Appendix 9: Energy Issues
Secular Chronology Confirmation
How current trends corroborate the Bible’s revealed timeline
With the rather sudden (in the last century or so) increase of world population, technological advancements, and mobility, the earth is experiencing a challenge it has never really had before: how to meet its ever-expanding need for energy without destroying itself in the process.
It used to be, one merely needed some sort of combustible material to bake his bread, heat his home, or light his way at night. It was the original “flex-fuel” situation: anything would do, as long as you could set it on fire. Wood (or its derivative, charcoal) was an obvious choice, but any sort of dead vegetation would work in a pinch. For settled cultures in temperate climates, olive oil made a good liquid fuel, perfect for use in lamps. The Bible also speaks of using thorns, vines, and even dung for fuel. (Early settlers on the American prairies found no trees to burn, but a practically endless supply of dried buffalo poo, which burned quite nicely in a cast iron stove.) Where it was available, coal or peat were mined and used as household fuels.
By the dawn of the twentieth century, very little had changed. The industrial revolution of the previous century had been fueled with coal, along with wood from ever-shrinking forests. Short blips of “alternative fuels” like whale oil, or gas for artificial lighting (hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide, propane, butane, acetylene, ethylene, or natural gas) came and went. But change was in the wind. In the 1860s and throughout the remainder of the century, inventors like Lenoir, Benz, Otto, Diesel, Daimler, and Maybach (among others) worked to make the internal combustion engine a working reality—and it was made accessible to the common man a bit later by the likes of Henry Ford and Ransom Olds. Petroleum—gasoline—was suddenly the fuel of the future, and Daniel’s prophecy about people “running to and fro” in the last days was now on the cusp of fulfillment as never before.
At the same time, stunning advances were being made in the utilization and transmission of electricity. Inventors like Edison, Westinghouse, and Tesla prepared the world for the electronically connected, technology-dependent reality in which we live today. These discoveries allowed the second half of Daniel’s (12:4) prophecy—that “knowledge will increase”—to come to fruition. Today, we live in the so-called “information age,” in which (according to Moore’s law) the amount of data available to us is doubling every eighteen months. In light of the fact that everything we ever needed to know about life and godliness had been revealed in Yahweh’s scriptures thousands of years ago (see II Peter 1:3), I find it a little disturbing that some thirty percent of the immense amount of data transferred on the Internet these days (according to the Huffington Post) is pornography (and I suspect most of the rest is either pointless drivel, data bereft of badly needed spiritual context, or pictures of kittens). But then again, I wouldn’t have known about any of that were it not for Google. The Internet can teach you how to make a bomb or bake a cake—it doesn’t care how you use it. In other words, the technology itself is spiritually neutral—it can be used for good or evil.
But what it can’t do is run without electricity—which must be generated with machines that consume fuels like coal, oil, natural gas, or radioactive materials, or employ “renewable” energy from places like hydroelectric sites, solar installations, or wind farms. Of course, our computers and cell phones consume comparatively little energy. The biggest energy hogs within our homes are the appliances that heat or cool things—forced air furnaces, water heaters, dryers for our clothes and hair, coffee makers, refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners. We run so many lights, our cities can be seen from outer space at night. Our industrial and cultural (i.e., not personal) need for electricity is prodigious as well—consuming over half of the total energy produced.
And the world’s projected need for energy is not tapering off or leveling out. Rather it is keeping pace with the steady growth of the earth’s population (which, you’ll recall, will, if the present trends continue, reach nine billion souls by the fourth decade of the twenty-first century). EIA.gov reports, “The International Energy Outlook 2013 (IEO2013) projects that world energy consumption will grow by 56 percent between 2010 and 2040. Total world energy use rises from 524 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs) in 2010 to 630 quadrillion BTUs in 2020 and to 820 quadrillion BTUs in 2040.” A BTU is the equivalent to about 1,055 joules. It is the amount of energy needed to cool or heat one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. The BTU is most often used as a measure of power (as BTU/hour) in the power, steam generation, heating, and air conditioning industries.
