"AS I SEE IT"
Volume 16, Number 6, June 2013
“I too will have my say; I too will tell what I know.
For I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me;
Inside I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst.
I must speak and find relief; I must open my lips and reply.
I will show partiality to no one. Nor will I flatter any man.”
“That which ordinary men are fit for I am qualified in, and the best of me is diligence.”
Shakespeare’s King Lear
Act I, scene iv, ll. 32-34
[“As I See It” is a monthly electronic magazine compiled and edited by Doug Kutilek. Its purpose is to address important issues of the day and to draw attention to worthwhile Christian and other literature in order to aid believers in Jesus Christ, especially pastors, missionaries and Bible college and seminary students to more effectively study and teach the Word of God. The editor’s perspective is that of an independent Baptist of fundamentalist theological persuasion.
AISI is sent free to all who request it by writing to the editor at: DKUTILEK@juno.com. You can be removed from the mailing list at the same address. Back issues sent on request. All back issues may be accessed at http://www.KJVOnly.org
All articles are by the editor (unless otherwise noted) and are copyrighted but may be reproduced for distribution, provided the following conditions are met: 1. articles must be reproduced in unedited, unabridged form; 2. the writer must be properly credited; and, 3. such reproduction must be for free distribution only. Permission to distribute in any other form must be secured in writing beforehand. Permission for reproduction in Christian print periodicals will generally be given upon request.]
A Biblical Perspective on Environmentalism: Part VI
Demand for Draconian Measures
One of the favorite tactics of environmental extremists and their invariably uninformed “celebrity” spokespersons is to claim with panicked voice that we are on the brink, the very precipice of irremediable environmental and ecological disaster, and that mankind’s very existence and continuation as a species, along with life itself on earth hangs in utterly precarious balance, frighteningly close to the tipping point of no return. AND, as a consequence, immediate and sweeping government-mandated and rigidly enforced changes in everything from toilet tank water capacity to grossly cost-ineffective and unworkable “alternate energy” sources to automobile mileage standards to the closing of coal and nuclear power plants are proposed and imposed on the populace, “for their own good,” regardless of how disruptive, expensive, inconvenient, even dangerous and unnecessary the forced changes may be--and inevitably are. “Never waste a crisis”--even if it is a manufactured, fictitious crisis--is the watchword of those who wish to seize power and dominate and domineer their perceived “inferiors” in the populace.
Among the most absurd of the draconian measures proposed, and not far from being imposed, is a so-called “carbon tax” to restrict, even punish those who add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere through the combustion--burning--of such non-renewable fuels as coal, oil and natural gas. That carbon dioxide--a minuscule .03% of the atmosphere--is a “green house gas” is true; that that is a bad thing, is false. Without carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, along with the other, much more influential greenhouse gases (water vapor by far number one among them), the earth would trap less heat during the day and lose much more during the night. These gases which trap solar heat moderate the daily temperature swings on planet earth and make life possible. Without them, day time highs would regularly and substantially exceed 100 F. and at night the temperature would plunge below freezing, making agriculture--and human existence--impossible.
Furthermore, carbon dioxide is ESSENTIAL to all plant growth, as essential as water, sunlight, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Without it, not a single grain of wheat, not a single tomato, not a single apple--no food plants of any kind--would grow. It is not a toxic gas, nor a pollutant, but a necessary component of “life on earth as we know it.” Tightly sealed greenhouses in winter actually run short of carbon dioxide as the plants inside exhaust the limited supply in the air, and simply cease growing. Greenhouse owners have actually found it necessary to release compressed carbon dioxide into the greenhouses in winter to keep plants growing. And what’s more, experiments have shown that above-atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide actually stimulate more rapid plant growth. Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels could well be a boon and blessing to agriculture and forestry, rather than the dooms-day threat the radicals always portray it to be.
