Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Truth About Global Warming

Welcome back everyone! This week, my church has been really busy on the Easter production we've been working on. We won't be allowed to use our scripts this coming Sunday! There's also some big news on one of the movies I've been writing updates about and I think you'll find today's article very exciting. So let's get started.

Days Till
It is: 4 days till St. Patrick's Day
It is: 7 days till Spring
It is: 31 days till Palm Sunday
It is: 35 days till the Friday performance of "The King on a Cross"
It is: 38 days till Easter

In the Spotlight
According to a recent interview with Jurassic World star Irrfan Khan by ABPLive, the rumor that he will be portraying the owner of the new 'Jurassic Park' (the theme park, not the movie). In the interview, he said,
"We start filming from April in New Orleans and Hawaii. I have watched the first one. Because it is a [Steven] Spielberg production and the kind of writing they do, amazing. One scene of mine is just four lines but it says so much about so many things. I play a park owner."
Irrfan Khan will be portraying the owner of the new Jurassic Park, named Patel.
He not only reconfirmed that he is in the film as has been rumored, but he also confirmed that the rumor about the fourth Jurassic Park film will take place at the new theme park that's actually in operation! I don't know about you, but I find this really exciting! Though this cast news is great, I still hope that the movie-makers will reveal some dinosaur-related information soon!

Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan
Global warming is a very serious issue and is often discussed in the media. Many people say that it's in fact a risk to life on earth as we know it! Another popular claim – even by some scientists – is that we are mostly or completely responsible for the warming of our planet. However, many of these claims are based on a Unitarianism and are actually rooted to evolutionary ideas about our planet – ideas that do not line up with what the Bible teaches to be truth. Since Earth Day is coming up next month, this article is going to focus on the popular topic of global warming and whether we as Christians should be concerned about it.

Global warming is an actual event
Scientific observations over the past four decades has proven that global warming is actually happening! But before we dive into the topic of how a Christian should respond to the global warming issue, it would be kind of nice to know exactly what it is, right? OK, so basically, as its name suggests, global warming is the increasing of the earth's all-round temperature, and as I previously mentioned, it's on the rise.

First of all, you'll want to know that the sun's warmth reaches the earth, it is stopped from escaping thanks to the ozone or greenhouse effect. The earth's atmosphere acts like a greenhouse, pulling the sun's heat toward it and keeping a good bit of it in in order to keep the earth at a suitable temperature to support life, yet, it also dispels some heat, letting it go off into space so we don't boil up! This is one way to explain how the greenhouse effect works, but here's another good way to sum it all up:

 Now that you've seen the video, you'll know something about how heat is trapped next to the earth, but I doubt getting rid of that heat is going to be as easy as dropping “a giant ice cube into the ocean every know and then”.

Many critics – most notably Al Gore – claim that global warming is a threat to the livelihood of the planet and our way of life. Is this true? Before we answer this, we need to know exactly what is causing global warming: is it natural or man's fault? Well, measuring the earth's overall temperature over a long period of time is very difficult because we weren't able to study it the way we can today. In fact, even measuring the earth's overall temperature now is difficult due to different kinds of conditions including: the time of day, the particular season and weather patterns. However, there is a way to get a global temperature relatively easily: the use of satellites. Though they have their issues as well, satellites are one of the best ways to measure the earth's global temperature. So why are we having so much debate over who or what is causing climate change?

Thanks to space satellites, we are able to determine the average temperature of the planet and find out if it has been rising over time.
The answer to that question is frankly that we don't have a lot of good data. Most of the research into the global warming issue hasn't been around before 30-40 years ago, so it's difficult to know what the overall temperature was like longer than four decades. In order to construct actual climate models with more definite answers, we need more time. But did you know that we weren't always debating about global warming? In fact, in the late 1970's, people were debating whether the earth's climate was cooling! This is a vast difference! So what's the truth about global warming?

