Fearful Sights

Crocodiles…Snakes…Scorpions… Oh my! Fearful sights in diverse places. Indeed! Luke 21:11

Blog note. Jesus indicated that ‘fearful sights’ (various natural disasters) would occur leading up to the time known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation (a combined seven year period of great destruction on earth). Although these types of things have occurred in the past for centuries and thousands of years, they could be identified as the ‘season of the times’ due to the ferociousness of these events. They would be occurring in greater intensity, severity, frequency, size, duration, scope … just like the pains that a women experiences in labor the farther along she is in the labor process. We are in the ‘season of the times’ that comes just before the seven (7) year Tribulation/Great Tribulation period

… And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11).

… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (Luke 21:25)

… Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; (Luke 21:26)

… This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)

Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. These verses are several of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied Eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor pains that occur in greater severity, frequency, size and duration prior to giving birth. End of note.

Dozens of polar bears invade remote Russian town, create ’emergency situation’

Doyle Rice, USA TODAYPublished 12:56 p.m. ET Feb. 11, 2019 | Updated 2:11 p.m. ET Feb. 11, 2019

Russia might be famous for its bears, but this is ridiculous.

An invasion of about 50 polar bears has caused an “emergency situation” in the small Russian settlement of Belushya Guba, according to the TASS news agency. The town is located on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, about 1,200 miles northeast of Moscow.

“The people are scared,” said Alexander Minayev, the deputy head of Novaya Zemlya.

“They are frightened to leave homes and their daily routines are broken,” Minayev said in a statement. “Parents are afraid to let the children go to school or kindergarten.”

The bears arrived in December and have acted aggressively since then, attacking people and entering residents and businesses.

“I have been in Novaya Zemlya since 1983, but there has never been so many polar bears in the vicinity,” said Zhigansha Musin, the head of Novana Zemlya.

There could be a connection to global warming: Melting Arctic sea ice has forced polar bears to spend more time on land, where they compete for food. Scientists have long warned that the shrinking sea ice in the Arctic poses a direct threat to the bears – and increases the likelihood of encounters with humans, according to CBS News.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature says there are approximately 26,000 polar bears on earth. The species is categorized as “vulnerable.” In the United States, it’s considered a threatened species.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates the population could decrease by 30 to 50 percent if the loss of sea ice continues.

“Two-thirds of the world’s polar bears could die out by 2050,” the World Wildlife Fundhas said.

This particular invasion in Russia might last a while. The Russian government has refused to issue licenses to shoot the most aggressive polar bears, TASS reports. But the government has sent a team of experts to the archipelago to assess and prevent attacks on humans.

Venomous yellow scorpions are moving into Brazil’s big cities – and the infestation may be unstoppable

February 11, 2019 6.43am EST

I live in São Paulo, the biggest city in Brazil, home to some 12 million people – 20 million if you count the outskirts, which have been sprawling for three decades.

That makes it a good place to observe the phenomenon I research: complex social problems. In academia, this concept refers to problems like corruption, crime and traffic – problems that, in practice, cannot be solved. They must simply be mitigated or managed.

São Paulo is a dense city, with scarce green space and little to no animal life – no squirrels, no raccoons, not even a lot of birds. So I was astonished when, in January, I learned that scorpions had infested my neighborhood.

It turns out, people across the city and São Paulo state were having the same problem with these dangerous, venomous bugs. Statewide, scorpion stings have increased threefold over the last two decades.

Four kinds of scorpion live across Brazil, but historically only in rural areas. São Paulo residents are urbanites. We have conquered nature – or so we thought.

Brazil’s urban scorpions

Brazil’s scorpion infestation is the perfect example of how unpredictable modern life has become. It is a hallmark of what those of us in the complex problems field call a “VUCA” world – a world that’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.

Some 2.5 billion people worldwide, from Mexico to Russia, live with scorpions, which generally prefer hot and dry habitats.

