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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37633
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 The wrath of 2007: America's great drought

[b]The wrath of 2007: America's great drought[/b]

America is facing its worst summer drought since the Dust Bowl years of the Great Depression. Or perhaps worse still.

From the mountains and desert of the West, now into an eighth consecutive dry year, to the wheat farms of Alabama, where crops are failing because of rainfall levels 12 inches lower than usual, to the vast soupy expanse of Lake Okeechobee in southern Florida, which has become so dry it actually caught fire a couple of weeks ago, a continent is crying out for water.

In the south-east, usually a lush, humid region, it is the driest few months since records began in 1895. California and Nevada, where burgeoning population centres co-exist with an often harsh, barren landscape, have seen less rain over the past year than at any time since 1924. The Sierra Nevada range, which straddles the two states, received only 27 per cent of its usual snowfall in winter, with immediate knock-on ...

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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2007/6/11 2:04Profile

Joined: 2006/5/22
Posts: 2671
Nottingham, England

 Re: The wrath of 2007: America's great drought

The first scripture that came to me when reading this article was 2 Chron 7v13, 'When I shut up heaven and there is no rain...

Could these conditions of drought be God sent?

Could it also have anything to do with Bible prophecy?

Matt 24v7, '...and there will be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places'.

A drought will produce a famine if it continues for too long.

Many will say climate change, therefore eliminating any further explanation, and eliminating God at the same time.

Look up, for your redemption draws nigh, Luke 21v28.

God bless.

 2007/6/11 5:43Profile

Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re: The wrath of 2007: America's great drought

Droughts occur throughout North America, and in any given year, at least one region is experiencing drought conditions. The major drought of the 20th century, in terms of duration and spatial extent, is considered to be the 1930s Dust Bowl drought which lasted up to 7 years in some areas of the Great Plains. The 1930s Dust Bowl drought, memorialized in John Steinbeck's novel, The Grapes of Wrath, was so severe, widespread, and lengthy that it resulted in a mass migration of millions of people from the Great Plains to the western U.S. in search of jobs and better living conditions.

Just how unusual was the Dust Bowl drought? Was this a rare event or should we expect drought of similar magnitude to occur in the future? Rainfall records used to evaluate drought extend back 100 years, and are too short to answer these questions. However, these questions can be answered by analyzing records from tree rings, lake and dune sediments, archaeological remains, historical documents and other environmental indicators, which can extend our understanding of past climate far beyond the 100-year instrumental record.

The Dust Bowl drought was a natural disaster that severely affected much of the United States during the 1930s. The drought came in three waves, 1934, 1936, and 1939-40, but some regions of the High Plains experienced drought conditions for as many as eight years. The "dust bowl" effect was caused by sustained drought conditions compounded by years of land management practices that left topsoil susceptible to the forces of the wind. The soil, depleted of moisture, was lifted by the wind into great clouds of dust and sand which were so thick they concealed the sun for several days at a time. They were referred to as" black blizzards".

The agricultural and economic damage devastated residents of the Great Plains. The Dust Bowl drought worsened the already severe economic crises that many Great Plains farmers faced. In the early 1930s, many farmers were trying to recover from economic losses suffered during the Great Depression. To compensate for these losses, they began to increase their crop yields. High production drove prices down, forcing farmers to keep increasing their production to pay for both their equipment and their land. When the drought hit, farmers could no longer produce enough crops to pay off loans or even pay for essential needs. Even with Federal emergency aid, many Great Plains farmers could not withstand the economic crisis of the drought. Many farmers were forced off of their land, with one in ten farms changing possession at the peak of the farm transfers.
In the aftermath of the Dust Bowl, it was clear that many factors contributed to the severe impact of this drought. A better understanding of the interactions between the natural elements (climate, plants, and soil) and human-related elements (agricultural practices, economics, and social conditions)of the Great Plains was needed. Lessons were learned, and because of this drought, farmers adopted new cultivation methods to help control soil erosion in dry land ecosystems. Subsequent droughts in this region have had less impact due to these cultivation practices.

