Famines Update

Armyworm Plagues the Far East. Pestilence by insect.

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 woman 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, growing in intensity, frequency, size and duration.

Armyworm Plagues the Far East.

QUARTZ OBSESSION FROM JULY 1, 2019

Foreign invaders have conquered China. The attackers are mud-colored grubs from the Americas, whose deadliest weapon is their appetite. Which is, to be clear, titanic.

Armyworms, and more specifically Spodoptera frugiperda or fall armyworms as they are commonly called, are more than your average very hungry caterpillar. They’re larval eating machines—feared by farmers from Argentina to Florida for turning hundreds of acres of cropland into vegetal stubble in a single night.

In 2016 fall armyworms appeared in Africa for the first time and have since destroyed billions of dollars worth of crops. Since then they’ve marched steadily east, to India, Nepal, China, Taiwan, and the Philippines, turning untold acres of crops into worm food. They don’t bite, sting, or ooze slime, but their appetites alone qualify them as a global plague.

The timing of the armyworm incursion is very bad indeed. Thanks to African swine fever, which has wiped out about a fifth of the country’s pork supply, food prices are already climbing, leaping 7.7% in May, versus the same month a year ago. The armyworm outbreak may exacerbate that trend. Though a grain and vegetable shortage in China might benefit US farmers, the tariffs China imposed on American agricultural products certainly won’t help curb prices.

Despite the alarming swiftness of the infestation, grain prices have so far stayed flat. But the armyworm swarms now hover on the edge of the North China Plain, the country’s top grain-producing region, which is scary news for a nation with pre-existing food supply woes and a slowing economy.

In the Americas, fall armyworms devour corn, rice, sorghum, and even grass, and they’re a familiar, if perennially dreaded, foe of farmers, landscapers, and lawncare fanatics alike. In January of 2016, they showed up in Nigeria, the species’ first known trip to Africa, and their spread across the continent and beyond has been rapid and devastating (pdf). In May of 2017, Ghana declared a state of emergency in response to armyworm crop damage, and by September of 2018 (pdf), their presence was confirmed in Gujarat, India.

In January, farmers near China’s border with Myanmar noticed fall armyworms for the first time. Now, less than six months later, the infestation spans the entire southern half of China, and has jumped to Taiwan and to the Philippines. In colder regions, like most of the US, armyworms are kept in check by the seasons—they can’t survive the winter. The pests are far more challenging to control in warmer regions where they can’t be frozen out.

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