By Elizabeth Prata
In the last little while, the news stories regarding weather have increased regarding “climate change”.
Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, the French critic, famously said, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” The climate has been changing since the Fall of man.
I wrote a blog essay a while ago showing my interpretation of the Revelation 6:12 verse, “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;” It is called “Of volcanoes, dry fog, and sun as sackcloth“.
In that blog essay, I posted some examples of what sackcloth looks like. When volcanoes erupt, the ash circles the atmosphere and the sun’s rays are dimmed, and what rays do emit through the haze look hairy instead of like beams. Volcanic ash has the same effect on the sun as described in the Revelation verse.
The Byzantine historian Procopius recorded in 536, in his report on the wars with the Vandals, “during this year a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness…and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear.”
That event is thought to have been caused by an earth-covering atmospheric dust veil, probably resulting from a large volcanic eruption.
The weather changes and attendant devastation on plant and human life when a volcanic eruption takes place is called “Volcanic Winter”. The science magazine Wired has a great article about volcanic winter that occurred in our recent past, one that happened in the 1700s (that Ben Franklin wrote about) and one that occurred in the 1800s. In the article, it states,
“The cloud of ash that was fine and light enough to stay in the atmosphere circled the globe. Average temperatures dropped as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit over the next year … and beyond. Many Europeans and North Americans called 1816 the “year without a summer.”
In Gray, Maine it was indeed called the year without a summer. The bad weather of winter 1815 continued with heavy frosts in August and snowfalls every month of the year in 1816. It became known as “The Year without a Summer” or “Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death”. Scientists now believe the cause was the eruption of a volcano, Mt. Tambora, in Indonesia. On its first day of eruption, it spewed 2 cubic miles of magma into the atmosphere. The next day it spewed 36 cubic miles of rock and ash into the air. This eruption was the largest in nearly 2000 years and spewed massive quantities of ash into the atmosphere which impacted the climate in the summer of 1816. Over the next year the largest famine in the 19th century devastated the northeast, maritime Canada, and northern Europe. The famine was deadly.
This report from the July 10th Eastern Argus news of Portland ME is typical: “The weather is yet remarkable! On Monday night last a smart frost was experienced in a number of towns in this vicinity—it was confined principally to low ground.” Imagine…a hard frost on July 10!
The Egypt Road was said to have been named so by people in East Raymond ME who used the road to come to Gray to get seed corn in the spring of 1817. One low-lying section of town between Colley Hill and the Mayall Road was fortunate enough to have its corn crop survive in 1816. This was thought to have been due to the fact that the hill where the corn grew was high, and prevailing winds scoured the frost before it could settle. Seed corn was given to some Raymond citizens. They named the road they took “Egypt Road” since they were remembering the long trek to Egypt to ask deliverance via corn from Joseph to the starving masses. (Genesis 41:49; 56)
We know that in the Tribulation, geologic changes occur which eventually re-form the face of the earth. Quakes are so severe that entire islands disappear. One thing people rarely connect are the drastic changes that occur with climate in a volcanic winter. Atmospheric changes which lead to temperature changes which lead to reduced or failing crops which leads to wars to obtain the remaining food which leads to famine which leads to death which leads to pestilence…you read Revelation 6:1-8 and you see this progression.
We are so fragile, really. All our human made systems will come to naught. The poor, beleaguered earth and its animals is surely groaning. Climate change occurs when we have volcanic eruptions, or are just regularly occurring as part of the normal cycle of life on earth. The more the weather changes, the more it stays the same, if I can paraphrase Monsieur Karr’s saying. It’s all in the hands of God.