One subject I have never heard addressed by anybody in the carbon dioxide / global warming controversy is this: was not all the carbon now found in coal, oil and natural gas (assuming these latter two are of biological origin; coal certainly is), present in the atmosphere at some time in the past before they became stored in the precursors of coal, oil and natural gas? This would certainly mean that the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere in the past was much higher than at present, and yet--AND YET--there was none of the run-away, irremediable global warming that the environmental doomists boldly assert is about to happen to us. How is it that a much higher atmospheric CO2 concentration in the past which obviously did NOT cause run away global warming then, will yet somehow most assuredly do so in the immediate future?
Furthermore, in spite of the embarrassing
exposure in recent years of various “global warming” scenarios, projections,
and computer models as either radically in error or deliberately and knowingly
falsified to support the radical agenda, and the fact that the last 15 years
have shown no measureable increase in mean global temperature, even so, the
extremists continue to demand that
the most draconian measures be immediately imposed on the populace to reduce
carbon emissions. A huge “carbon tax” on
all “fossil fuels” has been proposed to punish financially those who emit “too
much” carbon--power utilities, oil and coal producing companies, airlines,
trucking companies, and the like. All
such taxes on business are of course and of necessity invariably passed on to
the consumer in the form of higher prices.
Direct taxes on private citizens--for houses that are deemed ‘too big”
or insulation that is declared “inadequate” or whatever other excuses the
bureaucrats can dream up--and naturally higher fuel taxes of all kinds will be
included in the mix. Such policy, if and
when imposed, is guaranteed to dramatically suppress American economic activity
and damage and destroy businesses and jobs (the actual real motive behind the ”carbon tax” proposal) via markedly higher
costs of doing business, costs which foreign competitors, in nations without a
carbon tax, will not be paying.
If carbon dioxide is really the most-threatening environmental problem we face, why do the greens oppose two courses of action that would either greatly reduce the use of carbon-based energy, or “sequester” “excess” carbon naturally? Of course I speak of nuclear electrical generation on the one hand and wide-scale planting of trees as carbon traps on the other. While some showcase the two actual cases of nuclear reactor melt-downs --Chernobyl, for instance (the product of collectivist government incompetence and bad design, by the way) and the Japanese tsunami of 2012,--it remains a fact, that fewer people have died in all nuclear power production accidents and incidents combined over the last 60 years than die annually in the mining, transportation, and use of coal for electric generation. Besides the bonus of carbon-free electricity (if that is really the goal), more nuclear power generation would greatly reduce the environmental “footprint” of coal--fewer and smaller mining pits and spoil banks, along with reduced truck and train traffic from the pits and mines to the power plants.
As for the other option which the greens oppose, trees are extremely efficient fixers and long-term holders of atmospheric carbon, and could be planted by the hundreds of billions annually in our cities and towns, parks, farms and highway right-of-ways. Besides capturing carbon, they would keep our cities and houses cooler in summer (reducing the need for air-conditioning and the electricity it requires), reduce dust in the air as well as reduce urban noise levels, conserve soil and water resources, and ultimately provide the whole spectrum of tree products from food to fuel to lumber to paper to esthetics to wildlife habitat. That greens are vehemently opposed to employing trees as carbon traps to address the supposed carbon dioxide problem suggests that their real agenda is other than that stated by them.
Some, rightly it seems, believe this is the real environmentalist agenda: to destroy American capitalism, by what ever means, and using whatever excuse seems plausible. The government already mandates forced “conservation” via regressively smaller and smaller cars (which are exponentially more dangerous to their occupants in crashes than larger vehicles), attempts at compelling the purchase and use of much more expensive, toxic mercury-containing light bulbs, subsidizing grossly inefficient “alternate energy” schemes, dictating the design of washing machines and the whole enchilada of bureaucratic meddling in the lives of private citizens.
Because electric power is needed around the
clock, 24/7/365, and not just when the sun shines or the wind blows, much
vaunted “alternate energy sources” will--barring some very dramatic improvement
in storage of wind- and solar-generated power, beyond batteries--never play
anything more than a relatively minor supporting, supplementing role to power
generation by burning fuel (coal, oil, gas, wood), falling water
(hydroelectric), or the heat of nuclear decay.