Considering how much energy (in whatever form) the world needs, the trick now seems to be figuring out how to deliver the power without killing the planet. The problem is that every energy source now in use has a fatal flaw, either in its production, its usage, and/or its delivery. The top three (by far) energy sources all contribute to the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels (which the politically driven scientific community swears is going to result in the death of us all). Liquid energy sources (i.e., petroleum-based) produce 180 quadrillion BTUs annually at present (mid-2014); coal delivers 160; and natural gas provides 120.
Interestingly, although CO2 levels have indeed been rising, the dreaded global warming phenomenon that was supposed to automatically result has not materialized. In fact, while world coal usage nearly doubled between the mid-1990s and the present, the arctic ice cap expanded by a million square miles: the earth is not warming because of coal use—which is not to say coal is the ideal fuel in its present state of technology. One more thing worth noting about coal: it does little good for one nation to curtail its use (as in America’s recent war on coal) if other countries continue burning it with gleeful abandon. Coal-rich America has reduced its own CO2 emissions output to 1992 levels, but our efforts are negligible in the face of prodigious coal usage in China and India, who are still (as we once were) more concerned with growing their wealth than with being able to breathe.
Meanwhile, “renewable” energy sources (hydroelectric, solar, wind, geothermal, etc.) together account for about 70 quadrillion BTUs annually, and nuclear power comes in last, generating about 30 quadrillion BTUs. Although the “green lobby” is adamantly opposed to any energy source that burns any kind of fuel, they don’t particularly like hydroelectric power, either. Although this is the most demonstrably successful form of renewable energy there is, it requires damming rivers, altering topography, and displacing human and animal populations—in other words, change. For all their Mother-Earth worship, they apparently have precious little faith in “her” ability to adapt and survive. How in the world did “Mother Nature” get along without them for the past four billion years? Hydroelectric power plants are responsible for sixteen percent of global electricity generation worldwide, and for 66% of the renewable energy produced in the United States. There are many major dam projects underway (notably in China, India, and Brazil), but the environmentalists have managed to quash virtually all new hydroelectric endeavors in the United States since the 1970s. This is known as “progress.” I don’t know why.
Other “green” technologies have proven laughably inefficient or unreliable in practice. Solar power generation is fine as long as the sun shines and the wind doesn’t blow much. On the other hand, wind turbines are only as reliable as the wind (which isn’t, particularly), and they have done more damage to endangered bird populations (especially eagles) than all the DDT Rachel Carson ever heard of. What can be done? Throw the eagles under the bus, of course: The Associated Press reports, “Under pressure from the wind-power industry, the Obama administration said [in December, 2013] it will allow companies to kill or injure eagles without the fear of prosecution for up to three decades.” So much for protecting the environment with green energy.
“The new rule is designed to address environmental consequences that stand in the way of the nation’s wind energy rush: the dozens of [endangered] bald and golden eagles being killed each year by the giant, spinning blades of wind turbines. An investigation by The Associated Press earlier this year documented the illegal killing of eagles around wind farms, the Obama administration’s reluctance to prosecute such cases and its willingness to help keep the scope of the eagle deaths secret. President Barack Obama has championed the pollution-free energy, nearly doubling America’s wind power in his first term as a way to tackle global warming. But all energy has costs, and the administration has been forced to accept the not-so-green sides of green energy as a means to an end.” I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. But crying seems more appropriate in light of the hypocrisy and duplicity of our so-called “leaders.”
And what about nuclear power? Back in the 1950s, it promised to be the panacea to all of the world’s energy woes—the gateway to a clean, cheap electrically powered future. (And we got to make nifty doomsday weapons out of the used atomic fuel—bonus!) But now, with the Three Mile Island accident (1979), the Chernobyl disaster (1986), and the Fukushima Daiichi catastrophe (2011) in our rear view mirrors, our nuclear-powered future doesn’t look quite so promising. (In fact, that label they put on car mirrors saying “Objects are closer than they appear” applies ominously to Fukushima—which is still pouring radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean years after the incident, threatening to slowly kill off all life in the sea—see Revelation 16:3.) There have been at least a hundred serious nuclear incidents or accidents worldwide since 1952—58 of them after Chernobyl.
