Keeping Cool: Part 2 by Abidan Shah, PhD

KEEPING COOL – 2 by Dr.Shah, Clearview Church, Henderson, NC

Introduction:  The college I went to in Georgia had students from both the south and the north. A common debate between them was over how each group handled the winter. The students from the north would often make fun of the southerners over how everything shuts down over a few flakes of snow, while, back home, they would go to school in two feet of snow. The students from the south would protest that they didn’t have all the necessary heavy equipment to clean up the snow like the cities and towns up north. Now, I was sort of unaffiliated, but I had been to the north, even in a blizzard, as I described last time. In my observation, there was a different situation in the south versus the north. While the north had tremendous amounts of snow, the south had ice. Snow and ice are not the same thing. Even though they are made of the same molecule (H2O), they are made under different conditions, and they have different properties. While snow is formed when water vapor freezes in the atmosphere and comes down as snowflakes, ice is formed when liquid water freezes due to a drop in temperature. While snow is much less dense and contains air pockets, ice is tightly packed and hard. When ice is thin and starts melting, it can be quite slippery and dangerous, but, when snow gets compacted, it actually makes good traction. So, it’s not about “who can drive better” or “we don’t have the right equipment,” the issue is quite different. So also, in our message today titled “KEEPING COOL part 2,” we’re going to learn that the issue facing our world is not climate change or global warming or ice age, it is something quite different. Main point: God not only created this world as described in Genesis, but he has also designed it to be stable with the necessary systems to prevent any extremes. Yes, he destroyed it once with water because of sin, and there is evidence of it everywhere; but he has promised that he won’t do it that way again. Yes, we should be good stewards of our planet, but we should be much better stewards of his plan of salvation through his Son, Jesus Christ.

Genesis 8      21 “…Then the LORD said in His heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.’”

Context: The passage we just read was a promise that God made in his heart, among the three persons of the Trinity, after Noah offered burnt offerings of the clean animals to God. Genesis 8:21 says, “And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma….” The Hebrew word is “nichoach,” which means soothing, appeasing, quieting, and tranquilizing. The destruction of the flood did not appease God. That’s what his holiness had to do, eradicate sin. The appeasing came when the animals were sacrificed. Later, in Leviticus 17:11, it says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” Also, Hebrews 9:22 adds,“…and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” The word “remission” means the “cancellation of debt or charge or penalty” (Oxford English Dictionary). It was not the flood that made a remission for sin, it was the blood that made a remission for sin. It’s the sacrifice that brought a soothing aroma to God. Remember: The sacrifice of those clean animals was simply a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.

Application: What are you trusting in for the remission of your sins? Only Jesus can cancel your sin debt, charge, or penalty. Your personal flood of trials, bad decisions, struggles cannot do that. Is he your Savior?

Back to Genesis 8 and the promise God made: 21 “…‘I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.’” Meaning: There will not be another world-wide flood. Life will now continue without any threat of a world-wide catastrophe. Yes, there will be occasional floods and even other natural disasters like hurricanes, mudslides, earthquakes, volcanoes, and fires, but there will never be a world-wide catastrophe like the Genesis Flood. This promise is very important when it comes to the current uproar over climate change, global warming, or ice age. As I explained last weekend, the world-wide flood not only destroyed the entire world except for Noah, his family, and the animals on the ark, it also triggered what we know as the Ice Age. Dr. Jake Hebert in his book The Ice Age and Climate Change explains the scenario: Oceans became hot from the magma coming from the catastrophic plate tectonics during the Great Flood. This led to lots of evaporation causing much snowfall. The volcanoes through the plate tectonics also caused Aerosols (tiny droplets and particles) into the atmosphere that blocked sunlight. This caused the summers to be cold and thick ice sheets to be formed. So, cooler summers and heavy snow caused the Ice Age. By the way, it is mistakenly assumed that the whole world was covered under ice at some point in the past. Not true. Only 30% percent was covered, and this was over a 500–600-year period right after the flood, which was 4500 years ago. In other words, a, once, never to be repeated, catastrophic event (the Flood) caused the Ice Age not very long ago. We don’t need to panic over non-catastrophic relatively slow increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide to bring about another similar catastrophe.

