Record rains and associated climate concerns are big news today. We thought it would be a good time to bring in some historical perspective from Brian Fagan's classic book, The Little Ice Age.
Just last week, writers Jacob Bunge and Kirk Maltais reported in The Wall Street Journal that the last 12-month period was the wettest on record in the Continental U.S. As a result of the soggy ground, Farmers may not be able to plant millions of acres with corn.
Politicians point to global warming, but we suggest you turn to the second chapter of Mr. Fagan's book, entitled "The Great Famine." In the year 1315, the Little Ice Age began with years of record rainfall in Europe, drowning the crops and leading to famine. The rain signaled the arrival of global cooling, which ended a prosperous period when the climate was warm as today, known as the Medieval Warm Period. The Little Ice Age continued for 500 years until the modern warming began in the 1800s.
Next turn to Chapter 7, "The War Against Glaciers," where you will learn how a decrease in solar energy produced the coldest portion of the Little Ice Age, from 1645 to 1715. English astronomer E.W. Maunder noticed that the sun was virtually free of reported sunspots during this period, an indication of reduced solar output. This 70-year reduction in sunspot activity and the resulting period of extreme cold climate were given the name Maunder Minimum.
Beginning in 2017, astronomers began warning about the possible return of the Mauder Minimum. It seems that sunspot activity in the last half of the 20th century had reached the highest levels in 400 years of observations, perhaps acting as the major cause of global warming. Then, beginning with the 11-year sunspot cycle of 2009, there was a drastic decline in the sunspots, leading to the warning of a return of the Mauder Minimum. Even so, astronomers were careful not to be attacked as Global Warming "deniers," limiting their comments to solar weather.
Now, in the July 2019 issue of Astronomy magazine, astronomer Bob Berman has bravely connected the dots. He asked if the decline in sunspots could "herald the start of another lifetime-long sunspot absence that would cool the earth at the best possible time by mitigating anthropogenic climate and ocean warming."
Fagan published The Little Ice Age in the year 2000 and could not have known about the solar output declines beginning in 2009. In his final chapter, he discussed the increased solar and human activity he blamed for global warning. Yet he also warned us that climate changes can occur rapidly, bringing unsettled weather patterns. He closed by saying "we would be wise to learn from the climate lessons of history."
Yes, we would be wise to learn from history, but we would be wiser to understand that only God controls the climate, and only He knows what tomorrow will bring. It is also wisdom to know that He uses the forces of nature to send judgment and get our attention (see Job 37:6-13).
Let us humbly seek His face and pray to be spared from the fears of global warming and the famines of global cooling. Let us also pray that our politicians would acknowledge the uncertainty of future climate and not pursue policies that will destroy the freedom and prosperity of Americans.
"Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and He relents from punishing" (Joel 2:13b)
Ron Allen is a Christian businessman, CPA and author who serves in local, national and international ministries, spreading a message of reconciliation to God, to men and between believers. He is founder of the International Star Bible Society, telling how the heavens declare the glory of God; the Emancipation Network, which helps people escape from financial bondage; and co-founder with his wife, Pat, of Corporate Prayer Resources, dedicated to helping intercessors.
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