The bottom line, then, is that at present, there is no energy source available to man that doesn’t come with serious drawbacks. They’re either environmentally unhealthy to produce, expensive to procure, dangerous to deliver, poisonous to utilize, or laughably inefficient. Sometimes, it’s “all of the above.”
The cries for “renewable energy” aren’t all leftist propaganda designed to destroy the artificially prosperous lifestyles that were the legacy of evil capitalist endeavor, of course. Just because liberal-progressive politicians have been willing to waste hundreds of billions of other people’s dollars on hopeless green energy boondoggles, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the need for such energy breakthroughs isn’t there. The fact is, there are limits to what we can take out of the earth. I’ve been hearing since the early 1970s that “the Earth is about to run out of energy.” Dire predictions of “peak oil” (in which all of the easily obtained petroleum deposits on the planet have been drained dry, leaving only poor quality, hard-to-get resources) have so far proven premature—or at least, oil-drilling technology has kept pace with demand so far.
But even when vast new energy sources are discovered, the “good news” is invariably stated in terms something like this: “This new find will produce enough natural gas (or whatever has been found) to power our homes for the next hundred years.” That is, even the “good” news ought to remind us that there is a limit to the earth’s bounty—and the day of reckoning isn’t all that far off—decades or at most centuries, not millennia. If there is a God who is personally interested in the welfare of this planet and its inhabitants, what are the chances that this whole energy issue will catch him flat footed? And if (as so many insist) God doesn’t exist, what difference would it make whether we lived or died?
What can be done? The optimists of the world—capitalists, entrepreneurs, “glass-half-full” types—concentrate on finding and developing new sources (or types) of energy. Meanwhile, the pessimists—socialists, earth-worshipers, “glass-half-empty” souls—contemplate ways to make what we have last longer, ’cause “once we use up nature, there’s no tomorrow.” And if the paranoid conspiracy theorists are correct (as they all too often are), there’s a third group out there trying to ensure that energy breakthroughs never see the light of day, because of the immense piles of money at stake in maintaining the status quo.
My contention, meanwhile, is that they’re all wrong (even though good and valid arguments can be made to support any of these positions). My position is that since Yahweh created this planet for our habitation, He will neither allow us to utterly destroy it (and ourselves along with it)—nor allow us to live forever like godless animals upon it. Rather, He will unfold His plan of redemption upon the earth—before we have used up all of its resources. It is this very plan, of course, that I have been rambling on about for the past thousand pages, and this is just one more factor conspiring to inform us that the Kingdom of Christ will commence within the next few decades. None of what we see happening in the world around us is taking God by surprise: “For this is what Yahweh says—He who created the heavens, He is God; He who fashioned and made the earth, He founded it. He did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited—He says: ‘I am Yahweh, and there is no other.’” (Isaiah 45:18) That being said, if God is going to act to save us from our own destructive proclivities, He’s going to have to move rather quickly: we are multiplying like crazy, and we’re getting really good at destroying the earth. But hey, at least we’ve finally come close to doing the very first thing God told us to do: “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it [i.e., dominate it, bring it under submission].” (Genesis 1:28)
I’ll have more to say about the “optimists” later in this chapter, for their hard work and enthusiasm are changing the world—including the energy issues that confront us—before our very eyes. In the process, they’re edging us ever closer to a state in which Biblical prophecy can be literally fulfilled. But in the meantime, let us consider the options being mulled over by the pessimists—those sad individuals who assume that “there is no God, so it’s up to us to save ourselves—from ourselves.”
We have already discussed the oft-stated intention of the liberal elite to solve the world’s problems by ridding it of 90-95% of its human population (presumably not including themselves, of course). Steve Jones stated the case as far back as 2005 in an article published on Rense.com. He quotes, “‘If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels’—Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. World population is, by all intents and purposes, completely out of control. Plans are underway now, implemented by the New World Order Elite, to depopulate the planet’s 6-7 billion people [now 7.5 billion, and growing at the rate of a billion souls every twelve years] to a manageable level of between 500 million and 2 billion.
