed an elite unit that showcased a range of maneuvers and tactics performed by Chinese choppers. The aircraft included Mi-17 transports and gunships and the Z-9, China’s first armed reconnaissance helicopter.

China’s military helicopter technology also made headlines last month when an American company said that it had sold high-tech software to the Chinese military. That software has allowed the People’s Liberation Army to build its first modern attack helicopter, the Z-10.

The pla rarely opens its military bases to foreigners, and commanders emphasized the military’s peacetime goals. Spokesmen refused to answer questions about Beijing’s many territorial disputes, including the South China Sea. Rising military spending and ongoing tensions between China and its much smaller neighbors have fueled fears that China intends to back its imperialist ambitions with lethal force.

Watch for the People’s Liberation Army to continue to grow and to become more and more lethal. China’s ambitions—and its military preparation—will intensify as it responds to America’s decline and Europe’s unification. For more on this subject, read our booklet Russia and China in Prophecy.

Why Iran Gets Away With Murder

JERUSALEM—Israeli’s prime minister is using speeches, interviews and meetings to raise awareness about Iran’s worldwide terror campaign.

Over the last two years, Iran has stepped up its acts of terrorism against Israel and the West. As the Washington Post editorialized on Friday, “Using the territory of countries across the world, working sometimes through proxies like Lebanon’s Hezbollah and sometimes with its own forces, Tehran has been intentionally targeting not just diplomats of enemies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia but also civilians.”

And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adamantly maintains that Iran should be held responsible for these crimes. Citing recent attacks including the bombing of a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Bulgaria and a similar failed attempt in Cyprus, Netanyahu told Fox News on Sunday, “It’s the same modus operandi. … It’s them [speaking of Iran] and we know it.”

The most recent failed attempt in Cyprus led to the capture of an admitted Hezbollah operative, who was attempting to carry out an attack similar to the one that succeeded last week in Bulgaria. That alone says a lot about who was behind the Bulgaria bombing.

Added to that, Netanyahu said, Israeli intelligence has proven beyond a doubt that Iran was behind the Bulgaria blast. “Here I’m not surmising,” he said in his interview. “I’m giving you something that I know, as the prime minister of Israel, because I know based on absolutely rock solid intelligence this is Hezbollah and this is something that Iran knows about very, very well.”

The Bulgaria bombing, incidentally, was the ninth terrorist plot that has been blamed on Iran—just this year alone. It’s the third attack in the month of July! In all of these attacks over the last year, or attempted attacks, five Iranians and two Hezbollah operatives have been captured.

“It’s them. We know it,” said Netanyahu. By using terrorist proxies, Netanyahu told Fox News, Iran is able to conceal its violent agenda. But it’s time for the world to force Iran to take responsibility for its acts of terror, he said.

“It’s very brazen,” he continued. “How can Iran be doing this and getting away with murder, literally? It’s because nobody names and shames them.”

They’re getting away with murder. But really, it’s not just because nobody names them or calls them out—it’s really much worse than that. What we are witnessing, as Gerald Flurry commented after President Obama’s Cairo speech in 2009, is a reenactment of the 1930s between Chamberlain and Hitler, when Chamberlain tried to negotiate with a murderer. He tried to negotiate with a killer—a mass murderer.

Daniel 11:40 reveals the nature of Iran’s radical Islamist agenda. It says at the beginning of the verse: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him ….”

Note that word push. That has been Iran’s pattern. It has consistently pushed and provoked either Israel or the United States. Until it’s confronted head-on, then we should expect that to continue. In fact, the Bible says that it will until this spectacular clash that Daniel 11 speaks of. It will continue.

For more on this, be sure to read The King of the South.