Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Is It Too Late to Stop the Warming?

Is It Too Late to Stop the Warming?: Scientists Talk of Possible 'Tipping Point', ABC News, Ned Potter, March 26, 2006 - It was the summer of 1988, and strange things were happening: Repeated heat waves hit the eastern seaboard of the United States, while the Midwest was mired in massive drought. In some places, the waters of the Mississippi were so low that barges were stranded. Were these phenomena related? It was hard for scientists to say, but on one sweltering Washington morning, a Senate subcommittee called for testimony from a prominent climatologist named James Hansen. " Earth is warmer in 1988 than at any time in the history of instrumental measurements," said Hansen . He would later say, "The warming of a few degrees is going to take us to a world that is perhaps as different from today as the last ice age is from today." .. No Turning Back? Hansen, still at NASA, now warns that a deadline of sorts is approaching: In the next 20 years or so, he says, greenhouse warming may cause enough changes that, even if everyone stopped burning fossil fuels that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, some processes would have been set in motion that would continue anyhow. "If we pass a certain point of no return that we're going to get large sea level rise, we will have started a process that we just can't stop," he says. Scientists refer to these processes as "positive feedbacks," even though they regard the effects as negative. A prime example: decayed vegetation in the Arctic, which contains massive amounts of carbon, used to be protected by the perpetual cold. As the climate warms -- sped along by human beings burning fossil fuels that release carbon dioxide -- scientists say the vegetation will dry out and break down, releasing even more carbon dioxide. That carbon escaping into the atmosphere would cause more greenhouse warming. Walter Oechel, a biologist from San Diego State University [said] "Humans are putting about 6 [billion] or 7 billion metric tons of carbon in the atmosphere a year, and we're standing on 200 billion tons here," "Any significant portion comes out, that's worse than current human injection into the atmosphere. And once that runaway release occurs, there would be no way to stop it."... [As previously posted (e.g. 4 Mar 06; 4 Dec 05 & 29 Nov 05), I expect that global warming will not be able to be stopped from accelerating by positive feedback, into a runaway greenhouse effect which will bring about the Great Tribulation (see below) in which there will be "great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now-and never to be equaled again" (Mat 24:3,21-22).

I based this expectation on my Amillennial interpretation of Jesus' prophecies about what conditions will be like before He returns, especially Luke 21:24-32:

"24They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. 25`There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.' 29He told them this parable: `Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.'"

because it has a datum point, 1967, when Jerusalem was no longer under Gentile rule, for the first time since its destruction by the Romans in 70 AD.

I also expect that all nations on the Earth will progressively cede environmental (which will mean economic) authority to a World Environment Organization, out of which Antichrist (1 Jn 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 Jn 1:7) will emerge (Rev 13:2-18), and launch the last great persecution of the Christian Church (Rev 11:1-8), just before Jesus returns (2 Thess 2:1-4)]

Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
"Problems of Evolution"

"In the Olivet Discourse Jesus speaks of tribulation [Gk. thlipsis = "pressure"] as a sign of the times which is to be expected by his people throughout the period between his first and second coming. So, for example, he says in Matthew 24:9-10, `Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another.' Since in the immediate context (v. 14) Jesus predicts that-the gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world-a preaching which continues until the end-it is obvious that the tribulation spoken of earlier is not limited to the period just before the Parousia. Other statements by Jesus indicate that he foresaw suffering and tribulation in store for his people in the future. ... But we also find Jesus in the Olivet Discourse speaking of a final tribulation which is in store for his people-a tribulation of which the sufferings which would accompany the destruction of Jerusalem would be only an anticipation. Note the intensity of the following description: `For then there will be great tribulation (thlipsis megale), such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened' (Matt. 24:21-22). Though the setting of these words has a distinctly Jewish and Judean flavor ('Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath,' v. 20), the words `no, and never will be' and the reference to the shortening of the days for the elect's sake indicate that Jesus is predicting a tribulation so great that it will surpass any similar tribulation which may have preceded it. In other words, Jesus is here looking beyond the tribulation in store for the Jews at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem to a final tribulation which will occur at the end of this age. For according to verses 29 and 30 Jesus goes on to indicate that this `great tribulation' will immediately precede his Second Coming: `Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth, will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.' ... On the basis of Jesus' words in Matthew 24:21-30, however, it would appear that there will also be a final, climactic tribulation just before Christ returns. This tribulation will not be basically different from earlier tribulations which God's people have had to suffer, but will be an intensified form of those earlier tribulations." (Hoekema A.A., "The Bible and the Future," [1978], Paternoster Press: Exeter, Devon UK, 1979, pp.149-151. Emphasis in original)

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