No Rain in Rain Forest
The onslaught of history’s worst El Niño did more than cause tornados and flooding. It turned South America’s once-bountiful tropical rain forests into parched wasteland.
The Amazon basin suffered through its most severe drought in 30 years. Underbrush and fallen trees on the forest floor created prime conditions for an inextinguishable fire.
Even when doused with water, the fire spread underground through vast root networks. As flames were extinguished in one region they sprang up in another, making the fire almost impossible to fight.
As of April 1, over 17,000 square miles of prime rain forest in northern Brazil have been consumed. According to the United Nations, this was a disaster without precedent in the world.
Panic among residents and firefighters brought them to search for alternative methods: according to firefighter Colonel Alberto Carballo, “Only God and rain can help us stop these fires from spreading.” Pagan Indians were called upon to perform a “sacred” rain dance. The rains finally did come in early April.
How typical: when disaster strikes, we turn to God only after every other possible solution has been considered. And even then, our pleas for divine intervention are at best half-hearted.