Even geothermal--available around the clock--will never be a major
component of electrical generation or heating purposes because locations
suitable for it are few and far between (except in volcanic
The sum of the matter: on the basis of very dubious evidence, and sometimes deliberately deceptive claims, some are attempting to stampede us into a panicked submission to extreme measures which are allegedly both necessary and “for our own good,” though they will certainly cause a much heavier tax burden and a much reduced standard of living, along with a much more pervasive and invasive presence of an overbearing government. They wish to mandate a “cure” for a “disease” which more than likely doesn’t even exist, much less threaten out existence. The prescribed “cure” is in this case much worse than the disease.
A Biblical Perspective on Environmentalism: Part VII
What World Food Shortage?
With the human species now numbering more than seven billion souls--and growing--we periodically hear claims that we are about to exhaust the earth’s food-producing resources and are on the precipice of widespread famine. Of course, we have been hearing such assured claims from professional alarmists for two centuries (at least since Thomas Malthus [1766-1834]), all backed up with “science” and “facts and figures,” and yet somehow the apocalyptic predictions have ever and always failed of fulfillment. No, in truth and very much to the contrary, we humans aren’t even close to a food shortage, and in fact, are currently producing nowhere near the earth’s maximum sustainable quantity of food. In truth, the primary factor limiting present production is insufficient demand.
On what basis do I assert that there is no world food shortage? First, the two most populous nations, China and India, are food self-sufficient, that is, they currently grow enough food within their borders to feed all their billion-plus souls, and this in spite of the fact that in India, the dominant Hindu religion’s belief in reincarnation leads to the diversion of large quantities of grain to feed rodents and pigeons and other animals which will never end up as part of the human food supply (cattle in India at least provide milk products). In the case of China, they produce enough food to actually export some to other countries (just check a can of smoked oysters next time you shop for groceries, or a bag of pine-nuts, or dozens of other items--“product of China”--which, by the way, I refuse to buy due to grossly inadequate “quality control” practices there).
Second, we in
As for available productive farmland, were there anything like a shortage of that, we could not afford the luxury of having our house lots surrounded by inedible grass and shrubs and flower beds, and our streets and parks full of non-food-bearing trees--elms, sycamores, ashes, silver maples, ornamental pears, pines, spruces and such. Instead, we would be compelled of necessity to substitute fruit and nut trees by the millions. And there would be no idle “set-aside” farmland that the government pays farmers to leave in ungrazed and uncut native grasses.
Consider my own small acreage (just over 6 acres). A decade ago, it was badly over-grazed pasture, with scattered thorny trees, providing zero food for human consumption, and scarcely a month’s grazing in an entire year for a single steer, if that. I am convinced that in its present moderately renovated condition, it could graze at least one or two steers from spring to fall (assuming something approximating to “normal” rainfall here). Beyond that, my gardens last year (covering about an eighth of an acre), in the worst growing weather I’ve ever experienced, produced 650 pounds of sweet potatoes, about 100 pounds of “Irish” potatoes, about 20 pounds of asparagus, and what I would estimate was another 150 pounds or more, total, of beets, carrots, broccoli, collards, cow-peas, English peas, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, cantaloupe, corn, apples and more. Had there been anything like “average” weather and rainfall, these quantities could easily have been doubled.
As it was, what I grew was about a full year’s worth of total calories for one person (though not quite “complete” nutritionally). If I put two full acres under intense cultivation--essentially increasing the square footage sixteen times over--then nearly the complete nutritional needs of sixteen people could be provided for, and more in a good year--all on ground that a decade before was growing nothing at all, and even now doesn’t have to be under cultivation, since I could buy all my necessary food at the local grocery stores, food that has been grown and shipped in from elsewhere. Extrapolate my own example to every home owner in the county where I along with half a million other residents dwell. What an immense quantity of food--amounting to virtual self-sufficiency--could be grown if we wanted to, or needed to! But most of the ground around houses goes untilled and is wholly non-productive of food, since we have enough food already, and too much.
Having given it much serious thought and study, I would estimate that the earth, if intelligently managed, could readily grow enough food to provide a healthy and adequate diet, not for our current seven billion, or even fifteen billion, but at least twenty to twenty-five billion people, and possibly considerably more than that. No, there is no present or impending world food shortage (barring some unprecedented cataclysmic world-wide crop failure or series of such failures--such as are foretold in Revelation 6).
