In 2012 the UK experienced its ‘weirdest’ weather on record. The driest spring for over a century gave way to the wettest recorded April to June in a dramatic turnaround never documented before. July and August continued with mostly cold wet weather. There were floods, freak storms, lightning and giant hail stones, causing damage and flooding and leaving roads and rail links impassable. Farmers said it was their worst year ever as record-breaking wet weather damaged food production and led to poor crop yields across the UK. Further torrential rain in September, November and December caused flooding around the country.
The US suffered the opposite problem as the summer brought record breaking temperatures with the thermometer over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees centigrade) for weeks on end and no rain falling on the fertile fields of the US Midwest devastating the corn and soybean crop. Drought has ruined crops in other parts of the world including wheat in Russia and Australia and soybeans in Brazil and Argentina. India experienced its fourth drought in a dozen years, raising concerns about the reliability of the country’s primary source of fresh water, the monsoon rains that fall from June to October. All this has affected harvests, contributing to a 6% rise in global food prices according to United Nations data.
In November New York and America’s east coast was hit by Hurricane Sandy, a unique and unusual ‘freak’ storm. An Atlantic hurricane developed over the unusually high sea temperatures of the Caribbean, moved up the East Coast and crashed into cold air dipping south from Canada. The collision supercharged the storm’s energy level and extended the area it covered so that around 100 million people were affected. High winds and the storm hitting at high tide meant that the sea flooded from New Jersey to Connecticut with New York badly affected.
Climate scientists put the blame on global warming, providing evidence that Arctic ice melts, linked to global warming, reached a record level this summer and contributed to the very atmospheric pattern that sent the frigid burst down across Canada and the eastern US. They have warned that global warming will cause an increase in extreme weather events, with droughts in some places and floods in others, heat waves in some areas and very cold winters in others. Ice melting in the Arctic could cause a shift in the Gulf Stream, making weather in the UK and northern Europe much colder in the winter. While no one can be sure when and where such events will happen, they say that there is a clear link between human activity and climate change.
One of the world’s leading environmentalists issued a warning that this could lead to the global food supply system collapsing, leaving hundreds of millions more people hungry. In a shocking new assessment of the prospects of meeting food needs, Lester Brown, president of the Earth policy research centre in Washington, says that the climate is no longer reliable and the demands for food are growing so fast that a breakdown is inevitable, unless urgent action is taken. He said, ‘Food shortages undermined earlier civilisations. We are on the same path.’
On October 17 the insurance company Munich Re issued a report titled ‘Severe Weather in North America’ which said that globally, the rate of extreme weather events is rising, and ‘nowhere in the world is the rising number of natural catastrophes more evident than in North America.’ Global warming ‘particularly affects formation of heat waves, droughts, intense precipitation events, and in the long run most probably also tropical cyclone intensity,’ Munich Re said.
So is the global warming theory a hoax, as some claim, a plot to bring in a one-world government? Or does it actually tie in with Bible prophecies that natural disasters are going to increase the nearer we get to the second coming of Christ? A number of these indicate that there will be changes to the climate.
Jesus said concerning the days before His second coming, ‘There will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.’ (Luke 21.11). In recent years a number of disastrous earthquakes have hit, the most well known being the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami which killed 230,000 people, the Haiti Earthquake in 2010 which killed around 220,000 people and the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami which devastated Japan. On April 11 2012, a pair of massive earthquakes rocked the Indian Ocean. According to scientists this could signal that the giant Indo-Australian tectonic plate is breaking apart, with parts rising and parts falling. If so this would be a cause of increased earthquake activity around the world. The magnitude-8.6 and magnitude-8.2 quakes, which broke along numerous faults, unleashed an extraordinary number of strong earthquakes worldwide for a week after this earthquake.
He also said: ‘And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring, men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ Luke 21.25-6. The reference to the ‘sea and the waves roaring’ is significant. The root meaning of the Greek in this verse can mean nothing else but literal sea and literal waves. The word ‘roaring’ comes from the Greek ‘echeo’ meaning ‘to make a loud noise’. Hurricanes and coastal flooding spring to mind.
According to the Book of Revelation the last days of this age will be marked by great heat, trees being burned up and waters undrinkable as well as violent storms and natural disasters bringing famine, disease and death. Revelation 6.5-6 describes a time of great scarcity on the earth as a result of which a day’s wages will only buy a pitiful amount of food. In Revelation 8.7-11 it says: ‘And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. … Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven like a torch and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.’ (Revelation 8.7-11). Revelation 16 speaks of a time when ‘men are scorched with great heat’, when the Euphrates River dries up and there is a ‘great earthquake such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since there were men on the earth’. (Revelation 16.8,12,18).
The Bible also speaks of a great darkness coming on the earth. ‘Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.’ Matthew 24.29-30. Into this darkness will come the piercing light of the Shekinah glory of God as the Lord Jesus Christ returns in power and glory.
Following the judgement of the nations, which will take place at His return, there will be a massive change on the earth. The earth will be ‘filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea’ (Isaiah 11.9) and the disastrous effects of human degradation of the earth will give way to the reign of the Messiah over a renewed and restored earth. The deserts will bloom as waters burst forth in them (Isaiah 35), as fertility and an equitable climate are restored to the earth.