“There are many means and methods of depopulation that are being employed today, the 3 primary of which include; unsustainable/exploitative international development, which leads to massive hunger, starvation and famine worldwide (at least 40 million deaths annually), the fomentation of war, hatred and military procurements throughout the nations, leading to millions of deaths worldwide, and finally, the creation and spread of infectious diseases leading to global pandemic, plague and pestilence on an unprecedented scale.” (If you’ll recall, in our chapter on “World Demographics,” we reported on Dr. Eric R. Pianka’s scheme to use the deadly Ebola virus to decimate the vast majority of humanity.) Actually, I think Mr. Jones has understated the case here. Given today’s population and the average life expectancy of the ordinary human, we can expect about one hundred million people to die annually through normal rates of attrition—the cycle of life. If you’re planning on reducing the population, you’re going to have to find ways to kill off at least ten times that many each year.
Jones continues: “Other methods used include: the build-up and use of nuclear, chemical and biological agents, weapons and warfare, the poisoning and contamination of the planet’s food and water supplies, the introduction and use of deadly pharmaceutical drugs in society, weather modification and the triggering of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis through electromagnetic psychotronic weapons both on Earth and in space, the promotion of homosexuality to limit population growth and spread the deadly AIDS virus, forced sterilization in countries such as China, forced vaccinations, abortion, euthanasia etc.... Death, and the management of who lives and who dies, has become the central organizing principle of the 21st century.” These deadly strategies are no particular secret. For further research, Google: “Agenda 21.”
They may be insane, but they’re right about one thing: reducing the earth’s population to a few hundred million people would definitely make our energy woes easier to deal with (along with food supplies, air pollution, water, and dozens of other factors we’ve already considered). What the proponents of “salvation through genocide” fail to appreciate is that if you’ve killed off everybody but the elite, no one will be elite any longer. In the master-slave state they envision, most of the would-be “masters” would inevitably end up as slaves. There is only so much room at the top—which is why the Bible portrays the ideal society not as a structured hierarchy (something that was advocated by the “Nicolaitans” who were condemned twice in Revelation 2), but as “members of one body,” having different functions but equal honor.
Some naïve souls long for the “good old days” (not having had to live through them). They sit in their air-conditioned lofts (or their mothers’ basements) and romanticize on their Internet blogs about living like the Amish—not having a clue as to why the Amish choose to live as they do—without cars, computers, tractors, or telephones. It has little (or nothing) to do with obsequious earth worship or environmental responsibility, and everything to do with community and faith. Jonathan Starkey explains: “Amish are banned from driving cars and trucks because Amish leaders worry that faster transportation could ‘pull the community apart.’ The prohibition, however, does not extend to fuel-powered motors and engines such as those used to run power tools and washing machines.” In other words, labor-saving devices are okay, as long as they don’t impinge upon the principle of a cohesive, God-centered community. The aversion of the Amish to technology is not mindless, naïve, or reactionary, but rather carefully calculated to foster a community-wide trend toward holiness—being set apart from the world’s distractions, and being set apart to God. As much as the “progressives” would like to put a halt to technological (i.e., energy-consuming) progress, they aren’t quite ready for that.
I find it fascinating that when “fuel” is considered in the Bible, God often ties its use to warnings about idolatry—the worship or reverence of something that isn’t Yahweh. Isaiah writes of a man who takes a piece of wood, uses half of it to heat his home and cook his food, and uses the other half to carve an idol. “Then it [the wood of a tree] shall be for a man to burn, for he will take some of it and warm himself. Yes, he kindles it and bakes bread. Indeed he makes a god and worships it; he makes it a carved image, and falls down to it. He burns half of it in the fire. With this half he eats meat. He roasts a roast, and is satisfied. He even warms himself and says, ‘Ah! I am warm, I have seen the fire.’ And the rest of it he makes into a god, his carved image. He falls down before it and worships it, prays to it and says, ‘Deliver me, for you are my god!...’” When you put it like that, the problem seems pretty obvious. “Fuel” (like so many things) is spiritually neutral: it can be used for evil, or for good—it’s our choice. A guy could fill his car’s gas tank and drive it to where he could meet with likeminded believers to worship God and study His word—or he could cruise the boulevard looking for a prostitute or a drug dealer. The same electrons coursing through a computer could be used to honor God through study or the edification of others, or could be used to write hate mail, access instructions on how to build a bomb, or download internet porn. The same “fuel” can be used in many different ways—some edifying, some harmful.
