Recent media headlines have included a story that weather experts are predicting that a “megadrought” will strike the USA in our current century. The first link is one such report. That link opines that this predicted megadrought will strike in the last half of this century, but I have also seen a cable-TV news segment on this story that indicated that this megadrought may start earlier than that.
Indeed, readers who live in California or other parts of the US West may see this post’s title and exclaim: “We are already in a megadrought!” They are right. This predicted megadrought may already have begun. National Geographic magazine’s October 2014 issue had an excellent, in-depth article on just how massive the drought in California already has become. That article was entitled “When the Snows Fail,” and I’ve included it as the second link. I urge all readers to take the time to read it as it documents just how damaging a drought is already present in the western part of the USA. Some of the photography documenting that a megadrought is already present there is very stunning. The third link on the severity of this drought is also from National Geographic.
Here in America (and throughout the western world), we take abundant food for granted. We assume the food selections we desire will always be present in every grocery store. We take for granted a food production and distribution system which allows us to have fresh vegetables and fruits even in northern climates during winter. This would have been regarded as a miracle in many millenniums of human history. If this California megadrought continues and becomes more widespread throughout North America, we may come to a situation where we will have to buy whatever the grocery stores can obtain to put on their shelves.
The California megadrought is especially threatening to America’s food supply as that state produces such a disproportionately large percentage of the USA’s vegetables, fruits, nut crops, etc. The devastating drought there (caused by a lack of snow in the mountains to produce normal springtime run-offs in rivers) has caused farmers in California to be deprived of water allocations, and when their land reverts to a semi-arid condition, it may not return to normal productivity for some time even if water supplies are renewed. If the megadrought predicted by weather experts that has already started in California and some western regions continues to expand its reach, food shortages will become real.
The predictions of a megadrought by weather experts coincides with what is prophesied in the Bible in several locations. Jesus Christ prophesied famines (food shortages) would occur in the latter days just before his Second Coming (Matthew 24:7), and Revelation 6:5-6 repeats that same warning. The latter prophecy doesn’t predict that food will be totally absent, but that it will be in such short supply that it will be rationed by price and any foodstuffs cannot be wasted. Deuteronomy 28 is a prophecy about the punishments the Divine Creator will assess upon covenant nations that he has blessed and to whom he has revealed himself. The USA is one such “covenant” nation, as can be confirmed in reading my article, The USA in Biblical Prophecy. Is it only coincidence that as the USA chooses to become ever-more sinful, the promised plagues of Deuteronomy 28 are starting to hit the USA? Deuteronomy 28:23-24 specifically prophesies that plant diseases and severe drought will be present in any covenant nation that abandons God’s laws and ways and chooses to rebel in sinful practices.
However, modern mankind’s technology can alleviate the effects of droughts. I have long wondered why the US West Coast states have not built water desalinization plants like those that exist in Saudi Arabia and Israel to turn abundant and available saltwater into fresh water supplies (the fourth link has photos of the size of those nations’ desalinization plants). The fifth link reports that California, facing years of likely droughts, is now considering the construction of a series of desalinization plants to supply water needs. It will take years to bring all the planned desalinization plants into production, of course, and the question needs to be asked if these desalinization plants will produce enough fresh water for agricultural needs as well as for domestic use in the cities? If they will only provide enough water for domestic use in cities, then the drought will continue to devastate the agricultural production of foodstuffs within the USA.
What should Christians do to prepare for the effects of a megadrought on food supplies? To answer that question, I suggest that readers review my article, Should Christians Prepare for Coming Hard Times? I believe it offers a biblically-based and balanced commentary on the subject.
In the meantime, since the Bible warns of droughts and weather experts are warning of a megadrought of long duration and a megadrought has already started in California, I suggest that readers plant a garden this spring. It would be a good skill to learn for future years if one does not already have gardening skills. The US Government encouraged all Americans to plant “Victory Gardens” during World War II to increase the nation’s food supply at that time of national crisis. The last link offers information on those Victory Gardens and lists some of the agricultural items that were rationed by the US Government during those war years. I doubt that many Americans educated in our modern school system even realize that there was widespread food rationing imposed on the nation by the US Government as recently as the 1940s. Such rationing may again occur if this megadrought continues to expand. The planting of gardens may again be a wise course of action for everyone in the years ahead of us.