Those who believe now in Jesus will have a glorious future in His coming kingdom. As we see the present darkness coming on the earth because of human sin and folly, God is telling us to repent and believe the Gospel so that we can be sure of having a place in the coming Kingdom of God.
Wild Weather. Written in 2014.
This winter the UK saw the most exceptional period of rainfall in 248 years. This began with the storm of 4th-5th December and continued through to late February, causing widespread flooding and coastal damage. As giant waves crashed over the shores and thousands of homes were flooded, many people said to news reporters, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this before.’ More than 130,000 homes have been affected by flood water, with more than 2,000 miles of coastland battered by exceptionally high winds and waves and thousands of acres of prime farmland are under water. Estimates for the cost of clearing up the floods have been put at £1.3 billion.
Extreme weather has also been noted across the Atlantic with exceptionally low temperatures in Canada and the US from the mid-west to the eastern seaboard, reaching as far south as Texas. Early estimates suggest that in the US alone over 200 million people were affected with costs in excess of $5bn. At the same time the west coast of America was suffering from the most severe drought in years.
Both extreme weather events have been linked to the jet stream being stuck in an unusual position, originally caused by rising temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. This pushed the jet stream north to Alaska and the Arctic, where it picked up very cold air, moved south and brought the freezing weather across North America. Continuing its flow across the Atlantic, the cold air from the Arctic clashed with warm moist air from the tropical Atlantic causing storm systems with high rainfall to be carried downstream to the UK and Europe. The jet stream took a more southerly track than usual, meaning it brought these intense storms to the south of England rather than passing to the north of Scotland. Because of evaporation from the warming oceans the storms carried much more rain than usual.
The Meteorological Office raised the possibility of global warming as a cause of the extreme weather. Its chief scientist, by connecting the warming of the oceans with the change in the direction of the jet stream and the increase in evaporation from the sea causing higher rainfall and storms.
‘Climate change will mean more floods and more storms and that’s why we’ve got to treat it like any other national security issue.’ He went on to speak of the need to ‘persuade other countries to be part of the fight against climate change.’ Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change said that the floods should act ‘as a catalyst for a new international treaty to tackle global warming’.
Leading environmental economist Lord Stern said the ongoing storms in the UK are just a taste of things to come, warning that failing to tackle global warming could lead to war as hundreds of millions of people are forced to migrate away from the most affected areas. He said that the dangers were greater now than in 2006 because greenhouse gas emissions have ‘increased sharply’ and their effects are happening more quickly, such as the melting of Arctic sea ice. Countering this, one of the Met Office’s most senior experts, Professor Mat Collins, insisted that there is no link between the storms that have battered Britain and global warming. He told The Mail on Sunday: ‘There is no evidence that global warming can cause the jet stream to get stuck in the way it has this winter. If this is due to climate change, it is outside our knowledge.’
The sceptical ‘Weather Watch’ website also disputes the conclusion that ‘Man-made Climate Change is a factor in the extreme weather that has hit much of the UK in recent months.’ It says there is no evidence that changes in CO2 (carbon) emissions have affected the weather. It says that solar activity (coronal holes) in conjunction with ‘lunar modulation’ is responsible for the changes. It claims that predictions of weather patterns made on the basis of global warming have proved wrong over and over again, while its own predictions based on observation of the sun and other related naturally occurring factors have proved right. http://www.weatheraction.com
In response to previous extreme weather events Piers Corbyn of weatheraction.com wrote: ‘The superheat and floods in the northern hemisphere and super cold blasts in the southern hemisphere are part of the whole world weather system which is driven by solar-magnetic activity and lunar effects which are predictable months ahead. These extreme weather situations and events, which happen simultaneously around the world, are driven by events on the sun in our predicted Solar Lunar Action Periods (SLAPs). This weather, and climate change, are entirely driven by Solar-Magnetic Lunar effects and are nothing to do with CO2.’
If the storms and extreme weather are caused by events happening on the sun or the moon, there is nothing we can do about it. If they are caused by man-made climate change, then it is possible that humans can do something about it. The prevailing view of political leaders around the world is that man-made global warming is responsible for climate change. Therefore something must be done about it. The UN sponsored International Panel on Climate Change claims that evidence for warming of the climate is clear, and that the changes are more than 90% likely to be the result of human actions. It claims that continuing this process unchecked will cause polar ice to melt, sea levels to rise, low lying islands and coastal areas to be flooded, including major cities like London, New York and Shanghai. There will be droughts in some places and floods in others. To prevent this, industrialised nations must make a 20% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 and 80% by 2050.
In response a number of world leaders are calling for action on climate change. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called climate change ‘perhaps the world’s most fearsome destructive weapon.’ The solution, Kerry said, is a new global energy policy that shifts reliance from fossil fuels to cleaner technologies. President Barack Obama is championing such a shift and encouraged others to appeal to their leaders to join. The U.S. and China announced an agreement to cooperate more closely on combating climate change. American officials hope that will help encourage others, including developing countries like Indonesia and India, to follow suit. President Obama and French President Francois Hollande called for a binding global agreement to address carbon emissions and urged the rest of the world to get on board ahead of a 2015 climate conference in Paris.