Isaiah’s point is that it illogical in the extreme to use your fuel for both good and evil, though we often do that very thing without even realizing it: “They do not know nor understand. For He [Yahweh] has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. And no one considers in his heart, nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say, ‘I have burned half of it in the fire, yes, I have also baked bread on its coals; I have roasted meat and eaten it. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?’ He feeds on ashes. A deceived heart has turned him aside, and he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, ‘Is there not a lie in my right hand?’” (Isaiah 44:15-20) A “god” of one’s own manufacture is helpless to save you, no matter how much faith or devotion you lavish upon it.
Many modern nations have made “deals with the devil” in order to procure the energy they feel they need to sustain their coveted lifestyles. But Yahshua taught us not to obsess over the “fuel” we have at our disposal. (Okay, that wasn’t his primary point, but it’s a valid one, anyway.) “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:28-30) Allow me to paraphrase this in light of our current context: “So why do you worry about where your energy comes from? Consider coal, or oil, or gas, or biofuels, or green energy, or even nuclear fuel: God provided these energy sources in profuse abundance, and then left them lying around for man to discover and utilize—buried in the ground, growing in the dirt, falling from the sky, or blowing through the air. Now if God so provides fuel for your toaster ovens, smart phones, and jet airliners, will He not much more provide everything you need—physically, culturally, and spiritually—O you of little faith?”
Here’s another angle on “energy usage” in the Bible: “Then he [Aaron] shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar before Yahweh, with his hands full of sweet incense beaten fine, and bring it inside the veil. And he shall put the incense on the fire before Yahweh, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the Testimony, lest he die.” (Leviticus 16:12-13) Incense is symbolic of the prayers of the saints, offered to Yahweh on our behalf by the High Priest (who is, in turn, symbolic of Yahshua, as Paul informs us: “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”—I Timothy 2:5). But the incense-prayers don’t rise to Heaven without being “set on fire,” and that’s what the live coals from the altar are for. The hot coals in the bronze altar were what made the smoke of the sacrifices rise toward Heaven as a “sweet aroma” before God (e.g., see Leviticus 3:16, etc.). What do these coals represent? The Holy Spirit—the Helper, the Spirit of Truth whom Yahshua promised to leave behind in His stead, indwelling His followers forever (see John 14:15-18). It’s no coincidence that the Hebrew words for spirit (ruach) and aroma (reyach) are closely related.
But our prayers must be genuine—not mere religious display—if we wish them to reach heaven, conveyed by the Spirit. Phony, showy prayers are not only pointless, they can be dangerous, for they betray a lack of reverence for the holy God to whom they are ostensibly directed. For instance, “Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before Yahweh, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from Yahweh and devoured them, and they died before Yahweh. And Moses said to Aaron, ‘This is what Yahweh spoke, saying: “By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified.”’” (Leviticus 10:1-3) We aren’t told what the precise nature of the “profanity” of their fire was—whether the incense had been made to a recipe not authorized by God (see Exodus 30:34-38), or the coals were from a source other than the altar, or simply that only Aaron the High Priest, not his sons, had been authorized to offer up incense before Yahweh. What is clear is that Nadab and Abihu had done this motivated only by their desire to aggrandize themselves by performing a religious spectacle—it had nothing to do with glorifying (or even petitioning) Yahweh.
When John the Baptist identified Yahshua as the promised Christ, he foresaw the Holy Spirit’s role as the “fire” who would quicken our prayers, precisely as it had been presented (albeit in symbolic terms) in the Torah: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3:11) So let me ask the provocative question: if the Holy Spirit is the “fuel” of heaven, is it even possible for a believer to have an energy shortage? Or is the problem our poor utilization of this potent and precious resource?
