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Earth Day: Some Not-So-Scientific Observations from Six Decades of Life

It’s interesting living life in my mid-sixties. That doesn’t seem so old to me now. I was born in the 50’s, grew up in the 60’s, left home and established my own household and served in the US military in the 70’s, went to college and was a missionary in the 80’s and traveled the world in the 90’s to date. I love the fact that I can now say, “I’ve been around the block.” It means I have lived through many major world crises, four in particular that I want to point out.

 

 

I lived through the drug infested, rock and roll introduced sexual revolution of the 1960’s and 1970’s. I also lived through four “scientifically proven” crises as well. In 1975 the talk around the world and in the scientific community particularly was “global cooling.” Yep, Time magazine even had a cover article on it in the 1970’s. Everything, everywhere on our planet was cooling and one day we would be living in a frozen tundra if we were living at all. Our planet as we knew it would be modified forever.

In the 1980’s the scientific consensus was that acid rain, caused by electricity-generating plants fueled by coal and spewing out sulfur dioxide was destroying our forests, our deserts, our lakes and our streams. Yes, acid rain would eat the paint right off of our cars. Not one fish would be left in a stream due to acid rain. Food could not be grown as we knew it because of acid rain. By 1991 following a ten-year study by the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program the conclusion was acid rain was not destroying our forests and did not hurt our food crops and caused no measurable health risks.

 

The third major scientific crises in my lifetime was the earth’s ozone layer developing holes and weakening. The ozone layer that surrounds our earth is made up of gases approximately 12-18 miles from the earth’s surface and it absorbs ultraviolet light—a pretty important part of God’s creation. Soon scientists discovered the real enemy to this disappearing ozone layer was hair spray, chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) used in spray bottles. Quickly, every pressurized spray can using CFC’s disappeared from the store shelves. By the mid 1980’s animals “were going blind” from this phenomenon. Depletion of this layer is still being studied, but scientists are also recently discovering that in many areas the ozone is “repairing itself” or there is actually an increase in thickness.

 

Today, we are suffering from “greenhouse gases” like CO2 and global warming. Yes, even cow flatulation is being measured by scientists. Climate change is our newest fear from science. I wonder if one day all of the present “facts” will change as the three previous disasters have? I don’t know. I am not a scientist and I cannot attest to the effects of global warming to be true, to be false or to be somewhere in between. I will let you decide that for yourself.

But this I do know:

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. (Psalm 24:1)

The Heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it. (Psalm 89:11)

God created our world and He has a long-term plan for it, meanwhile, we need to be the best stewards we can possibly be of the earth because it belongs to God. We must do our part to not pollute, to use less water and become more conservative with all of our natural resources. But we need not live in fear. I appreciate science, but while the “facts” of science seem very convincing, they can also be very wrong and change. Two more things I know about God? He is never wrong and He does not change.  (See Malachi 3:6.)

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