The UN sponsored Conference on Climate Change in Warsaw in 2013 aimed at a global deal on emissions to be signed in Paris in December 2015. UN chief Ban Ki Moon spoke of progress being made to ‘a comprehensive, legally binding agreement by 2015.’ Christiana Figueres, the ‘executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’ (UNFCCC), said, ‘What is occurring … in the whole climate change process is the complete transformation of the economic structure of the world.
According to a report by Rema Marketing (which is sceptical about global warming): ‘The global warming question has become an excuse for governments to raise taxes, a chance for Socialist leaning politicians to institute redistribution policies and a huge lure for the United Nations to demand compliance on international laws and policies leading to a world government under the control of the United Nations.’ Rema Marketing http://www.globalreport2010.com .
Such a government is prophesied in the Bible for the last days in Revelation 13, when the nations will come under the power of the Beast or Antichrist.
Or is it a judgement of God?
Some Christians have said that the weather catastrophes are a judgement of God. David Silvester, a UKIP councillor for Henley on Thames, caused controversy when he wrote to his local paper saying that he had warned David Cameron that the new law on gay marriage would result in such disasters. He pointed out that the country had been ‘beset by storms’ since the passage of the new law on gay marriage because Mr Cameron had acted ‘arrogantly against the Gospel’. He said that ‘The scriptures make it abundantly clear that a Christian nation that abandons its faith and acts contrary to the Gospel will be beset by natural disasters such as storms, disease, pestilence and war.’
Dr Clifford Hill connected the floods with Britain’s growing paganism and revolt against the God of the Bible. In his Issachar update he referred to the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games 2012 in London. At this event he says there was ‘a demonic incantation calling upon the spirits of the underworld to flood Britain. These are the words they used: ‘I call upon the spirit of Autumn. The spirit of water, of the ebb and flow of emotion; of open seas and running streams, of cleansing rain; spirit of the evening sun, of twilight and of Autumn. I call upon the spirit of Winter. The spirit of earth, of the womb of creation; of the night and the snows of winter, deep roots and ancient stones.’ The closing Olympic Ceremony 2012 was a disgrace and a deliberate insult to the God of our fathers. He would be fully justified in saying that we had invoked the spirits of the Earth to flood the nation and now we are suffering the consequences. … The storms over Britain today are a foretaste of the tsunami of economic and social chaos that will descend upon us in the near future unless there is a spiritual change in the life of the nation.’
Or a sign of the Second Coming?
So are the storms a sign of global warming, the judgement of God or another sign of the coming of the Lord? Or all three of these possibilities! Today people are questioning whether or not man made climate change is responsible for the strange weather happening worldwide. Whatever the answer to this question is, the Bible prophesies that the earth will be shaken with disasters affecting the environment in the last days of this age.
The biblical prophecies do indicate that in some way humanity in rebellion against God is responsible for these things happening: ‘The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth.’ Revelation 11.18. In Isaiah 24, a prophecy about the last days of this age we read: ‘The earth mourns and withers, the world languishes and withers; the heavens languish together with the earth. The earth lies polluted under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse devours the earth, and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched, and few men are left.’ Isaiah 24.4-6 (RSV).
At the same time it appears that there is a connection between ‘signs in the heavens’ and these things happening. The Lord Jesus said: ‘And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.’ Luke 21.25-28.
Two thousand five hundred years ago the prophet Haggai foretold a time coming when God would shake all the natural environment and the political, economic and social foundations of the nations. He said, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations’. Haggai 2.6, quoted in Hebrews 12.27.
As a result of this shaking of the earth there will be an increase in disasters hitting the world leading up to the great tribulation period. In the quotation given above Jesus spoke of the ‘sea and the waves roaring’ in the time before His coming as people are afraid of what is coming on the earth (Luke 21.25-6). Isaiah 19.5 speaks of the river (Nile) being wasted and dried up and Revelation 8.11 speaks of people dying ‘from the water because it was made bitter.’ There will be great food shortages across the earth. As a result a day’s wages will be just enough to pay for a tiny amount of food (Revelation 6.5-6). Trees will be burned up and waters made undrinkable. ‘And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. … Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven like a torch and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.’ (Revelation 8.7-11). Revelation 16 speaks of a time when ‘men are scorched with great heat’, when the Euphrates River dries up and there is a ‘great earthquake such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since there were men on the earth’. (Revelation 16.8,12,18).
Paul wrote of the creation ‘groaning in travail with birth pangs’ as it waits for the ‘revealing of the sons of God.’ (Romans 8.19-22). The image of the woman in labour travailing with birth pangs is often used in scripture for the crisis of the last days before the second coming of Christ. The revealing of the sons of God of which Paul writes will be the return of the Lord Jesus with the redeemed saints to the earth for His millennial rule.
The Bible indicates a total change in the government of the world in the day that Jesus returns. In that day it is prophesied that ‘The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.’ Revelation 11.15. When that happens, ‘They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.’ Isaiah 11.9.