The 1950s Drought
Fueled by post-war economic stability and technological advancement, the 1950s represented a time of growth and prosperity for many Americans. While much of the country celebrated a resurgence of well-being, many residents of the Great Plains and southwestern United States were suffering. During the 1950s, the Great Plains and the southwestern U.S. withstood a five-year drought, and in three of these years, drought conditions stretched coast to coast. The drought was first felt in the southwestern U.S. in 1950 and spread to Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska by 1953. By 1954, the drought encompassed a ten-state area reaching from the mid-west to the Great Plains, and southward into New Mexico. The area from the Texas panhandle to central and eastern Colorado, western Kansas and central Nebraska experienced severe drought conditions. The drought maintained a stronghold in the Great Plains, reaching a peak in 1956. The drought subsided in most areas with the spring rains of 1957.

The 1950s drought was characterized by both low rainfall amounts and excessively high temperatures. Texas rainfall dropped by 40% between 1949-1951 and by 1953, 75% of Texas recorded below normal rainfall amounts. Excessive temperatures heated up cities like Dallas where temperatures exceeded 100°F on 52 days in the summer of 1953. Kansas experienced severe drought conditions during much of the five-year period, and recorded a negative Palmer Drought Severity Index from 1952 until March 1957, reaching a record low in September of 1956.
A drought of this magnitude creates severe social and economic repercussions and this was definitely the case in the southern Great Plains region. The drought devastated the region's agriculture. Crop yields in some areas dropped as much as 50%. Excessive temperatures and low rainfall scorched grasslands typically used for grazing. With grass scarce, hay prices became too costly, forcing some ranchers to feed their cattle a mixture of prickly pear cactus and molasses. By the time the drought subsided in 1957, many counties across the region were declared federal drought disaster areas, including 244 of the 254 counties in Texas.

The 1987 - 1989 Drought
The three-year drought of the late 1980s (1987-1989) covered 36% of the United States at its peak. Compared to the Dust Bowl drought, which covered 70% during its worst year, this does not seem significant. However, the 1980s drought was not only the costliest in U.S. history, but also the most expensive natural disaster of any kind to affect the U.S. (Riebsame et al. 1991). Combining the losses in energy, water, ecosystems and agriculture, the total cost of the three-year drought was estimated at $39 billion. Drought-related losses in western Canada exceeded $1.8
billion dollars in 1988 alone.
The drought, beginning along the west coast and extending into the northwestern U.S., had its greatest impact in the northern Great Plains. By 1988, the drought intensified over the northern Great Plains and spread across much of the eastern half of the United States. This drought affected much of the nation's primary corn and soybean growing areas, where total precipitation for April through June of 1988 was even lower than during the Dust Bowl. The drought also encompassed the upper Mississippi River Basin where low river levels caused major problems for barge navigation. The summer of 1988 is well known for the extensive forest fires that burned across western North America, including the catastrophic Yellowstone fire. In addition to dry conditions, heat waves during the summer of 1988 broke long-standing temperature records in many midwestern and northeastern metropolitan areas.

The 1987-89 drought was the first widespread persistent drought since the 1950s and undoubtedly took people by surprise. Many had not experienced the 1950s drought and others had forgotten about the harsh realities of drought. The financial costs of this drought were an indication that many parts the country are now more vulnerable to drought than ever before. This increased vulnerability was due in part to farming on marginally arable lands and pumping of ground water to the point of depletion. Although surplus grain and federal assistance programs offset the impacts of the 1987-89 drought, these types of assistance programs would be less feasible during a lengthier drought.

Another Dust Bowl?

What is the likelihood of another Dust Bowl-scale drought in the future? No one is yet able to scientifically predict multi-year or decadal droughts, but the paleoclimatic record can tell us how frequently droughts such as the 1930s Dust Bowl occurred in the past or if droughts of this magnitude are indeed a rare event. If such droughts occurred with some regularity in the past, then we should expect them to occur in the future.



