Hurricane Sandy, predicted to be one of the most damaging storms of the past 100 years, threatens to devastate the northeastern U.S. from Washington, D.C., to New York City and beyond.
Hurricane Sandy is not necessarily being caused by global warming.
In our new book "The Great Debasement: The 100-Year Dying of the Dollar and How to Get America's Money Back," economic expert Craig R. Smith and I devote an entire chapter to evidence that recent devastating weather has happened because America's climate is returning to "normal."
Normal meant that pioneers on the Oregon Trail in the 1850s described Nebraska as America's "Inland Desert" and saw it as a land of buffalo grass and cactus, not cornstalks.
As Ken Burns will show in his PBS documentary "The Dust Bowl" in mid-November, government encouraged farmers to settle and plow the Great Plains, semi-arid lands where drought comes often and the land could easily become an "American Sahara" without irrigation.
The continuing drought that ravaged crops last summer was by some measures the worst since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
The Dust Bowl was actually four different droughts packed into a few years, scientists now know, and the continuing drought that began last summer has been more severe than any one of those four Dust Bowl droughts.
Fish were being "cooked alive" in the Platte and other Midwestern rivers and lakes last summer, dying by the thousands because the heat took so much oxygen out of their water. It looked almost like one of the biblical plagues of Egypt.
The late 1800s brought "blue snows" up to 100 feet deep in the Plains, and the Blizzard of 1888 buried New York City in drifts 30 feet deep, forcing some residents to enter and exit their homes through third-story windows.
During the American Revolution the British dragged heavy iron cannons across the thick ice between Staten Island and Brooklyn.
Most of us grew up during the 20th Century, which enjoyed the balmiest, friendliest weather of the past 1,000 years. Now, however, our weather and climate appear to be reverting to their more erratic normal, with wilder extremes of hot and cold, wet and dry.
This would strain our economy, requiring far more fossil fuel and making food more costly to produce.
Last June a freakish storm, a land hurricane with winds above 70 miles per hour, suddenly sprang up around Chicago on the very day the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Obamacare and raced in a straight line to shatter Washington, D.C., and its surroundings, leaving millions without electricity for up to a week or more.
The name scientists have given this rare type of storm, 'Derecho,' is a variant of the Spanish word for "right" or "straight."
"When drought and other weather disasters struck ancient China," Craig Smith and I write in The Great Debasement, "some people took this as evidence that their Emperor had lost divine favor, that he had 'lost the Mandate of Heaven' and should be replaced to restore harmony between heaven and earth, between humankind and nature, and to bring back divine blessing to the land."
"The Bible likewise comprehends a link between virtue and the blessing of good weather," we wrote, quoting two Biblical passages as examples.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack last July told reporters who were asking him about the drought that "I get on my knees every day, and I'm saying an extra prayer right now. If I had a rain prayer or a rain dance I could do, I would do it."
President Obama's own secretary of Agriculture apparently believes that God influences our weather, and that human behavior can affect this.
Our modern scientific culture teaches that devastating weather can be caused by human transgression — by the sin of polluting the environment.
Modern sophisticates would scoff at all ancient beliefs that strange and destructive weather events may be omens that our leaders have lost the mandate of Heaven and should be replaced.
What nobody can deny is that America's economy could be severely harmed by another four years of drought, storms, and other devastating weather as bad as what has hit us during the past four years.
Lowell Ponte is co-author, with Craig R. Smith, of "Crashing the Dollar: How to Survive a Global Currency Collapse"; "The Inflation Deception: Six Ways Government Tricks Us . . . And Seven Ways to Stop It"; and "Re-Making Money: Ways to Restore America's Optimistic Golden Age." For a limited time, you can get a free postpaid copy of his new book "The Great Debasement: The 100-Year Dying of the Dollar and How to Get America's Money Back" by calling 800-630-1494. Read more reports from Lowell Ponte — Click Here Now.
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