Sunday, October 9, 2016

I Wonder on Climate Change and the Last Days

      With all the debate about climate change, I wonder if we pause to consider what the effects will be. Let me mention some that are to come later this century: Increases in flooding and droughts, worse hurricanes, more heat waves, and maybe more disease and, in some places, loss of drinking water. Those are some of the possible effects.
   As I think on them, I wonder if I worry too much about climate change. Those are not good things, at all, but they don't appear to be catastrophic to the point of placing the planet in jeopardy.
   On the flip side, I cannot help but notice that some of these effects are things Bible readers expect to happen in the last days. It is said, the these days will be days of calamity.
   A large segment of society does not even believe in man-made climate change. They ridicule the idea. They mock it. Figuratively speaking, they cast the scientists out from among them. It sounds like a story from the scriptures: Someone warns of dire consequences if changes are not made, and the people reject and mock the messenger.
   The world is as if on cigarettes, smoking its way to self harm. I think how this is not so unlike when, decades ago, scientists began warning that tobacco was harmful, yet the tobacco industry had been saying cigarettes were not harmful.
   So it is, the energy industry is telling us their product is not harmful.
   And, maybe they are right. I Facebook with a friend who says termites, cows and volcanoes are many times more the cause than are man-made emissions."We are but a pimple on the surface of the world," he says, referring to the share of damage we do.
   I am not so certain. And, it seems to me we might yet pull back from doing the harm we are doing. The Paris Agreement and such could lead to reductions in greenhouse emissions eventually. Hillary Clinton spoke of clean coal in the presidential debate tonight.
  So, it seems we might change. But, what if we don't? What if we go on laughing and living and singing  -- partying, so to speak -- right up to the day it is too late? Is there a chance the problem might be bigger than even the scientists are supposing? What if the volcanoes become more common and emit more greenhouse gases than anticipated? What if, in some places, the greenhouse effect is so great that we have heatwaves that literally endanger peoples lives? I have not heard that that is even projected, so perhaps there is no need to worry.
  I will say, though, that when I read the scriptures of the end of days, I often wonder what will happen to bring those things to pass. I read how the earth will get so hot, it will roll up as a scroll. Is that literally, or figuratively? Could nuclear war bring it about?
   And, is there a chance global warming could bring it about? Perhaps it wouldn't be so severe as to actually make the earth roll up as a scroll, but could it become so hot, in some places, that segments of the soil dry up and roll up? Doesn't mud, when dried, do just that? We've all seen mud puddles that have dried, and how the top layer flakes and breaks into pieces, each flake curved up at the edges.
   Maybe the prophecy on the earth rolling together as a scroll means no more than that. Maybe it means more. I do not know. I can see, though, that if it means no more, this is something that will surely happen as a result of climate change. There will at least be some mud puddles drying and flaking -- scrolling up. Will enough of the earth's surface be so affected that a prophecy might have been made about it?

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