 2007/6/11 7:56Profile

Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4529



I wouldn't say that this drought is a part of the "wrath" of God. In fact, this drought is quite natural on a regional level -- especially when compared with the massive, all encompassing drought of the "Dust Bowl" years. We in southern Texas are actually enjoying a very wet year. We have already received more rain that the yearly average -- and it is only the month of June.

A couple of years ago, there were many individuals who were convinced that Hurricane Katrina was the result of the wrath of God being poured out upon New Orleans. Some predicted that the hurricane was the "beginning of the end" for America. Any sort of reasoning or discussion about the situation actually caused hurt feelings and misunderstanding between some fellow believers. The year 2005 was indeed an extremely busy year in the Atlantic, but the following year was one of the most peaceful in recent memory.

I do believe that God uses natural things like weather or earthquakes to cause the thoughts of men to turn back to God. It is funny how certain circumstances cause some individuals to remember that God is an "everpresent help in times of trouble." I read an article today about how hotel heiress [url=]Paris Hilton has "turned to God"[/url] while sitting in the county jail. I agree with David Wilkerson in that God has a way of getting our attention during such times of crisis. But can we so easily conclude that such "light and momentary afflictions" are a result of the "wrath" of God? Or are they merely a means by which God allows the natural order of things to somehow grab our attention.

A phasic drought in the midwest is, in my opinion, less the "wrath" of God than a natural means by which some individuals will turn to God. It is my belief that the "wrath of God" will be more than just a phasic or natural occurence. In fact, I don't see a natural disaster or act of terror as the "wrath" of God. It is my belief that such a label might actually bear false witness against the name of God by attributing something to God that He is not actually responsible for (other than the Author of the laws of nature). Instead, I view the wrath of God as a far more extreme method in which God performs something that is undeniably (at least to the open-hearted) the work of His hand.



 2007/6/11 13:01Profile

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7497


We live in east Mississippi and to date we have received only 1/3 of the normal rainful one usually gets by now. This is an agricultural community where a lot of the corn is damaged, and perhaps beyond redemption. When your livlihood is totally dependant upon the weather you take this drought seriously and personally. Farming is risky business in any normal year: farmers know beyond a shadow of a doubt that a successful crop is totally dependant on the blessing of God in giving rain when needed. When rain is withheld, farmers take it personal: "God why? What have we done?"

TJ, thanks for the info concerning the history of droughts in the USA. I had been wondering about that very thing.


Sandra Miller

 2007/6/11 23:53Profile


The title is "the wrath of 2007" not "of God".

But not a sparrow falls without His will.

I don't believe all weather, etc., is GOD's doing, but He has allowed men to do what they want to the earth also.

Sometimes He has sent droughts, but sometimes it is man's doing that God has allowed. By "allowing" I mean, He could Stop anything He wants to - no matter what man does to Creation, but He chooses not to when He chooses not to.
But not one single event happens on earth until it's passed His O.K. for a reason ... according to His purposes under Heaven.

[b]He's[/b] in control either way.

 2007/6/12 13:57

Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132

 Re: True Testamony

I have a christian Brother from the state of NY who was telling me about a couple of christian farmers there in NY who were in fear of loosing thier entire crops for the year and this brother told some others who went to praying, one brother spent an entire night watch in prayer over those fields, for some reason the crops in all the surrounding areas suffered loss but those brothers who had people praying suffered no loss and had a wonderful harvest, now that was last year at harvest time. Our God is prayer answering God.


 2007/6/12 18:24Profile

Joined: 2007/1/21
Posts: 797


Praise God! What an encouraging story.


 2007/6/12 18:35Profile

Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA


Our God is prayer answering God.



 2007/6/12 18:42Profile


One Brother spent an entire night watch in prayer over those fields

This is all God is looking for from Christians everywhere. To acknowledge Him as supreme in our lives, shutting out all distractions and setting Him up in our hearts as #1. Thanks for that encouraging testimony.

 2007/6/12 18:51

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