Those of us who actually paid attention in History class will remember "The Year Without a Summer", when Europe and parts of North America suffered crop failures due to very unseasonably cold and wet weather, triggered by the ash cloud from Krakatoa absorbing sunlight at altitude. In the U.S. it changed settlement patterns and partially depopulated parts of New England as people decided they couldn't count on producing enough food.
Well, the geologists are saying we might be getting ash from the Eyjafjallajokull for several more years.
In fact, TIMESONLINE is reporting that a statistical and historical analysis of Icelandic volcanism suggests that the nature of volcanic activity in in Iceland is cyclical, and that we are moving into a high activity period.
They also note that the Latla Volcano, which is historically linked in its eruptions to the E. (I ain'tn't typing that out ever and over again!) was considered to be close to "failure" (eruption) before the current eruption. The volcanoes Grimsvotn, Hekla and Askja seem to be building towards eruption. All of these volcanoes are larger and more violent than E, and Hekla has a history of catastrophic eruptions. Right now, Ice and snow are melting at an unusual rate at the summit of Hekla.
The upshot of this is, that we may not be facing a catastrophe of "Global Warming", but declining food production due to unfavorable weather in the northern and western portions of the Eurasian landmass, and in Canada. (This is quite possibly an alarmist position, I know. But it is not an implausible position. The eruption of the Laki Fissure Volcano in 1783 caused a significant decrease in Norther Hemisphere temperatures for three years. This decrease caused crop failures and famine that killed two million people and raised food prices high enough to trigger the french revolution. And the Laki fissure volcano is in Iceland, part of the volcanic system we're discussing.) Since much of the world gets it's grains from these regions, a precarious food supply might well get worse. In the US, that will mostly mean higher food prices, perhaps much higher. But in Africa and parts of Asia, it could mean famine. And famine, on a large scale, in the modern world would mean war.
Of course, War is often considered to be a chastisement for sin, as is Famine. And Our Lady has, for a considerable period, been warning us of a Chastisement.
And we need to look at things globally--look at questions of social justice, of morality, of our various economic systems, all of which seem to militate against the Gospel.
So maybe we could do with a little penance, a lot of prayer, and some examination of our individual lives, to see what we can do to improve things everywhere.
And if we have any responsibility fro children or grandchildren, we could stock up on shelf stable staples, to help stretch the food budget if prices go through the roof, or to stretch us through times when there just wasn't much in the supermarket. Red beans, rice, wheat (not flour--the grain) honey and powdered milk can get you through a lot of hard times.
I think I'll lay in some more spare scapulars, too!