So, there is at present more than enough food production worldwide to provide complete nutrition to every one, and yet in the midst of this there is both much malnutrition, as well as spotty local famine. How can this be? Simply stated, in nearly all such cases, the former is the result of poor human dietary (and economic) choices, and the latter is the consequence of deliberate malevolent governmental policies, as I will now explain.
Malnutrition is nearly universally the
result of poor human choices. As every
doctor could testify, the alcoholic who buys wine instead of food will soon be
seriously deficient in numerous vitamins and minerals, to say nothing of
protein. Then there are those who
characteristically consume large amounts of white flour, white sugar, high
fructose corn syrup, highly-processed foods with minimal vitamins or fiber,
foods with artificially-created trans-fats, plus assorted artificial
flavorings, colorings, and preservatives.
In turn, they eat low amounts of whole grains, vegetables and
fruit. By these choices, they are
depriving themselves of a whole spectrum of nutrients, and increase their risk
of various cancers, diabetes, digestive tract problems, as well as obesity and
all the health problems that causes. Of
course the consumption of soft-drinks in anything beyond moderation is a major
contributor to malnutrition--lots of calories but zero nutrition. It is almost literally true that
We see a great deal of “public service
advertising” on television with claims about American children--as many as one
in six--who are alleged to be hungry on weekends (when they don’t have access
to free government breakfast and lunch programs), with an emotion-charged plea
made that someone needs to provide weekend nutrition for them. Hmm--I’ve always thought that was the job of
their parents. That is their responsibility, is it not?
We already have free breakfast and lunch programs at school for which
the poorest qualify, as well as 47 million people or more receiving free food
subsidies (averaging $133 per person per month, or over $4 per day). These resources alone should and would be
sufficient to provide adequate total nutrition for any child, assuming they
were intelligently used. In a column I
write last year for a local newspaper (“Eating Well on the Cheap” parts I &
II, published in the Haysville (Ks.) Sun-Times), I demonstrated that it is
possible to provide a varied, tasty diet with complete nutrition for an
adult--and therefore for a child as well--for as little as $2.00 a day, or even
less, in other words, the cost of a single lottery ticket, less than half the
cost of a pack of cigarettes, or a fraction of the cost of a six-pack of beer,
which many folks of very small means nevertheless somehow manage to
afford. There were lots of eggs, milk,
whole grain bread, peanut butter, dry beans, rice, apples, potatoes, sweet
potatoes, onions, cabbage, oatmeal, butter, cheese and nuts, plus chicken and
pork in this diet, but no place for Happy Meals, frozen pizza, soda or
pre-packaged cereal. Such a diet being entirely within the reach of even
minimum wage workers (and likely a huge improvement over what they currently
eat), malnutrition in
On a wider scale, we have witnessed in
recent years via television, genuine famine in certain locales around the
globe. I think particularly of
Hunger in “developing” nations (formerly
called “third-world”) is today chiefly caused by corrupt rulers, who
mis-appropriate for their own extravagant lifestyles foreign aid and relief
resources intended for the common people.
So, then, present (and prospective) world food supplies are sufficient and more than sufficient to meet all the nutritional needs of every living human being, and many more besides. Malnutrition, which is common enough, is frequently a result of poor human food choices, not inadequate food resources, while famine and starvation are all too often the deliberate and intended result of the policies of corrupt and inhumane governments.
There is no need to panic in reaction to the extravagant propagandist rhetoric claiming that world-wide famine is knocking on the door. Such claims are very, very far from the truth.
Genetic Entropy and the
Mystery of the Genome by Dr. J. C. Sanford.