But Brazil’s cities also provide an excellent habitat for scorpions, experts say. They offer shelter in sewage networks, plenty of water and food in the garbage that goes uncollected, and no natural predators.

Scorpions, like the cockroaches they feast on, are an incredibly adaptable species. As the weather in Brazil gets hotter due to climate change, scorpions are spreading across the country – including into its colder southern states that rarely, if ever, had reports of scorpions prior to this millennium.

The number of people stung by scorpions across Brazil has risen from 12,000 in 2000 to 140,000 last year, according to the health ministry.

Most scorpion stings are extremely painful but not fatal. For children, however, they are dangerous and require urgent medical attention. Eighty-eight people died from their wounds in 2017, Brazil’s O Globo newspaper reports, highlighting the lack of adequate medicare care available in small towns. Many of the dead are children.

In Americana, a city with about 200,000 inhabitants in São Paulo state, teams that perform night searches for scorpions captured more than 13,000 last year – that’s the equivalent of one scorpion for every 15 people.

Worse yet, the species terrorizing Brazilians is the highly poisonous yellow scorpion, or tityus serrulatus. It reproduces through the miracle of parthenogenesis, meaning a female scorpion simply generates copies of herself twice a year – no male participation required.

Each parthenogenesis can spawn up to 20 to 30 baby scorpions. Though most will die in their first days and weeks of life, ridding Brazilian cities of scorpions would be a herculean, if not downright impossible, task.

Wicked problems in a crazy world

Brazil’s urban scorpion infestation is a classic “wicked problem.”

This term, first used in 1973 by design theorists Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber, refers to enormous social or cultural problems like poverty and war – problems with no simple or definitive solution, and which arise at the intersection of other problems.

Wicked problems are a symptom of numerous other related problems, both natural and human-made. In this case, Brazil’s urban scorpion infestation is the result of poor garbage management, inadequate sanitation, rapid urbanization and a changing climate.

It is likely too late to stop the spread of scorpions across Brazilian cities.

In a VUCA world, my academic research and other problem-solving studies show, wicked problems should be identified and confronted as soon as possible, using an array of responses.

In a VUCA world, the more resources you throw at problems, the better. That could mean everything from public awareness campaigns that educate Brazilians about scorpions to exterminator task forces working to control their population in urban areas. Scientists should be involved. Brazil’s national public health system will need to adapt to this new threat.

Brazil’s government appears to be ill-equipped to tackle the scorpion infestation.

Despite dogged press coverage, federal health officials have barely spoken publicly about Brazil’s urban scorpion problem. And, beyond some rather tepid national and state-level efforts to train health officials in scorpion risk, authorities seem to have no plan for fighting the infestation at the epidemic level it is heading towards.

Nor are cities likely to see any federal money dedicated to fighting this scorpion infestation: Brazil has been in a deep recession since 2015, and public health budgets have been slashed.

Venomous yellow scorpions, I fear, have already claimed their place alongside violent crimebrutal traffic and other chronic problems that urbanites in Brazil must cope with daily.

 

Crocodiles spotted in suburban streets during Townsville floods

By 9News Staff. 10:34am Feb 4, 2019

Multiple crocodile sightings have been reported in Townsville as floodwaters continue to rise across the city.

Erin Hahn shared a photo of a freshwater crocodile spotted in front of her father Shaun’s house on O’Reilly St, Mundingburra, at roughly 9:50pm last night.

“[The croc] was nearly a metre or two long,” she told nine.com.au.

Ms Hahn said the sighting of a crocodile was not uncommon in the Ross River near her father’s home, but added: “it’s just crazy when it’s outside of your home”.

Shortly after Ms Hahn took the picture; the crocodile swam off down the road.

Another photo shared by resident Helen Murdoch showed a freshwater crocodile climbing a tree to avoid rapidly flowing floodwaters.

Emergency services also reportedly sighted a three-metre crocodile on Bowen Rd near Rosslea on Sunday night.

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