California’s Hell Fires
The wildfires that raged across California in 2017 were ones for the record book. Nearly 9,000 wildfires tore through the state, burning 1.2 million acres of land (an area the size of Delaware), destroying more than 10,800 structures and killing at least 46 people. The Thomas Fire burnt 282,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, and was the largest in state history.
In a normal world, last year’s fire events in California would stand for many years before some rare weather event created similar conditions. It is stunning to learn that 2018 has surpassed 2017 to become the worst ever for death and destruction.
The Camp Fire has caused devastation on a scale never before seen in California. Normally, a fire will burn out part of a subdivision and kill a few people. The Camp Fire destroyed most of the city of Paradise, California. At least 85 people have been confirmed dead in the blaze. The previous most deadly fire in the state was the Griffith Park Fire of 1933, which killed 29 people. Nearly 17,000 homes and buildings were incinerated, which is three times larger than the previous record event.
In California, 15 of the 20 largest fires in the state’s history have burned since 2000. That state has experienced major fire events in each of the past 8 years. The state is “a bit like a canary in a coal mine,” said Ms. Pohl, a research analyst with Headwaters Economics, a nonprofit research group that helps communities develop wildfire plans. “We are also going to see the same trend across other states in the country in the future.”
California Gov. Jerry Brown said the fires are the result of climate change. He balked at President Donald Trump’s suggestion that poor forestry and poor forest management might be to blame for the massive wildfires. If these fires are the result of climate change, then we are all going to die within a few short years. The oceans will boil away and all land will become a burnt wasteland.
The firestorm that raced through the city of Paradise was the product of extremely rare weather events. The flames reached the city limits by jumping a mile-wide canyon. The wall of fire moved at speeds that most experts would have never imagined as possible.
Most of the largest fires took place in July and August because that is the hottest time of the year. It is very odd to have such a massive fire in November. Since the Thomas Fire occurred in December of last year, strange has quickly become the norm.
The stock price of PG&E, which supplies electricity to 16 million California residents, has been cut in half by the Camp Fire. Power equipment belonging to the electric utility may have sparked the fire. It warned last week that insurance might not cover its liabilities if the utility is held responsible for the wildfire.
The San Francisco-based company already has booked estimated losses of $2.79 billion this year for claims related to the 2017 wildfires. PG&E faces a further $10 billion in liabilities from last year. The losses for 2018 may reach $15 billion. Since it has become a huge financial risk to provide electricity in California, the taxpayers in that state will likely be forced to bailout PG&E and several other utilities.
Home insurance rates have already seen massive hikes from the previous year’s fires. Unless the situation changes for the better, the cost of insurance will have to rise by $100 billion per decade. With tax rates in California already the highest in the nation, many residents will soon find it too expensive to live in the state.
The worst type of disaster a property holder can experience is fire. When a house is flooded or hit by a tornado, there are many things that can be recovered in the aftermath. When a home is consumed by flames, there is nothing to claim but ashes. I saw YouTube videos of people driving several miles in Paradise with block after block of total devastation. With natural disasters becoming a regular occurrence, the “blessed hope” is our only remedy from future calamity.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:16-18).
“Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
The Reprobate, the Rebellious and the Ruinous
News moving a headline at a time today is like an army of angry marchers intent upon tramping the most friendly society and culture to humanity ever to exist into oblivion. Beats anything I ever saw, to put it the way my old Daddy used to say.
I’ve chosen a few news items in my attempt to make the point. We are in the strangest of times, if we apply rationale to existential lunacy assaulting us not just daily, but hourly.
The first might seem innocuous enough. But it is a sort of pet peeve with me and I can’t help but comment to waiters and waitresses every time they bring a Coke or glass of water to the table. I tell them, if you were in California you would be fined a thousand dollars…and possibly put in jail for a month or two.
They, of course, think they have a crazy old guy on their hands. But, they politely and patiently smile and ask with incredulity in their voices–as if they were genuinely interested in my nonsense. “Why?”
Then I explain that such is the penalty in California for those serving customers plastic straws with drinks, etc. Well, the Governor Moonbeam-type infection has spread and now includes our nation’s capital as part of the serve-straws-at-your-own-peril insanity.
Here’s a brief excerpt of the story”
Washington, D.C., will begin enforcing its ban on plastic straws on Jan. 1, which would penalize churches for offering free coffee if it comes with a stirrer.