I may be bending God’s metaphor a bit, but the same lesson is taught concerning perceived “shortages” in the days of the wicked King Ahab. Yahweh had decreed a drought—and subsequent famine—throughout the land, in order to get Israel’s attention. The prophet Elijah was instructed to receive sustenance from a widow who was herself on the brink of starvation—a most counterintuitive directive. So Elijah met her, and asked for a morsel of bread (which, of course, looked like suicide to the poor woman). “So she said, ‘As Yahweh your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.’ And Elijah said to her, ‘Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says Yahweh, God of Israel: “The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day Yahweh sends rain on the earth….”’ For the purposes of this illustration, think not of the “sticks” as her fuel, but the olive oil in her jar—a common scriptural euphemism for the Holy Spirit (see Zechariah 4:1-6). After all, olive oil was not only food, but was used as fuel for lighting as well.
What happened? Did she and her son starve to death? No. “So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of Yahweh which He spoke by Elijah.” (I Kings 17:12-16) I can’t help but reflect that, in these last days, as we are beginning to see the first hints of God’s judgment upon the earth (earthquakes, famines, wars and rumors of war, etc.), we believers need not be swept away by these evil times. Yahweh is still perfectly capable of meeting our needs, and if we trust Him, He will, right up until the day of the rapture. But note: the widow demonstrated her faith first by “investing” her precious and rapidly dwindling resources in the prophet of God, in response to Yahweh’s promise of continued sustenance. In other words, she believed God, and it was accounted unto her as righteousness. (Sound familiar? Some things never change.) And note that (as far as we’re told) the widow’s flour bin and oil jar never looked full. There was always “only” enough left for one more day, for one more meal—and yet she never ran out. I must confess: I know this in my head, but my heart may have some “catching up” to do.
Alas, Israel will still not have repented and turned to her Messiah (as a nation, that is) by the time of the rapture (the departure of the called-out assembly of Christ). But Ezekiel spoke of a war—still future as I write these words—in which Israel’s obviously miraculous deliverance will turn them, en masse, back to Yahweh their God (see Ezekiel 39:22). Then, months (at least seven, perhaps more) after Yahweh has defeated the Islamic horde on the mountains of Israel, God’s people will once again be forced to flee before a powerful enemy—this time, the Antichrist.
Where will they get the resources—especially fuel—necessary to evade the treacherous Beast until the end of the Tribulation (another three and a half years)? Ezekiel provides the answer: “‘Then those who live in the towns of Israel will go out and use the weapons for fuel and burn them up—the small and large shields, the bows and arrows, the war clubs and spears. For seven years they will use them for fuel. They will not need to gather wood from the fields or cut it from the forests, because they will use the weapons for fuel. And they will plunder those who plundered them and loot those who looted them,’ declares the Sovereign Yahweh.” (Ezekiel 39:9-10)
That’s right: the war materiel that the forces of Magog brought with them will be “retasked” by the fleeing masses of Israel. Ezekiel mentioned the weapons of his day, the weapons he knew. But what are the shields, bows and arrows, war clubs, and spears of a modern invasion force? In terms of fuel, think gasoline, diesel fuel, Jet-A, rocket propellant, and gunpowder. And what is the “wood from the field and forest” that they didn’t (i.e., couldn’t) use? Think of the immense oil and gas fields newly discovered in Israel—resources they will no longer be able to tap once the Antichrist comes out of the closet. Get the picture? The “plunder” Israel will recover from Gog and Magog will last them several years into the Kingdom age—just long enough to get some energy infrastructure back up and running. Our God thinks of everything.
