The Trumpet Herald
Giving the trumpet a certain sound
Resources Running Out
A recent Gizmag news item reported on "Four crucial resources that may run out in your lifetime." Starting with oil they reported that the vast majority of scientists and energy economists think the world is now close to peak oil, after which point oil production will diminish despite rising demand. Another very crucial resource that is in long-term jeopardy is food.
Consider this: since 2005, the price of wheat has more than tripled. So has the price of corn. Rice has gone up more than 500%. These price increases reflect a dwindling of global food stocks - demand for food is rising faster than our ability to produce it. The phenomenon has been dubbed the "global food crisis of 2008" - but some are beginning to refer to it as the "perpetual food crisis."
The authors point out that the human race is making its own crisis by increasing consumption of meat.
Meat is produced by feeding grain to livestock - and the calorie yield of meat is about one fifth of the grain used to produce it. Eating meat, in other words, is effectively throwing out 80% of the calories you could be eating if you ate the grains instead of passing them through a cow. In tough times, meat is a wasteful food - not only of calories, but of agricultural land.
Another resource in increasing long-term demand is water.
Along with increased food and energy requirements, we're going to need vastly more water. We'll need it agriculturally, industrially, domestically and as part of energy production needs. All those demands are growing fast. And while we're not actually running out of fresh water, we can't create more to go around - at least not without considerable expense.
The fourth diminishing resource mentioned was fish.
While food as a whole is forecast to come under intense pressure, the future for fish seems far bleaker. It's estimated that unless drastic (and extremely politically difficult) action is taken immediately, humans will eat fish pretty much out of existence within the next 50 years. According to most projections, we will be the generation that runs out of wild fish.
A combination of commercial greed, weak policy, consumer disinterest, massive waste and blatant disregard for what flimsy rules are in place has seen about 30% of fish species lose more than 90% of their populations since 1950 ("Four crucial resources that may run out in your lifetime, www.gizmag.com, Aug. 27, 2009).
While readers of this newsletter may not be directly affected by the "fish" resource, the potential economic pressures that could result from any of these resources falling far below demand are likely to be disruptive to human society as a whole. Such stress amplifies selfish human behavior.
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away (2 Tim. 3:1-5).
Fires in California hit the front pages in September as homes were destroyed and lives were lost.
For more than a week, much of the Angeles National Forest has been an inferno as a ferocious fire, spurred by abnormally high temperatures and single-digit humidity, ripped through steep canyons, dense brush and forest untouched by flames for 60 years. The advancing fire has cut a moonscape swath through the middle of the mountain range that forms a barrier between the greater Los Angeles area and the Mojave Desert.
In addition to the lost lives of two firefighters, 76 destroyed homes and thousands of evacuees, the fire's financial toll has climbed to nearly $45 million. That has been the cost so far of a ground and air assault on the nearly 160,000-acre Station Fire, as it has been called, with more than 4,000 firefighters working the fire lines and an air fleet of 12 helitankers, seven helicopters and 11 airplanes — including a Boeing 747 and a DC-10 — pouring thousands of gallons of fire retardant on blazing hillsides. Only heroic work by firefighters saved the historic Mt. Wilson Observatory located 5,700 feet above Pasadena ("Can Budget-Strapped California Afford More Wildfires?, www.time.com, Sept. 7, 2009).
The article pointed out that California has already been cutting expenses to balance its budget, and can ill afford the great expense involved with these fires.
Each natural, or in this case likely man-caused, disaster is a wake-up call for Christians to draw nearer to God to endure through greater disasters to come before the end.
God's message for the inhabitants of earth today is, "Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." Matthew 24:44. The conditions prevailing in society, and especially in the great cities of the nations, proclaim in thunder tones that the hour of God's judgment is come and that the end of all things earthly is at hand. We are standing on the threshold of the crisis of the ages. In quick succession the judgments of God will follow one another—fire, and flood, and earthquake, with war and bloodshed. We are not to be surprised at this time by events both great and decisive; for the angel of mercy cannot remain much longer to shelter the impenitent (Prophets and Kings, p. 278).
Canadian Hate Speech Law Unconstitutional
"Hate speech" laws have been used to prosecute Christians who have publicly shared the Bible teachings about homosexuality. While these laws may have been motivated in part by racist Internet blogs, they have also apparently been used to try to suppress the clear messages of the Scriptures. One of these laws in Canada has recently been declared unconstitutional, although further appeals may be pursued.
A much-criticized federal law governing hate speech violates rights to freedom of expression, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ruled.
The decision, announced Wednesday, threw out the Canadian Human Rights Commission's controversial legal mandate to pursue "hate speech" on the Internet. ...
The ruling also marks a failure of Section 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act, an anti-hate law created in the 1960s to target racist telephone hotlines, according to the National Post. It was expanded in 2001 to include the entire Internet ("Hate-speech' law declared unconstitutional", www.wnd.com, Sept. 3, 2009).
One day legislation will replace attempts at persuasion:
"As the Protestant churches reject the clear, Scriptural arguments in defense of God's law, they will long to silence those whose faith they cannot overthrow by the Bible. Though they blind their own eyes to the fact, they are now adopting a course which will lead to the persecution of those who conscientiously refuse to do what the rest of the Christian world are doing, and acknowledge the claims of the papal sabbath" (The Great Controversy, p.592).
Page created:09/25/09. Updated: 09/25/09
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