Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By David Ganezer
Observer Publisher 

Is the Sand Fire North of Los Angeles a Sign of Global Warming, or the Apocalypse?

Global Warming Fans Say I told You So; But is Southern California more like "The End," or "The Rapture?"


The Sand Fire has burned an area the size of Manhattan. The 1,500 families who have been evacuated no doubt find this very real, and if they didn't subscribe to climate change theories in the past, they certainly do now.

Like a Hollywood film about the Apocalypse, the huge fire North of Los Angeles has caused an exodus of people, death, destruction and hand wringing. I don't mean to make light of this tragedy, and I'm hardly a religious person. But even I see a few interesting similarities between the biblical view of the apocalypse, and recent events. Consider the following comparisons:

1. "As of midday Sunday, the Sand Fire had grown to 22,000 acres (34 square miles) - roughly the same size as the island of Manhattan - and was just 10 percent contained. In nearby Los Angeles, the fire prompted frequent references to the Apocalypse this weekend, as the large smoke plume dropped ash and blotted out the sun." The Sand Fire in Santa Clarita Offers Omens of a Fiery Future:

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt-darkness that can be felt." So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else or leave his place for three days. - Exodus 10:21–23

2. Wildlife Waystation evacuates lions, tigers and bears (oh, my) amid Sand Fire | 89.3 KPCC:

Jess Pelaez began working at 4 a.m. Saturday morning in the pitch black, lit by nothing except the eerie red glow of a not-so-distant brushfire. By that point, the Sand Fire had been burning for 26 hours and was ringing nearly half of the Wildlife Waystation, a 160-acre exotic animal sanctuary in Sylmar.

"You could see fire tornadoes forming in the clouds of the smoke," Pelaez says. "The flames would twist on themselves. You would hear lions starting to call to each other as the sun was beginning to rise. Then you would hear the chimps shrieking to each other and it just echoed around the canyon. It was completely surreal."

Tigers in the truck. Tigers. #tigers #bigcats #sandfire #sunlantujunga #bigcats #wildlifew...

- Sarah Stone (@sarahstonearts) 3:01 PM - 23 Jul 2016

Biblical comparison: Noah loaded the animals onto the Ark, two by two . . . . According to Sanhedrin 108B, Noah was engaged both day and night in feeding and caring for the animals, and did not sleep for the entire year aboard the ark. The animals were the best of their species, and so behaved with utmost goodness. They abstained from procreation, so that the number of creatures that disembarked was exactly equal to the number that embarked.

3. "The fire behavior was some of the most extreme I've seen in the Los Angeles area in my career," said Stuart Palley, a wildfire photographer based in Southern California. "The fire was running all over the place. ... It was incredible to see." There were multiple reports of flames 50 to 100 feet high on Saturday, which is unusual for fires in the region.

Simply put: Extreme weather and climate conditions have helped produce this fire's extreme behavior. Firefighters won't catch much of a break from the weather all this week.

Smoke from the fire, burning through parts of the Angeles National Forest just north of Los Angeles, is visible from the city and cast a pall over the entire region this weekend, prompting sinister scenes. Ash rained down on cars and beaches. The sun appeared as a smoky red ball in the sky in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, and the fire was a trending topic on Twitter. Smoke from the fire has reached as far as Las Vegas.

The Sand Fire in Santa Clarita Offers Omens of a Fiery Future:

In the Hebrew Old Testament some pictures of the end of the age were images of the judgment of the wicked and the glorification of those who were given righteousness before God. In the Book of Job and in some Psalms the dead are described as being in Sheol, awaiting the final judgment. The wicked will then be consigned to eternal suffering in the fires of Gehinnom, or the lake of fire mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

Anyway, you get it. I don't really believe that this is the end of Los Angeles. Even if the weather is getting warmer. The world has been here a long time, and will probably be here for a long time to come.


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