There is a completely overlooked reason for America's unprecedented weather crisis. You need to know what it is. Never in the memory of most Americans has there been a winter like this past one.
For weeks on end, the Big Freeze of '77 clamped the industrial heartland of America in an icy vise. Day after day of record-breaking subfreezing temperatures sent the economies of state after state in the eastern half of the nation careening into a tailspin. Millions of people were driven out of work, their factories, offices and businesses closed due to severe fuel shortages. Whole cities lay lifeless, buried under suffocating mountains of snow. Some people died trapped in their snowbound automobiles, or frozen to death in their own homes.
Snow also fell deep into the Southeastern states, in some places where it had never before been seen. Virtually a whole season's crop of vegetables froze in the fields of southern Florida. Meanwhile, in Alaska, people basked in temperatures in the 40s and 50s. And where the snow was really needed it came in insufficient amounts or merely rested useless atop already frozen bone-dry topsoil. Twelve states in a wide belt across the U.S., mostly in the West and Midwest, were operating under emergency relief conditions because of severe drought. In California, municipal water districts in Marin County north of San Francisco were rationing water to both commercial and residential users.
Meteorologists are not hopeful for the next few months at all. Many fear quick springtime thaws which would — release all those billions of gallons of stored water, sending icy torrents cascading down streams and rivers, taking out docks and bridges, swelling over millions of acres of land, causing billions of dollars of damage to both cities and farmland alike.
Worsening Drought But it's the summer most weathermen are concerned about. From all indications, a sweltering summer will be following on the heels of the frigid winter. And not only hot, but dry.
The drought which has been gradually spreading over the past several years from the Southwest into the northern Plains states seems certain to intensify.
Minnesota, parts of which have been in the grip of a drought for three consecutive years, is perhaps the hardest hit. But it is also extremely dry in the Dakotas, Wisconsin and Iowa. Iowa's drought is the worst in 104 years, ever since records have been kept in that state. Serious moisture shortages affect Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska as well. Throughout much of this breadbasket area there is virtually no moisture reserve in the soil. Because the dry winter soil is frozen, the snow — where it has fallen — may not add significantly to soil moisture even when it thaws. Without a gentle thaw followed by persistent spring rains, there simply won't be enough moisture in the soil to nourish spring crops properly. Some climatologists fear there could be massive topsoil blow — offs — a reminder of the bleak Dust Bowl days of the 1930s.
In California, the second dry winter in a row has left precious little snowpack in the Sierras. This summer's runoff for irrigation will be so sparse that farmers in the state's mammoth Central Valley may suffer water delivery cutbacks up to 75 percent. Crop cutbacks of this size will deal a severe blow to the state, where agriculture is the biggest industry, bringing in over $8 billion annually.
"Never Run Out of Food"? The winter of '77 has already added a multibillion-dollar "tax" on the American economy in sharply escalated fuel costs, crippling President Carter's economic stimulus program. And if the months ahead turn out to be as bad as some meteorologists predict, the nation's food bill could rise dramatically.
The destruction of winter vegetable crops in Florida and elsewhere has already cut supplies and shot up prices. Continued dry conditions. also mean a thinning out of cattle herds, leading to lower meat prices now, but higher prices in the months ahead.
The size of the winter wheat crop is declining with every Agriculture Department crop estimate. Only the huge carry-overs of wheat from the record 1976 production will stabilize wheat prices and supplies this year.
Many Americans — so used to living in continual good times — seem incapable of grasping that conditions could get much worse; that weather chaos could produce not only short-term food supply problems or temporary price increases — but actually result in drastic food shortages.
During the mid-1960s one Plain Truth reporter toured areas of Kansas that were then stricken by drought and found many wheat elevators empty. One prominent Kansas politician nevertheless summed up the attitude of a lot of people then — an attitude that still lingers today. "I don't think we will ever get into a situation where we will not have enough for our own needs. We have grown wheat over such a wide area and under such widely varying conditions that we just could never get enough bad weather or enough worms, or enough freezes or anything else, to reduce the supply that much."
How smugly confident people can be! Men always seem to speak in terms of "hard luck" or parrot the words of scientists who talk about "cycles." Or perhaps when weather interferes with their pleasures, they may do as some of those at a ski resort in Colorado did recently when they didn't have enough snow for skiing: they asked a nearby Indian tribe to come over and put on a "snow dance" for them!