According to climate change advocates, we are in big trouble (the following comes from Dr. Jake Hebert’s book The Climate Change Conflict). In fact, we are about to self-destruct because since we started used fossil fuel about 150 years ago (coal, oil, gas), we are putting so much carbon dioxide in the air that we are making the planet too hot. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that traps the heat and warms the planet, and we need to stop this warming because it is going to lead to a catastrophe, i.e., an Ice Age. As the temperatures increase, the glaciers and the Arctic (Northern) and the Antarctic (Southern) ice will melt. This will cause the sea-level to rise, which will lead to flooding. This will in turn cause hurricanes, which will destroy many plants and animals. Ultimately, the entire ecosystem would go out of whack and trigger an ice age. Cold oceans to warm oceans will cause more rain leading to more snow, and so on. This will be assisted by the changes in the Earth’s orbital and rotational cycles, also known as the Milankovitch cycles. This will cause a large drop in the global temperatures because of how the sun’s heat reaches the earth. These cycles include the shift in the Earth’s axis (Precession) that happens every 26,000 years, change in the tilt of the Earth’s axis (Obliquity) that happens every 41,000 years, and change in the shape of the Earth’s orbit (Eccentricity) that happens every 100,000-400,000 years. These cycles also overlap in different ways leading to different periods of durations and intensity. All these things are interconnected but no one is very clear how. How do we entangle all this? It’s hard to do that in 15 minutes. Yes, I’m being simplistic, but it must be answered.

To start with, we need to point out that: The earth is warmer right now, but it is not because of COemission by humans. Yes, CO2 does cause warming, but it is not that much; more CO2in the atmosphere is not necessarily bad. 

  • To answer the first premise, the fluctuation of temperatures has been going on in the history of our world. Although, we don’t have a detailed record of temperature changes beyond the 1800s, it is known that the world was warmer between 950 and 1250 AD. This was called the Medieval Warm Period. Then the temperatures dropped until the 20thcentury, but then rose back up. This had nothing to do with fossil fuel. By the way, the world functioned just fine through both those periods. The Vikings moved around for greener pastures in the warmer period, but the Renaissance and Reformation was born during the colder period, as well as all the explorations.
  • Regarding the second premise, there are legitimate, PhD holding, climatologists, who disagree with this. One such is Dr. Judith Curry, who was a professor at Georgia Tech. She has written many papers, won awards, been a member of important scientific societies, and testified before congressional committees. In fact, she finally left her position because of the present trend towards climate change. She just wrote a book titled, Climate Uncertainty and Risk: Rethinking Our Response. I don’t have time to go through this book, but here’s the essence of her book. If the global atmospheric CO2 was doubled, it would increase the surface temperature by 3° F. This change does not make the climate unstable. 
  • As to the third, the more CO2 in the atmosphere, the better it is for the plants. 

As others have pointed to the sun as the possible culprit of the warmer weather or extreme weather. The problem with that is that the energy put forth by the sun does not change that much over time. 

The reasoning behind a lot of what is being said is based on 3 premises: Climate models projected through computer programs; research that is false; and a wrong view of the creation of this world. 

  • As to the first, when the actual weather is checked against the prognostication, there is a whole lot overpredicting that is happening. One of the biggest uncertainties are clouds which can cause warming or cooling based on the altitude, latitude, and even the size of the droplet.
  • As to research that is false, there is a lot of junk science that is out there. One such is the famous “hockey stick” diagram. It showed that the temperature in the Northern Hemisphere stayed stable from 1000 to 1850 AD and then had a sudden rise. This did not line up with history. Also, when a random set of data was fed into the computer, it gave the same result. There was also the “climategate” email scandal in 2009 where a number of emails were discovered that were trying to falsify the information regarding global warming. 
  • Then there is the Milankovitch theory regarding the sunlight based on the Earth’s orbital and rotational movements. These are so insignificant that it doesn’t make sense how they can send the earth into a meltdown or deep freeze. The number of years has been changed arbitrarily to make the theory work, and not many are willing to question this! Once you stop using time indiscriminately, lot of these theories seem foolish. 

We need to be good stewards of the planet but better stewards of the gospel. Do you believe that God is in control over this world and our lives? Do you know what his plan is for us and this world? Are you saved?

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