But climate change is not new. It is recorded in our geological history. Who was driving the cars and fueling up the coal-fired power stations when we had the last ice age, and the last global warming?
The greenhouse gases which regulate our climate--water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane--occur naturally in the earth's atmosphere. Without them, today's average surface temperature at 57 degrees fahrenheit could be as low as minus 0.4 degrees fahrenheit.
At school, I was told oxygen is a life-giving gas, and C0/2 a waste gas--and at high concentrations poisonous.... That, after inhaling good oxygen, we exhale poisonous carbon dioxide. Is this why we are fearful of carbon dioxide?
Carbon dioxide is in fact one of the most important chemical regulators of the body; without it your hemoglobin cannot release the oxygen it is carrying into your oxygen-starved cells. When carbon dioxide levels in the blood are lowered, the chemical bond between oxygen and hemoglobin increases, and the hemoglobin cannot "let go" of the oxygen. This is known as the Verigo-Bohr effect. Our vital organs, muscles and tissues immediately become stressed. Anyone who has experience or witnessed an asthmatic attack has seen a very painful illustration of this.
Russian medical scientist Buteyko believed that: "The human metabolism developed in ancient geological eras when carbon dioxide in the air and water was represented in the tens of per cent. It is probably due to this factor that a definite concentration of CO/2 (7% approximately) is an absolutely essential condition of each human cell in order for it to sustain all the normal pathways of the biochemical processes. The problem faced by the human organism has been the depletion of CO/2 in our atmosphere from the tens of per cent in ancient eras to 0.03 (in 1982). But the human organism has an autonomous internal air environment containing around 6.5 per cent of CO/2--qite a contrast to the surrounding air! The gaseous mix in the womb is an interesting indicator of the ideal human environment. Here exists between 7-8 per cent of CO/2! Carbon dioxide at 6.5 per cent in our lungs is critical to oxygenation and therefore to life. Yet if only at concentrations found in the air we breathe (0.03 per cent), we would be dead!
In Genesis I we see very different chaotic circumstances from today--into which God created order: first separating light from darkneess, then dividing waters from waters by making a firmament, then introducing life--and everything was good! There were seas and rivers below, and waters above the firmament--but no rain!--instead "there went up a mist from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground"--as in a steamy greenhouse!--Genesis 2:5-6.
When sin had entered into the heart of man, God drove him out of the Garden of Eden, "lest he eat of the tree of life and live for ever".--Genesis 3:22-24. Something had changed...the ideal conditions of the Garden of Eden were no longer to be enjoyed. With sin also came fear, sickness and decreasing life-span--Genesis 3:10. Man must not live for ever!--Genesis 2:17; 3:3. But they still lived extraordinary long lives by our standards--up to 969 years!
As corruption increased, God warned Noah that He would destroy the world as it then was, sending down rain for the first time and flooding the earth. After this flood the firmament no longer existed, as witnessed by the new phenomenon, the rainbow.--Genesis 9:13. And the stable greenhouse conditions that had prevailed from Adam to Noah came to an abrupt end, replaced by the seasons--seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter.--Genesis 8:22. Green plants were no longer sufficient to sustain life, man became a meat-eater.--Genesis 9:3.
Man's life-span declined from nearly one thousand years to 205 (Abraham's father), to 175 (Abraham) to 120 (Moses) to 70 or, in the case of the very vigorous, 80 years, but with pain and suffering.--Psalm 90:10. Following the original sin, the destruction of the firmament and the loss of the greenhouse effect, could it be that there was no longer sufficient CO/2 in the earth's atmosphere to oxygenate the human body, to renew it and protect it from stress and disease? The first reaction of Adam and Eve after their sin was to be afraid. Lack of CO/2 has negative physiological and psychological effects connected with fear and tension--and stress is the precondition for pain, disease and the aging process.
Did Jesus speak about our current global warming and rising sea levels, when he said: "And there shall be upon the earth stress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking after those things that are coming upon the earth...When these (fearful) things begin to come to pass, lift up your heads for your redemption is near!"--Luke 21:25-27--Jesus is coming back in glory! Paul wrote of this coming glory and the restoration of all things.--But until this redemption, he said, the whole of creation is subjected to decay and corruption, groaning and in travail, because of us.--Romans 8:18-23.
Then when Jesus comes, the climate will be changed--radically--to a more healthful one--all things will be new. "Be glad and rejoice in that which I create...the sound of weeping will no more be heard...nor the cry of distress...babies will not die in their infancy...nor old men prematurely."--Isaiah 65:18-20. Conditions on earth will be completely different, the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days.--Isaiah 30:26.
In view of this, for the Christian, the most urgent issue to be dealt with is not our carbon footprint, carbon trading and carbon taxes. The real issue is the one described in the Bible: It is the restoration of our relationship with the God who made us, the forgiveness of our sin now and our final redemption--if we are His and follow Him! So our first responsibility is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is coming back soon, first to judge us, and then to restore this decaying world!--Katie Morris