The Department of Energy and Environment tweeted Thursday that Mayor Muriel Bowser has a “list of recyclables and compostables” banning plastic straws and stirrers. [MayorBowser‘s list of recyclables and compostables now requires the use of compostable and/or reusable straws and stirrers when selling food or beverages in the District. Enforcement begins January 1, 2019!…] (“DC Bans Churches From Handing Out Straws With Free Coffee,” Washington Free Beacon, by Elizabeth Harrington, November 17, 2018)
Now, if you are a cantankerous old guy like me, you might wonder what is a church doing handing out coffee in church in the first place–but, that’s probably just “back-number” thinking, as ol’ Dr. Vernon McGee used to say.
The next news item also touches upon a matter that ruffles my feathers. I’m referring to the climate-change mantra that gets more invasive by the hour–that is, it has evolved from the global-warming push by the globalists elite. These are the one-worlders who want to rob the U.S. Treasury–a thing that has within its mostly empty vaults IOUs, not true wealth these days.
Man-made global warming has been proven a hoax, and now man-made climate change is well on its way to being proven the same, according to some experts.
Researchers who were attempting to prove evidence of climate change recently published a study claiming that ocean temperatures were increasing at a dramatic rate, much higher than previous estimates.
The study was blindly accepted by believers in the climate change/global warming theory.
But the researchers have had to retract their bold claims after a mathematician studied their findings and immediately debunked it, spotting errors that called the legitimacy of the entire study into question. (“Mathematician Exposes Global Warming Study Inflating Temp Rise By 600%,” Rapture Ready News, by Neon Nettle, November 17, 2018)
The first news item referenced–about the plastic straws–is somewhat whimsical. But it gives hint of more serious things in society and culture. Concern over plastic straws that might affect the environment in deleterious ways should be analyzed in light of other concerns these same environmentalists hold.
I’m thinking particularly of their concern for what human beings are doing to the environment. The radical among them claim that people are polluting the planet. Humans are over-populating Mother Earth.
These, therefore, are among the strongest of supporters of women’s right to choose in the matter of whether to abort their babies. The thinking is, among the more adamant, that the fewer people on the planet, the better. So there are legitimate reasons for babies to be thus gotten rid of…more than 60 million of whom have indeed been removed since Roe v Wade in 1973. The straw of plastic that would otherwise go into your Coke, you see, is intrinsically of like non-value to the unwanted child that will never see the light of day.
But, the environmentalist –whether radical or less so–will put the egg of the spotted owl or a field mouse and its habitat on a list of protected species. This is what the Apostle Paul called “reprobate thinking” (Romans chapter 1).
This is a generation of reprobate thinking. That mindset has led to problems wrapped up in the second word in the title of this commentary: rebellious.
A third news item shows, I think, an example of reprobate thinking spawning rebellion in our nation.
A report in the Christian Post contends that the number of witches (and Wiccans) has dramatically increased since the 1990s, to the degree that there may be at least 1.5 million witches in the United States, which is higher than the 1.4 million mainline Presbyterians.
“[The practice of witchcraft has grown significantly in recent decades; those who identify as witches has risen concurrently with the rise of the ‘witch aesthetic,'”reported the Christian Post in October, citing data from Quartz, a Trinity College study, and the Pew Research Center.
Between 1990 and 2008, the number of Wiccans in the United States grew from 8,000 to 340,000, according to three religious surveys conducted by Trinity College in Connecticut. In addition, the Pew Research Center reported in 2014 that 0.4% of the population — 1 to 1.5 million Americans — “identify as Wicca or Pagan.” (“Number of Witches in U.S. on the Rise, May Surpass 1.5 Million,” CSN News, by Michael W. Chapman, November 18, 2018)
You might remember the bizarre story of a Los Angeles writer saying she had joined with thousands of witches to put a “hex” on Donald Trump. Diana Wagman said on May 23, 2017, that she and others intended to join forces ” to cast a binding spell on President Donald Trump “under the waning crescent moon.” She said, “It was not meant to physically hurt him, only to keep him from succeeding at his tasks…. I found an orange candle in a box of multicolored ones we use for our Hanukkah menorah. I printed the required tarot card off the Internet and propped it up. I cut an unflattering photo of POTUS out of the newspaper, and I burned it while chanting the words of the spell…. I plan to complete the ritual again.”
Such might be humorous in some sense, but it is profoundly indicative of rebelliousness that has taken root in society and culture.
God proclaims such rebellion is ruinous to any people. His example people, the Jews, fell into such rebellion–and their rebelliousness led to a ruinous future that reached its most heinous manifestation with the Holocaust of Hitler’s day. Moses reported the following in warning the Jewish people about such rebellion:
When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do. (Deuteronomy 18:9-14)
With the abortion infanticide since the implementation of Roe v Wade, we have, in effect, condoned the passing of children through the fires, just as the pagans did. It is abomination, the Lord says. We have reached the point of reprobate thinking that has spawned rebellion against God. He is a God that does not change. He is the same today as when He had Moses warn these things those millennia ago.