Time Line - Signs of the Times
The Carbon Spike - Megaphenomena
CO2 on the Rise!
Mr. Ed Ayers, of Worldwatch Institute in Washington, D.C., writes about four "spikes" (megaphenomena), in other words, rapid increases in global change. The increase in carbon dioxide is like a strange threat. This is a nontoxic poison! But really? How can this be possible? We say poison in that carbon dioxide poses a challenge to the stability of Earth's environment. The net result of this spike is affecting the world's environment right now!
Everyone in the industrialized world has heard, ad nausea, about the problem of global warming, or of the rise in carbon dioxide emissions that contributes to it. But there is little in what most have heard to suggest that this problem–or the endless wrangling over it by politicians and industries–is any different than the hundreds of other global issues that come and go in the news. Whether these issues concern global stock markets, illicit drugs, ethnic conflict, emboldened terrorists, military alliances, or the endangered environment, all seem to generate endlessly irreconcilable debate. So, we frown or shrug and move on to the next issue. Ayers, God's Last Offer, page 11.
We are so into ourselves, we can't see the problem as relevant. After all, as chemicals go, this carbon gas can neither be seen nor does it smell. It's invisible to us! Yet the spike is real, our atmosphere now contains more CO2 than at any other time. The increase is graphically depicted in the diagram shown above. Has anyone really recognized the magnitude and full implication for the carbon spike?
... A task force of leading climate scientists from 98 countries, known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, had studied the problem exhaustively and had issued a 1995 report warning that this is a problem of enormous consequence.
... The IPCC had been unequivocal in its conclusions that (1) warming is happening, rapidly; (2) human activity is causing it; (3) the warming is likely to unleash devastating weather disturbances ranging from unnaturally heavy storms and floods to heat waves and droughts; and (4) it is therefore urgent that carbon emissions be cut sharply all over the world, but particularly in the industrial nations where these emissions are heaviest. Ayers, God's Last Offer, page 12
Yes, the problem is well known and in Kyoto, Japan, (in December 1997) many of the world's nations gathered to draft a resolution to start addressing the problem. But, as drafted, the Kyoto agreement effectively did little to stop the world's climate from becoming dangerously disrupted. Humans have become addicted to material commerce and the life styles driven by a material economy. So, corporate behaviors and responses from industry tell so much of humanity's weaknesses in the face of what is subtle yet dire consequence. Industry campaigned to keep everything going as is—regardless of consequence:
In the mid-1990s, more than a hundred major corporations in the coal, oil, utility, motor vehicle, and chemical industries, among others, assembled a formal lobbying organization, the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), to conduct this campaign. All told, the GCC probably wielded more power over the global economy that even the OPEC cartel that had established an economic stronghold in the 1970s, but the GCC was far less visible–it was made up of transnational companies, not countries. Ayers, God's Last Offer, page 20
And even as world leaders and scientists looked to reverse the awesome global rise in human driven carbon dioxide emissions ...
... In the year preceding Kyoto, however, the GCC placed a $14 million barrage of ads in US media, warning that if governments took actions to reduce CO2 emissions (which would mean in some way limiting sales of coal, oil, and gas), those actions would "cripple the US and global economies." Ayers, God's Last Offer, page 21
But then, global change is not simply one problem but a veritable matrix of interlinked issues and consequences. Scientists screamed out a warning in NO uncertain terms!
... In a 1992, the same year the climate scientists of the IPCC issued their first report, a broader assemblage of 1,670 of the world's most accomplished scientists from all fields issued a joint statement, the World Scientists’ Warning To Humanity.
... The statement was signed by 104 Nobel-Prize winners in the sciences–a majority of all those still living.
...In the year following Kyoto, the construction of new coal-burning power plants would continue in China as though nothing had happened; hundreds of new oil wells would be drilled in the oceans; millions of new gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles, vans, pickup trucks, and luxury cars would continue to be sold, most of them with even lower fuel efficiency than a decade earlier; and the spike of carbon gas would continue to rise. Ayers, God's Last Offer, page 24
As you explore the main feature areas of WindowView and move along the time line we trust you will sense pressures are building. Something, somewhere, has to give at some point, but when? At that point will be a global crisis. The fact that global changes are recognized but are never effectively 'fixed' only accelerates our pace to some as yet unreached cross roads.
Meanwhile, humanity is set on a course of seeking peace in an era of conflicts that are waged by militaries, economies, and ideological forces. And along the time line appears another trend revealing how a faith-based scenario leads to a previously documented set of events that lie ahead.
Along the scientific side and scriptural-based avenue of time, we can realize the crossroads are not so distant from this point in time. We have the information today to characterize how our faith and behavior, in the face of major global changes, will determine the ultimate fate of humanity.
The importance to global change is in looking at how social, biological, and physical sciences all reveal data and signs for more ominous changes in the near future. This is change in every aspect of human and earthly affairs ... globally. The Window looks further to see change as a backdrop to a biblical timeline. Driving forces for change force us to ask the most important questions about our true origin, who we are, why we are here, and what the Scriptures tell us about the future. Change forces us to look deeper to face choice or crisis. Life is an opportunity to look for the answers.
Please Note! We are presenting a number of quotations in the "Signs of the Times" series that are taken from their original context. So Be Aware ... the impact of these statements is only heightened and intensified by a reading of the original text cited below. WindowView serves to reflect many original sources and in this case we highly recommend a reading of the entire book used as a source here! The 'Signs' are woefully important to revealing humanity's future, reading these quotations in their original context makes this point all the more clear!
Quotations attributed to 'Ayers' are from: Ed Ayers. 1999. God's Last Offer - Negotiating for a Sustainable Future. Published by: Four Walls Eight Windows (www.fourwallseightwindows.com)
Mr. Ayers is the Editor of World Watch magazine, a product of the Worldwatch Institute, Washington D.C. The institute is a 'think tank' that often puts out publications that note change in the world theater from the perspectives of economics, policy, resource uses, and the potential for global trends based on past and current human activity. This is a secular institution and the title of Mr. Ayers' book makes no special reference to a particular theological framework.
Time spent looking ... through a window on life and choice ... brings the opportunity to see in a new light. The offer for you to Step Up To Life is presented on many of the web pages at WindowView. Without further explanation we offer you the steps here ... knowing that depending on what you have seen or may yet explore in the window ... these steps will be the most important of your life ...