Stan Crader

Author & Lecturer on Writing About Rural America

Climate Change

At the risk of losing all of my blog followers I’m respectfully sharing a couple of provocative thoughts on climate change. It’s possible that climate change will eclipse terrorism as the world’s most divisive issue. We all need to give the subject considerable thought.

For the purposes of a discussion of this magnitude, one must first decide if they believe in a deity. And then there’s the question of God. For those who profess a belief in God, the following hopefully provokes further research in an effort to reach an informed conclusion. For those who don’t believe in God, I hope the following arouses your curiosity about divine matters in general and the world’s climate specifically.

Of the group who believes in God of the Bible, one must decide if they believe the Bible is inerrant. I count myself among this group. Doing so requires faith in all precepts including those for which there is no empirical evidence, such as Jonah and the whale, or Jesus turning water into wine. Choosing to believe that only some parts of the Bible are true and others are not requires one to decide which is which. I’m not willing to debate which is which; I’ll take God at His Word.

What does history tell us happens when people turn from God?

Genesis 6:1-8

6 When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with[a] humans forever, for they are mortal[b]; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

Flooding the earth was essentially a major consequence for bad behavior. One would expect that it was a lesson learned and that good behavior would thereafter prevail forever, particularly since the survivors where exponentially strong in their faith. And had witnessed firsthand what happens to those who disobey God. Human nature is perplexing.

The Old Testament of the Bible instructs us that years later the Israelites enjoyed periods of victory and endured years of defeat, each lasting generations or longer. When they followed God’s word, they were victorious. When they turned from God, they lost their “hedge of protection” and suffered defeat.

Chosen People

It’s said that the Jews are God’s chosen people, that’s why Jesus was a Jew. Why? Even an agnostic must realize that the Jews have endured incredible attempts at complete annihilation of their line only to recover and flourish. But there’s another country that has enjoyed the exponential blessing of God.

The United States was first known throughout the world as The American Experiment. America was founded by those who aspired to freedom of religion, not to be confused with freedom ‘from’ religion. The constitution talks about men being endowed by their Creator and the right to the pursuit of happiness. America was founded by those who believed in a Creator. Each day, before beginning deliberations on the details of our constitution, the founder fathers bowed together in prayer to that oft-referenced ‘Creator.’

America became a world power in less than a century. People fled to America from all corners of the earth, and continue to do so. America became known as the land of opportunity and freedom of religion. People came here to work and worship in freedom. Work and worship they did. Every colonial community featured a church in which the Creator referenced in the constitution was worshiped.

Hedge of Protection

Ephesian 6:13-12 reads: 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Study Colonel George Washington’s experience at the battle of Monongahela to learn more about the practical application of a divine hedge of protection. George Washington is the only president to be elected unanimously. Nobody else on planet earth could have done what he did. His walk was no coincidence.

Granted, good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. But history does support the notion that God favors a country that is populated by citizens who worship Him. America is a testament to that. No other country in the history of the world has enjoyed the blessings that have been bestowed upon America. And people continue to seek American citizenship and protection.

Finally, Climate Change

There’s evidence to support the fact that the world’s climate has continued to change for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. And most agree that the globe has warmed, albeit fractionally, in recent years. But looking at a graph of estimated temperatures for the past 1000 years illustrates that significant dips and peaks have occurred since long before carbon emissions.

And studies now point to the possibility that warm air precedes increased levels of carbon dioxide in the air. Due to a slow economy, lower priced natural gas verses coal, and higher efficiencies, carbon emissions in the US are now at their lowest level in twenty years, yet the average temperature is reportedly on the rise. It seems there’s either an inverse relationship between carbon emissions and atmospheric temperatures but more likely, no relationship. Scientific projections as to the affect that a major reduction in emissions would have on average temperatures points to the futility of it all. Even if all emissions were eliminated, the effect on global warming is purportedly negligible and given the statistical error, possibly undetectable.

For argument’s sake, let’s take the scientists who strongly profess man-made global warming at their word. But keep in mind all the scientific data, all of it, not just the past decade or century. According to their statistics, even if all emissions were eliminated the cooling result would be only a degree or so over a couple of hundred years. While there are countless reasons to be good stewards of the environment, there is little or no evidence to support the grandiose notions that draconian emissions regulations will have any enduring impact on the global ecosystem. And the chance of getting all countries to agree on a mutual emission reduction isn’t likely.

Nevertheless, if the world is warming, and for argument’s sake we agree on the notion that man-made emissions are the cause, and furthermore that eventually this warming trend will result in the melting of all icebergs, and the likely result is a rise in ocean levels, then what, a flood of Biblical proportion?

What can be done?

Since America’s independence, has the world, and America specifically, become less or more inclined to follow and worship God? Do a higher or lower percent of American’s worship and follow God today than during the time of our founding fathers? The first printing of the Bible in the US was approved by the US Congress, privately funded, and distributed to public schools. Could that be done today?

2 Chronicles 7: 14 – If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Maybe there is something that can be done about global warming. But I think the solution has more to do with submission than emission.

 

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