I've been thinking about the weather lately. I have a unique view, as my Dad is a meteorologist, and has been for over 30 years. No, not "the guy on TV". He's the real deal who works for the National Weather Service...that is, until July 1st when he will retire (woo-hoo!).
So, I've had the privilege of getting to know, through my whole life, how it really works and exactly what weathermen do. It's amazing to me that so many people don't realize it's not an exact science and that it's completely in God's hands. They can look at charts and graphs and do the math and look at air pressure, and flow and temperatures, and see what the ocean is doing and what the skies are doing and make an extremely educated forecast. But in reality, things change. And they can change on a dime. And one person's interpretation isn't always the other's. My Dad is extremely good. He rarely misses a forecast. He's been the guy out on wildfires helping them fight against the wind and keeping them safe. He's the guy they go to when things look like they might flood, because he's darn good. Anyways, weather. It's unpredictable, it's not a constant.
I'm thinking a lot about weather because there have been some crazy happenings in the weather of late. Earthquakes, tsunamis and tornadoes. All over the world. Now, many Bible believing Christians will say that this points to the "end time" the Bible speaks of. And I'm not saying it doesn't. But I am thinking that this kind of weather has been happening for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years.
The differences are that now we have instant media. The moment a huge weather phenomenon happens it's plastered all over the news, twitter, facebook and blogs. There are pictures and videos and we are much more aware of what is happening around us. Go back just even several decades ago and this was not the case. Go back a bit further and things could happen and weeks could go by without someone in another country finding out...and by then, the "shock" of it all has worn off and there is no "buzz".
Take these for example:
Avalanches. Two very deadly ones hit within 3 days of each other.
Earthquakes starting in 1831 BC. Notably, in December of 856 over 45,000 people were killed and aftershocks continued for a year. One earthquake in August of 1157 is said to have "thousands and thousands" of fatalities. Do you think these people thought the end of the world was near? Or that their "global warming" caused it? In July of 365, an earthquake in Crete created a tsunami that devastated Alexandria in Egypt and the fatalities are estimated around 10,000.
Remember the volcano that erupted and buried the city of Pompeii alive?
Floods. The Huang He (Yellow River) in China floods particularly often. The Great Flood of 1931 caused between 800,000 and 4,000,000 deaths. Wow.
What about the great flood of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers in 1993? This was most costly flood in U.S. history.
Tsunami's. Japan is the nation with the most recorded tsunamis in the world. The number of tsunamis in Japan totals 195 over a 1,313 year period (thru 1997), averaging one event every 6.73 years, the highest rate of occurrence in the world.
Tornadoes. In 1989 a tornado ripped through Daultipur and Salturia of Bangladesh and killed 1,300 people while injuring over a thousand. Seven years later the same country saw another tornado that killed 700 people. In 1936 the US saw two deadly tornadoes only a day apart. On April 5th in Tupelo, MS a tornado killed over 200 people. The next day in Gainsville, GA a tornado again killed over 200 people.
In 1918 the Spanish flu killed over 50 million people worldwide, 50 years later the Asian flu killed an estimated 1 million people.
Do you see my point? The world is more populated than it was back then, so even the small natural disasters are taking more lives because there are more lives to take. That coupled with the media frenzy and it's understandable why people think things are "so much worse" now.
These facts and dates are only a handful of what is out there. I'm not an expert, nor do I claim to know much. But this is just my observation.
Another thing about weather. We've had a pretty rainy and often cold May in Southern Oregon this year. We are usually home to some beautiful sunny weather that gets into the 80's. This year has been quite different and the reality is that a lot of people have been complaining about it. Now, I love the rain. But after awhile it does get old. I'd love some sunny days to take my boys to the park...and those days will come. But after seeing the devastation in Jopin and other towns because of tornadoes and flooding....I dont' think anyone has the right to complain about "rainy weather". Here in Southern Oregon, we don't get extreme weather. So we have no clue what it is like and we should all be grateful for it.