So what do temperature graphs actually reveal about global warming? Well, if one were to look at the change in climate over the past 30 years or so, it would be easy to conclude that the earth is warming more than before. BUT, if we want to be accurate, we need to look at a wide range of time and not just the last few decades. In fact, if we do this, we'll learn that the temperature was rising between 1900 and 1940, and between 1940 and 1970, it was cooling. Between 1980 and 2000, it was back on the rise. Instead of global warming becoming a catastrophic, perhaps it's part of a natural pattern. And that's not all!

Greenland wasn't always contradictory to its own name! Vikings were once able to farm in what is now a land of ice.
Global temperature fluctuations have actually happened numerous times in the past. For example, by looking at history, we learn that Vikings were able to conduct agriculture in Greenland around a thousand years ago. Contrary to its name, Greenland is covered with snow and glaciers today and it's Iceland that's covered in greenery. Go figure! But back to the point: a few hundred years passed and the climate cooled, putting a stop to agriculture. And then, after a cooling that lasted a few hundred years which resulted in the regular freezing of the Thames in London, the climate began to warm once again in about 1700 A.D.! As a matter of fact, if the warming we're experiencing today continues, we'll probably be able to start farming in Greenland again and this island will actually be green. So the fact that ice caps are melting today shouldn't really worry us. There was also an event known as a “Little Ice Age” in Medieval times (“little ice ages” are just drops in temperature; the actual Ice Age was the period of time in earth's history when glaciers covered much of the earth's surface). The climate around us is constantly changing on a natural cycle.

Is human pollution the actual cause of global warming?
But what is the actual cause of global warming? Is it us? Many people place their blame on us humans because of our use of fossil fuels that expel carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This isn't actually true – the truth is that most of the greenhouse gases in our sky are actually made up of . . . you guessed it, water vapor! Didn't guess that? Well that just goes to show you how much alarmists have “informed” us about global warming. Did you know that water vapor makes up 80-90% of the greenhouse effect? Carbon dioxide makes up at most 20%, and at least 4% of what's left! And man-produced carbon dioxide makes up around or less than 1% of the greenhouse effect! Strangely though, many scientists are still alarming us about how we're causing global warming.

Besides, carbon dioxide is actually very healthy to us and the ecosystems of the earth – plants need it to survive so that they can produce oxygen.

In his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore mentions that animal species are being threatened by global warming; he specifically mentions the polar bear. He claims that because the ice caps are melting, polar bears have to swim farther distances to reach ice floes that they need to survive and many of them drown on their journey. This couldn't be farther from the truth! In fact, while some polar bear may be in decline, the majority are actually thriving! Some populations of polar bears are increasing!

 Most polar bear populations are actually not being endangered by melting ice . . . some are even increasing!
Why on earth is there such a difference in beliefs considering the global warming issue? This is all because there are two world views we're dealing with here. If we start from man's assumptions and believe that the earth is millions of years old, then we'll also have to believe the climate models that come with it. If you believe in this secular world view, then you'll believe that we are nothing more than highly evolved animals that came into existence because our own universe came into existence thanks to pure chance. So in a sense, we were lucky.

However, if we start with a biblical world view, then we'll learn that we were actually created with a purpose by a loving and intelligent Creator. We're not here by chance at all! If we believe this, then we'll also have to believe that the world was affected by a global Flood (the Genesis Flood) that altered the earth's initial climate, starting it on a roller coaster of climate conditions that would change over time, but stay on a cycle. In fact, God gives us a promise of what to expect in the future all the way back in Genesis 8:22. It reads:
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.”
So it makes lots of sense that God must have created the earth with a temperature control system, kind of like the ones God made for our own bodies.

Now back to the question of how a Christian should deal with the global warming issue. Well, though it's true that we're not causing global warming and that the earth's temperature is on a cycle, we still should not just waste away at natural resources. In fact, God tells us in Genesis 1:28 that He wants us to subdue the earth. This means that we're to care for and “nurture the earth”, so to speak. We're not supposed to go around and kill off the last of a plant's or animal's kind or use up natural resources. So staying “green” is a good thing! We're to use it wisely as long as the earth remains.

Let's do what God says and do our part to keep earth healthy!

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