Dr. John C. Sanford, Ph.D. in plant
breeding and plant genetics (
Rather than life and DNA arising and diachronically increasing in complexity by natural means, Dr. Sanford came to see that not only could the genomes of plants and animals NOT arise by natural means, it could not even be maintained by natural means. The problem is genetic mutations, which occur continually in living organisms. The vast and detailed information encoded in DNA is under constant assault from a variety of “natural “ enemies--radiation, chemicals, biological missteps in cell replication and more--resulting in the degrading of the code. Theoretically--that is, according to neo-Darwinian claims (or rather, hopes!)--a certain number of these random changes should actually improve the organism, and eventuate cumulatively in better functions, new functions, new structures and new species. But in truth, virtually ALL (and essentially ALL) random genetic mutations are negative, interrupting, hindering, or restricting the normal function of cells and organisms. The great majority of negative mutations are very minor--in humans, for example, such things as red hair, blue eyes or color-blindness--which do not immediately affect the survival or reproduction of the organism, and so these mutations--corruptions--of the genetic code are NOT “weeded out” and eliminated by “survival of the fittest,” but accumulate generation by generation.
Like the typographical errors in a printed book (and this cyber-magazine!), most genetic mutations are of minor importance and do not affect the intelligibility of the sentence or paragraph they occur in, but if with each new printing (generation) another 10 or 20 typos are added to the text and with no “natural selection” proof-reader able to correct or eliminate them, eventually they will accumulate to the hundreds and then thousands, and ultimately will mar and finally destroy the intelligibility of words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters.
Citing the work of leading human geneticists (all committed Darwinists), Sanford points out that current evidence strongly supports the conclusion that the maximum viability of the human species under the assault of genetic mutation--the accumulating “genetic load” or “genetic entropy”--is about 300 generations, start to finish, before the DNA code will be corrupted, even by the accumulation of merely “minor” changes, to the point that the human species will die off (each human in each generation who reproduces adds between 100 and 300 new genetic defects--some would place that number at 1,000 or higher--to the human gene pool!). If a human generation be defined as 25-30 years, on average, that would mean 7,500 to 9,000 years maximum from the first man to the last of our species. One human geneticist, informed and alarmed by the rapid, irreversible degeneration of human DNA estimated than 91% of all human genetic defects have occurred in the past 5,000 years. It doesn’t take a degree in math to see that only a few centuries, or at most a millennium or two added at the beginning of that 5,000 years, would more than suffice to account for the appearance of that remaining 9% of mutations we currently carry in our DNA.
In his own specialty of plant genetics, Dr. Sanford points out that for a century botanists, accepting the foundational neo-Darwinian premise of improvement via mutation, sought to hurry up the natural process by inducing mutations in plants via chemicals and radiation, and thereby create superior strains of existing plants and even create new species. Oh, yes, they did generate a multitude of mutations. Many were immediately fatal to the survival of the organisms, others greatly reduced their capacity to compete and reproduce in the wild, but not one single mutation in a century of trying increased the efficiency, complexity or viability of the plant. All such efforts have now been abandoned as futile. If intelligent, directed attempts by the best scientific minds to create new and better plants via mutation utterly failed, how much more impossible is it to conclude that mindless, undirected chance will accomplish it?
This is likely THE most outstanding and
important book on scientific creationism that I have read in the past
decade. While at times moderately
technical--it has a good glossary in the back--the presentation is clear,
forceful, well-documented and very impressive.
The Greatest Hoax on
Earth? Refuting Dawkins on Evolution by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.
The current leading cheerleader in the English-speaking world for atheistic evolution is British professor Richard Dawkins (b. 1941), whose scientific specialization is in animal behaviour. Among his writings is The Greatest Show on Earth: the Evidence for Evolution (2009). In it, he presents what to him are the strongest scientific evidences supporting biological evolution, the occurrence of which he embraces as an indisputable fact, and ridicules as obscurantists and fools those who reject it.