The war of Gog and Magog isn’t the last one that will threaten Israel. Another one—the final battle—is predicted, and this is where (in the context of our present study) the whole rebellious world will finally “run out of gas.” “All nations surrounded me, but in the name of Yahweh I will destroy them.” The epiphany here will come when we figure out who “me” is in this passage. (Hint: it isn’t Israel.) “They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me; but in the name of Yahweh I will destroy them. They surrounded me like bees. They were quenched like a fire of thorns.” Thorns make a lousy fuel: they’re cheap (though worthless for anything other than burning), quickly consumed, and readily quenched. “For in the name of Yahweh I will destroy them. You pushed me violently, that I might fall, but Yahweh helped me. Yahweh is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.” (Psalm 118:10-14)
The key to identifying which battle we’re talking about is the first two words: “All nations.” That pins this down to one battle, to the exclusion of all others: the battle of Armageddon. And that means that the “me” here is actually “Me.” That is, it’s Yahshua, who, Isaiah informs us, will “tread out the winepress of the wrath of God alone.” The last phrase nails it down for us (at least in the Hebrew). It literally says “He (i.e., Yahweh) has become Salvation to me.” The word translated “Salvation” is transliterated Yâshuw`ah or Yeshuah—phonetically indistinguishable from the Messiah’s name, Yahshua. So the modern English-speaking Christian might read this, “Yahweh has become Jesus to me.”
A different Psalm says essentially the same thing, using the same “thorn-fire” imagery. “Before your pots can feel the burning thorns, He [Yahweh, through Yahshua] shall take them away as with a whirlwind, as in His living and burning wrath. The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance. He shall wash His feet in the blood of the wicked, so that men will say, ‘Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely He is God who judges in the earth.’” (Psalm 58:9-11)
“Wash His feet in the blood of the wicked”? God’s reluctance to do that sort of thing for the past six thousand years could be why so many today don’t believe that He means what He says—or even that He exists at all. They say, “Where is the promise of His coming?” This is an image as squishy as it is unprecedented, but it’s precisely as Isaiah pictured the final battle: “Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, this One who is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength?—‘I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.’ Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? ‘I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury. Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, and I wondered that there was no one to uphold. Therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me, and My own fury, it sustained Me. I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, made them drunk in My fury, and brought down their strength to the earth.” (Isaiah 63:1-6)
If you tend to faint at the sight of your own blood, I’d suggest that you don’t show up at the Battle of Armageddon intending to destroy what’s left of Israel once and for all. God incessantly compares those rebels to grapes squashed in a winepress, or feeling pain like a woman in labor, or worthless thorns being burned as fuel in a quick-and-dirty fire. This is what happens when a holy God restrains His righteous anger for millennia—and then expresses His fury all at once.
In case you still don’t believe me, consider this. Every Christian seems to know about the stunning Messianic passage identifying Yahshua as God in flesh—the one that begins, “For unto us a Child is born….” But take a good, hard look at what leads up to that stunning revelation: “You [i.e., Yahweh] have multiplied the nation [Israel], and increased its joy. They rejoice before You according to the joy of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For You have broken the yoke of his burden and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.” That is, it is a complete and unequivocal military victory, despite seemingly impossible odds. Now note the relationship between the effect and its cause: “For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle, and garments rolled in blood, will be used for burning and fuel of fire. For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given. And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:3-6) That’s right: the Child, the Son of God will be the One who—all by Himself—will soak the land in the blood of His (and by extension, Israel’s) enemies.
Yahweh will keep His oft-repeated promise to redeem, restore, and re-establish Israel, or be called a liar. Apostate liberal “Christian” denominations who don’t believe this—who illogically side with the “Palestinian” cause over Israel’s sovereignty, pressuring their people to divest any interest in Israel and lobbying their governments to betray them—would do well to consider what this passage is saying: if you’re not on Israel’s side, you’re nothing but cheap firewood—fuel for the flame. And remember what Solomon said: “Like the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool.” (Ecclesiastes 7:6)
Fire is often characterized in scripture as a means of cleansing—of purging the impurities out of a metal, for instance. So it’s revealing that in God’s hands, the fuel used to melt and purify the metal can be those very impurities—rebels against Yahweh: “I will pour out My indignation on you.” The subject here was the Ammonites, Israel’s antagonists to the east, across the Jordan, but the principle is universal. “I will blow against you with the fire of My wrath, and deliver you into the hands of brutal men who are skillful to destroy.” As far as I can tell, the only war in which Yahweh will not utilize “brutal men” (authorizing one evil to eradicate another), is the final conflict, the Battle of Armageddon—the one in which all nations will gather together to face off against Yahweh, as one army. In that unique case, He will wreak vengeance personally, all by Himself. But the price of aggression against God is always the same, eventually: “You shall be fuel for the fire. Your blood shall be in the midst of the land. You shall not be remembered, for I Yahweh have spoken.’” (Ezekiel 21:31-32)
Supply and Demand
One of the most fundamental of economic laws is that of “supply and demand.” That is, as demand increases in relationship to the available supply, the price of a commodity or service will increase. The world copes with the law of supply and demand in a variety of ways. These strategies apply equally to almost anything you could name—food, housing, fuel, transportation, human resources, financial instruments, you name it. When supplies begin to grow scarce, and prices begin edging upward, consumers will pay the price—up to a point. But then they will begin employing a series of coping strategies. They’ll cut back, or do without, or substitute more affordable alternatives. They’ll find ways to cheat the system, if they can. Since humans (being made in the image of God) are creative by nature, they’ll try to invent new solutions to old problems. And when all else fails, they’ll go to war (one way or another)—stealing from their neighbors what they can’t procure through honest means. It’s all a question of their “desperation level.”
