Global Warming meets Manhattan..

Here are comments by another blogger, (http://howardpark.stumbleupon.com), regarding this picture (from ‘Vanity Fair’) of what Manhattan will look like one day if sea levels continue to rise:

“Upon seeing this picture, some people will instantly become hostile and resistant. They may be quite decent, agreeable people normally, but when confronted with the issue of global warming, they get a gut feeling of annoyance, disgust, even outrage. If you are such a person, I beg you to stop and think about that feeling for a moment. Look in the mirror and ask yourself, “What makes me so sure that all those people who talk about climate change are wrong? Have I really read at least a few books on the subject by reputable scientists (not just videos or articles by people who haven’t done any peer-reviewed research and whose views simply confirm their own)?”

[ignore the odd little piece of html floating around here; I can’t get rid of it.]

For me, it brings to mind this scripture in 2 Peter 3: 3,4: First of all you must understand this, that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and indulging their own lusts and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since our ancestors died, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”

Peter was talking of course, about his expectation that Jesus would return soon. He was having a hard time getting through to the “scoffers” who believed that Creation was a static, unchanging thing. Our modern day prophets may well be wearing lab coats and sitting in front of data bases as they discern, then proclaim, what their figures are adding up to. Modern scoffers are those who have vested interests in things staying as they’ve been “from the beginning of creation” or, at least in their personal memories. It really is easier to look the other way when bad news is approaching in slow-enough motion to let the next generations worry about those changes’ ramifications.

It’s increasingly easier, though, because it’s happening faster all the time, to measure glacier shrinkage and snowcap melt. No one disagrees that sea levels are rising, or that many species of animals are dying, or that carbon content in the air is increasing. Even on microscopic levels, change can be documented, as can be seen here:

http://www.jove.com/index.stt?comp=c18jdh42&ID=203&VID=175

(This is a link from an oceanographic lab at MIT, where my daughter’s boyfriend, Justin Seymour, studies the changes in feeding habits of bacteria in the ocean, as that feeding is affected by atmospheric changes. It’s very interesting just to watch pure science being done.)

Manhattan will look like this someday! Hopefully, everyone will be out of there by then, but the geologic record, by anyone’s measure, says that things change on this planet– slowly (usually) by human standards of time, but often in geologic time. Our hope must not ever be based on “the way things are.” Our faith cannot be bound, by any definitions of faith, on the basic parameters of life only as we know life to be. Our hope and our faith- our ability to see and experience and plan- must be transcendent; we cannot ever allow ourselves to be stuck in, or blinded by, the idea that “all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”

Our grandchildren and great-grandchildren are depending on us now to see bigger, to think further, and to never, never be complacent about what we think we know.

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