The Japanese had cleared their forests in the Meiyi period, and disastrous floods were the consequence. After the Second World War, a plan put forward by the Americans was to convert Germany and Japan into agrarian countries. The Americans forced the Japanese in 1945 to clear their forests and create arable fields instead. Again nature responded with floods and soil erosion. But times soon changed, of course, and the Japanese quickly put a stop to the destruction of their forests. 142
What happened in Japan some decades ago is now reaching undreamt-of proportions all over the world. Hurricanes with floods of rain are putting large areas under water in all parts of the world. In India, millions of people suffer when their great rivers flood the countryside. In 1865, 57 percent of the country was still wooded, but today the figure is barely ten percent. 143
Scientists are now aware that the current over-exploitation of forests will have very serious consequences. In vain do they warn against the interference with the delicately balanced ecological system that goes hand in hand with such exploitation.
New Revelation also warns mankind not to destroy the forests, and particularly against the depredations of "industry let loose." (Gr IX 63, 6) Particular emphasis is laid on the relationship between depletion of forests and the development of hurricanes. "For as long as forests exist on the earth in right measure . . . , you will see neither excessively violent elemental storms arise to sweep the earth nor all kinds of widely different diseases that are like plagues. But once the over-greedy desire for profit shown by men has laid hands on the forests of the earth, it will be dire for men to live and exist on their earth, most dire there where the clearing of woods will get excessiveand this you should note, to warn people in good time of such industry let loose." (Gr IX 63, 6) ". . . dense forests are necessary, they have thousands of purposes." (Gr VIII 63, 4)
The woodland flora and fauna is indeed a highly complex, extremely mutifarious system, and little is generally known about its complexity, taking into account also the climate, oxygen production, etc. Yet industrial nations pay no heed to the inevitable consequences of destroying the forests, nor do developing countries.
In South and Southeast Asia, the population increase has been so explosive that more than 15 million hectares (36 million acres) of woodland are cleared mechanically and by burning each year. 144 Over-exploitation of forests has already produced an alarming degree of erosion of the mountain slopes in the highest mountains of Asia and floods for the vast Indian lowlands. 145
Within a few decades, huge forests were cleared in the northern parts of Brazil. The area covered by forests has gone down from 40 percent in 1900 to 5 percent today. Inevitably there have been major floods. 146
Experts have established that a hundred years ago, forests covered 4.5 thousand million square meters of the earth; in 1960 on the other hand only 2.7 thousand million square meters. 147 In consequence, geographers, botanists and ecologists have found an alarming increase in desert regions in all parts of the world. 148
A third of all cultivated land on earth will turn to wasteland within the next 15 years, according to UNO experts. Regions under threat are thought to include some which so far had been considered safe, e.g., in the U.S.A. and Canada. 149
Jakob Lorber predicted that deforestation on a large scale would have very serious consequences: ". . . you will very soon indeed feel the consequences of this, and they will be bitter." ...devastating whirlwinds will completely destroy whole countries." (Gr V 109, 1)
That has really come true in the present century. Huge deforestations in the U.S.A. and the introduction of monoculture, taking away protective hedges, resulted in the devastation of vast areas in the 20th century. In March 1934, a tornado carried 300 million tons of top soil into the Atlantic Ocean. 160,000 farmers lost their large farms in just one day. The total size of the area is put at 120 million hectares (almost 300 million acres) by Professor Yudkin. 150) ("These are almost 300 million acres, compared to G. 60 million acres.)
To quote one author: "Right at the center of the U.S.A.'s richest wheat-growing regions, an area the size of Germany and France together, has been turned into a complete desert, with another one of equal size threatened with destruction. 151 Two-thirds of the area of the U.S.A. is man-made desert today. 152 To stop erosion, the U.S. government has to spend a thousand million dollars a year.
Is it not then the literal truth when Jakob Lorber predicted in the middle of the last century that areas the size of "whole countries" will be "completely destroyed", i.e., made into deserts? And that the consequences will be bitter?
Such a disaster also lies ahead for Africa. This continent is losing 300 million tons of top soil annually, and in 15 years may well no longer be in a position to feed the population. 153
All over the world, vast forest lands are constantly being destroyed to provide fields, pastures, and firewood for rapidly growing native populations, as well as for the enorm amounts of wood required by industrial nations. Large section of these former forest lands have by now suffered erosion have been over-grazed, so that they have become deserts steppes. Huge pasture lands have had to be abandoned. Our globe is well on the way to becoming a wasteland. Deserts are rapidly expanding in all low rainfall areas. Experts have stated at a world desert conference that this is even now affecting the climate and the water threshold. 154 Scientists have said the worldwide deforestation may cause a general drop in temperature for the earth. A side effect may be that the large agrarian regions of North America and Europe are subject to constant droughts. 155 Jakob Lorber wrote: "Go then and destroy all the forests . . ." "Yet what will be the result? ... cloud bursts of the most terrible kind and unending hail storms will devastate all the regions and far around." (Gr IV 143, 5)
Since 1982, alarming news has come from the Federal German Republic and neighboring countries of forests dying at an increasing rate due to exposure to chemicals. According to the experts, the causes for the death of Central European forests go back over 20 or 30 years. For decades, the trees have been exposed to sulphur dioxide, nitric oxide, ozone, photooxidants and toxic heavy metals, and the consequences are now showing themselves with undreamt-of rapidity. The sudden death of the forests heralds the general collapse of the ecosystem which is to come, with resistance exhausted as exposure to chemicals continues to increase.
Meanwhile research carried out at Nottingham University has shown that cereal crops will also suffer damage from sulphur dioxide in the future, "reducing both yield and quality." And in May 1983, the German Nature Conservancy Association, the Bund fuer Naturschutz, warned that the next environmental disaster was already beginning to emerge. Soils were being destroyed by excessive use of fertilizers and increasing cumulation of cadmium, with the result that within the foreseeable time more and more agrarian land in G. would no longer be useable. 156
Jakob Lorber's predictions are coming true in this respect as well. The damage caused by chemistry is becoming increasingly mo re evident. Lorber predicted: "Plagues will arise for men, animals and even plants." (Gr Ev. VIII 185) "Doom shall spread further and further."* (Gr VI 150.15)
In vain did the Lord warn us in New Revelation: "Teach men to be wise therefore, or they will call their doom upon themselves. I know, however, that it will happen after all, and yet I must not step in and prevent it, with My omnipotence, but only through My teaching." (Gr V 109, 7)
If we consider the pollution of the air, the contamination of rivers, of the ground water and of the seas, and the overexploitation of forests, the words of Friedrich Georg Juenger, a man much attacked by the technocrats in his day, seem almost clairvoyant and certainly topical: "A demoniac element pervades the whole sphere of technology, constantly gaining in strength with it." "Technology may achieve perfection, but never maturity." "Religious, political, social and economic considerations are excluded from that line of thought." "The practical exploitation pursued by technology is reflected also in the way technologists think." "These are dark things that are forcing themselves on us." 157
All over the world, politicians are looking on without doing anything, letting things take their course. Industry and agriculture are interested only in higher production figures. Materialism thus is the ideology of justification for technology and for industry which controls it. The population at large still is not realizing the direction events are taking; it does not know how much weight attaches to the words from New Revelation quoted above: "... I know, however, that it will happen after all."
*Professor S. Eppstein (Univ. of Illinois) has called cancer the plague of the 20th Century.