The recent rush to enact legislation addressing "global warming" brings back memories, not all of them good. As has happened several times in the past, dire warnings of impending doom have predicted devastation to the planet, all backed up by pronouncements of scientists. While we recall them, let's remind ourselves that science and the opinions of some scientists are two different things. Often there seems to be a hidden agenda, either financial or political.
Of course, as we learned in last month's Impact article, threats of global warming are not baseless, for there are observations of fluctuations in parameters. Are they normal oscillations or long term trends? Are they due to human activity or natural causes? The best observations and speculations are that they are of natural origin, and the earth will readjust in time.
It reminds me of the time in the 1970s when I was ushered into the inner sanctum of the CIA in Washington, a meeting arranged by a highly placed government official interested in my search for Noah's Ark. I asked for the release of photos of Mt. Ararat's ice cap during a year of extreme snow melt, hoping to see the Ark. According to our government's best intelligence, the earth was heading into a new Ice Age, and ice caps would probably expand for hundreds of years. We were entering into "global cooling," and man was to blame. Some in government wanted to pass legislation to "save the planet" by altering human behavior. Imagine the fix we would be in now if they had succeeded.
In the 1960s a similar scare predicted doom due to human overpopulation. Some wanted to governmentally limit family size, others wanted to eliminate the aged and infirmed. Famine and water shortages were touted as imminent. As before, man was the enemy and government needed to be expanded and empowered. Eventually the cries diminished.
Next came scares of acid rain, nuclear winter, Y2K, etc. Now we have the need for government-funded stem cell research. (Always the cry is for embryonic stem cells to be harvested, which destroys the embryo, not adult stem cells which do no harm to the donor.) In every case man is the culprit and an all-wise, all-powerful government is the solution while fringe science provides the evidence. A political agenda lurks behind it all. Many scientists see through the rhetoric, but they too benefit by government funding of their own marginally related research projects. Always the same big-government groups are behind them.
Let it be known that I am not overly concerned by global warming. I consider the scare as an effort to promote extreme political views. Some would fall under the label socialist, others Marxist, all desiring power vested in the hands of an elite few. The Creator designed the earth well, with built-in feedback mechanisms to handle any crises. There is coming a time, however, when excessive heat will be a problem (see Revelation 16:8-9), and these fluctuations may be a foreshadowing, but that too is in God's hands.