Why Bad Weather? Everyone is wondering right now what's gone wrong with the weather.
Meteorologists point out that there has been a shift in the direction of the high-level westerly winds — especially the jet stream — which course through the upper atmosphere high above Canada and the United States. During this past winter season, these winds have cut across the Rockies much farther to the north, picking up frigid arctic air, and then, as they streamed toward the south and east, dipped much farther south than usual.
But what caused a change in these wind patterns? Scientists can only speculate on that. As a UPI press release reported on January 29, 1977: "Weather scientists know a shift in high-altitude wind patterns is responsible for the unusually persistent cold weather in the eastern half of the United States, but they are at a loss to explain what caused the wind changes."
Other weather officials have also been puzzled over the spotty nature of the long dry spells which, especially last summer, struck many areas of our important food-grain states. Many commented that the droughts seemed to be almost county by county, and acre by acre!
One farmer would report that rainfall was normal or near normal in his area, and he was having good crops, while another nearby neighbor perhaps even in the same county would report devastating drought! This is dramatic fulfillment of a passage in the book of Amos in the Bible: "And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Eternal" (Amos 4:7-8).
Power That Controls the Weather Does the real answer, then, lie outside of science? Is there a force, a power, which ultimately controls the weather, and for reasons which men and nations have not yet seen?
Scripture after scripture in your Bible shows that God controls the weather — and that He exercises the awesome power of earthly forces at certain times and in certain places to give blessings for righteousness — or cursings to nations according to their national sins.
Look at what the Bible reveals:.
"The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth" (Nahum 1:3-4).
"From the south comes the rain; from the north, the cold. God blows upon the rivers, and even the widest torrents freeze. He loads the clouds with moisture and they send forth his lightning. The lightning bolts are directed by his hand, and do whatever he commands throughout the earth. He sends the storms as punishment, or, in his lovingkindness, to encourage" (Job 37:9-13, The Living Bible).
On one hand God promises: "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" (Lev. 26:3-4).
On the other hand: "And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: and your strength shall be spent in vain : for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits" (verses 19-20).
"And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed" (Deut. 28:23-24).
Warnings Sure But why would God be cursing us at this time? Aren't we a "Christian nation"?
If we life then something is drastically wrong! America is disgraced with the worst crime record of any "civilized" people anywhere in the world. Our basic institutions — the home, the school and the church — reel under the staggering blows of disintegrating morals, skyrocketing crime and materialistic, self-centered values.
Longtime readers of The Plain Truth know that this Work has been faithfully prophesying that such upside-down weather disasters would strike; that serious drought would plague our people in the mid-70s, and we were saying so clear back in the 60s and even before!
But until now, God has not chosen to intervene on a wide scale to teach us a lesson. Instead, God has allowed our people to enjoy fully 200 years of peace and unprecedented national prosperity.
But our Bicentennial is now past.
Now as never before it is time for our people to repent and to see that there is a direct connection between the way we live and the weather we have begun to experience.
Centuries ago, Solomon prayed at the consecration of the Temple: "When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them; then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance" (II Chron. 6:26-27).
Divine Intervention God's Word shows, again and again, that He is able to intervene in the weather for good as well as for punishment. It shows that He has withheld rain as well as sent floods, hurricanes, typhoons (torrential rains), crop disease, insect infestation and other so-called "natural disasters" when God's people have forgotten Him and abandoned themselves to an orgy of lawlessness and materialistic goals!
Solomon went on to pray: "If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillers ; if their enemies besiege them in the cities of their land; whatsoever sore or whatsoever sickness there be: then what prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when everyone shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house: then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according to all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:) that they may fear thee, to walk. in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers" (verses 28-31).
God does not change (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8). His ear is still open to such a prayer. One would think then, as one views the whole scene of the terrible record-breaking drought that gripped North America, England, Europe, and other parts of the world during the summer of 1976, to be followed by one of the most incredible and record-breaking winters in all of history in early 1977, that people would begin to get the message and get down on their knees!
But no, true to the prophecies of Amos, even though Almighty God is allowing the terrible consequences of our own sins to come upon us, we still as a nation are not returning to God!
Read our free booklet The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy. It tells in graphic terms who we are as a people, for we have not known our heritage, our "roots." As Black Americans are discovering their roots, the rest of Americans need to know who they really are, and how they came to possess the fabulous birthright they have taken so much for granted. This booklet also warns what will happen to our people unless we change.