Can you afford a 30 percent increase in your weekly food bill? Just days ago, two leading food agencies warned of such an increase, and added that "the world should prepare for a decade of high food prices" (Financial Times, June 17, 2011). How will you be affected in the coming months? And how will the crisis end?
Record heat, droughts, storms, floods, fires and violence are disrupting food production around the world. As an example, "In France, the months of March and May were the hottest for more than a century, while England and Wales had their second-driest spring since 1910. Between January and April, ’severe’ rain deficits were recorded in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Hungary and Austria…" (Financial Times, June 8, 2011). Elsewhere, torrential rains and flooding have destroyed farmland and displaced millions! As you read this, more than 1.6 million Chinese in ten southern provinces have been evacuated from deadly rainstorms that are destroying both homes and farmland (CNN.com, June 20, 2011)!
These are not just minor disruptions "somewhere else." These are examples of severe weather disruptions that are drastically affecting global food output and that will affect you. Notice the impact on global wheat production. In the United States, the June 10, 2011 USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service reported in sobering detail how persistent heat and lack of rain in some areas and flooding in other areas have produced overall significantly worse crop conditions in 2011 than in the prior year. For example, in Texas, 79 percent of the winter wheat crop has been rated "poor to very poor." In Oklahoma, it is 77 percent! And in Kansas it is 54 percent! Just one year ago, only 9 percent of the U.S. wheat crop was rated "poor to very poor." But this year, 44 percent of the U.S. crop has received that rating. Spring wheat production is projected to be down 14 percent, and total durum wheat production is expected to be down 77 million bushels, or 28 percent! Decreased production and increased exports will force the U.S. wheat stock supply downward by 167 million bushels compared to 2010 levels (ibid.)!
Internationally, global non-U.S. wheat production is projected to come in 5.6 million tons lower than last year. Canada is projected to produce 1 million tons less, and the E.U. is expected to produce 3 percent less. The weather has been so bad that analysts fear that northern European crops "have suffered irreparable damage" (Financial Times, June 8, 2011).
For those who understand Europe’s role in end-time prophecy, and the fact that the U.S. is becoming a hopelessly indebted nation that nonetheless is still a major food producer, Revelation 18 provides a sobering picture of the nations trading with end-time Babylon. But notice that not everyone is benefiting from this end-time trade! As verse 13 shows, the weak and the conquered will be slave to the wealthy and the powerful. And, as Habakkuk 2:7 reminds us, the debtor is helpless before the creditor. Throughout history, food scarcity has been a catalyst for innumerable wars. It will be so again.
World governments will do what they can to moderate food-price inflation, but severe weather and the laws of supply and demand cannot be forever resisted. Scriptures such as Leviticus 26:19–26; Isaiah 19:5–8, Luke 21:11 and Revelation 6:5–8 warn that famine will claim hundreds of millions at the end of the age! But, we also know that "The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish" (Proverbs 10:3), and that Christ will eventually intervene to save humanity from utter annihilation! He will then establish righteousness, peace, lawfulness, and abundance to this earth (Isaiah 2:2–4; Amos 9:13; Micah 4:4; Revelation 19:15).
To better understand where severe weather and famine fit within the timeline of end-time prophecy, please request or read online the powerful booklet, Who Controls the Weather?, and the Tomorrow’s World articles: "The Seven Seals of Revelation" and "Blessings in Times of Famine."