Australian-born, New Zealand-educated Dr. Jonathan Sarfati (Ph.D., physical chemistry, Victoria University), of the staff of Creation Ministries International (first in Australia and now in the U.S.) has written this systematic review and refutation of Dawkins’ ‘best evidences’ for evolution. Chapter by chapter, topic by topic, Sarfati shows were Dawkins’ evidence is partial, defective, or inaccurate and his reasoning and logic marred and unsound, and Dawkins himself sometimes simply uninformed. Dawkins misrepresents lateral (horizontal) variation within genera and species as though this were Darwinian (vertical) evolution that creates new species, when it is nothing of the kind (this is a very common error of Darwinists). Sarfati argues that rapid “speciation” from genera (or families, in some cases) by population isolation and loss of genetic information in the post-Flood dispersal of land animals is supported by the actual evidence, which is anything but information-adding development of new species by mutation and “natural selection” as Darwinism posits The utter failure of “natural selection” as a mechanism for conserving new, superior genetic information or selecting out inferior (or defective) information is demonstrated.
And so it goes, topic after topic. Claims of Darwinian evolution in bacteria are refuted. The unanswered and apparently unanswerable problem (for evolutionists) of the how and why of the “development” (if that’s what it was) of sexual (as opposed to the perfectly adequate asexual) reproduction is emphasized along with the complete inability of evolutionists to account for it in the least. Homology, with its claims of genetic relationships on the basis of similar forms (for example, of reptilian, avian and mammalian forelimbs) is shown to be without merit, especially since the development of these analogous structures in various classes and orders is not controlled by the same genes in the various groups, contrary to what would be expected if they were ancestrally-related.
Dawkins leans heavily on the supposed evidence of evolution from the fossils found in earth’s sedimentary rocks. Of course, the real instruction we derive from the fossils is that they provide NO evidence of evolution or development, but all classes and species appear suddenly and fully-formed (without precursors), and then remain unchanged (“stasis”) throughout their appearance in the rocks. And speaking of rocks, Sarfati brings forward the common occurrence of huge “time” gaps (following standard evolutionary time scales) between contiguous layers in sedimentary rock--layers that are perfectly level at the contact zone (showing no evidence of erosion or biological disturbance by trees, other plants or animals), but supposedly separated in deposition by 10-, 20- and more millions of years. Only the presupposition of evolution leads to the assumption of time gaps between these layers, which give every appearance of having been laid down the one immediately following the other.
Among geo-chronometers, Dawkins of course appeals to radiometric dating, evolutionists’ standard “exhibit A” for an old earth. Sarfati documents the great fallibility, variability, inaccuracy and dubiousness of such techniques, on the one hand, and the really dishonest way scientific researchers “cherry pick” the dates they favor, and ignore those that yield other dates (a very common occurrence). Arguing for a much younger earth, Sarfati appeals to the discovery of datable amounts of C-14 in coal and diamonds (which are customarily claimed to be millions, even hundreds of millions of years old), though all measureable C-14 should disappear in 60,000 years of less. Then there are the soft-tissue remains of dinosaurs (allegedly extinct for 65 million years) recently discovered in fossils--blood vessels, red blood cells and more, which should have degraded to nothing in only thousands of years, but which are still very much present. Numerous other geo-chronometers that require an earth-age in the thousands or a few millions of years at most (and allow for much less) are also presented.
Space prevents me from detailing further the contents (I have mentioned but a sample). This is a very significant work, indeed, is a general survey of the standard arguments for biological evolution, and the scientific arguments and evidences that discredit and refute them. I would compare it in this regard to Henry Morris’ now almost four-decades-old Scientific Creationism, and it is of course very much more up-to-date, and covers a number of topics not found in that older work. Dr. Sarfati is a thoroughly-trained and well-informed scientist. He writes intelligibly and clearly so that the intelligent non-specialist can understand. His research is thorough and his documentation extensive and more than adequate. I read closely both this work and J. C. Sanford’s Genetic Entropy (reviewed above) as part of my preparation for an open-lecture, “Scientific Reasons I Can No Longer Believe in Evolution” delivered on the campus of Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria in April 2013. With this material fresh in my mind, I was able immediately to give solid scientific answers when challenged during my presentation by the largely-hostile, pro-evolution audience of students, who were majors in the various sciences and engineering.
I have bought and given away copies of The Greatest Hoax on Earth?, both to believers and unbelievers. Total copies in print now exceed half a million. Make sure you get a copy for yourself, along with some extras to hand out to those blinded by Darwinism.