The law of supply and demand is so universal and so inviolable, it has become the lifelong endeavor of many to artificially either increase demand or reduce supply in order to drive up prices and profits. This may or may not be a bad thing, depending upon one’s motivation. As the old saying goes, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” The entrepreneurial spirit constantly strives to identify areas that could be improved, and then to fill those needs through innovation, leveraging hard work, capital, and insight into profitable business opportunities.
The trouble arises when the profits become more important than the problem solving. Man is not only creative; he’s also evil, fallen, and sinful. We need to constantly examine our motives before God: at what point do our innovations cease helping our fellow man, and become his burden instead? Let’s face it: in these Last Days, “building a better mousetrap” sometimes entails introducing a bunch of mice, just so everybody will perceive the need for the product.
I’ll offer one example, among thousands of possible candidates—one related to energy issues. Every spring, gasoline prices in the U.S. make a sudden jump of eight or ten percent. Why? Because the refineries (by law) have had to switch over to their “summer blends.” The problem is that where three or four formulas would suffice (and have minimal economic impact) nationwide, the government insists on producing dozens of “boutique fuels.” The Weekly Standard asks, “Quick: How many kinds of gasoline do we use in America? Most people would say three, or six: regular unleaded, mid-grade, and premium, along with the ethanol blends of the same that have become nearly universal. The actual number is somewhere above 45, though hard to pin down exactly, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). It might even be closer to 70. Thirty-four states use specially blended gasoline, usually during the summer, which is one reason gasoline prices always rise during the ‘driving season.’… It’s the product of EPA bureaucrats and the Clean Air Act, stubbornly maintained even though boutique fuels now deliver only marginal reductions in air pollution from cars, if any at all.”
Another example of energy supply and demand being affected by regulation—one that few people seem to remember—is the painful period in the early 1970s, when the EPA, flexing its new muscles, required that the automobiles sold in America were equipped with catalytic converters and other anti-pollution devices (requiring in turn that gasolines now had to be lead-free). These did indeed ensure that every gallon of gasoline burned in our cars contributed less pollution to the atmosphere—in itself, a good thing. What nobody seemed to notice (or care about) was that in the process, the cars of the day became measurably less efficient, so more gas had to be burned in order to travel the same distance—cancelling out much of the environmental advantage that had been gained. Until the engineering caught up with the politics, the American people suffered.
It’s one thing to “build a better mousetrap.” It’s quite another to reduce effective supply through unnecessary regulation, or artificially increase demand through political or marketing maneuvers. With the current pace of technological innovation in the world, it’s hard to keep up. The question too few think to ask is: is “keeping up” really necessary? Faced with the demons of advertising, planned obsolescence, and government control, people and businesses are encouraged—then forced—to expend resources on things that are far from essential, or to jettison previous investments that still have life in them. The free market is seldom left to operate freely anymore, in matters of energy or any other field.
A 2008 article about energy supply and demand issues published by the National Academy of Sciences on its website nap.edu is germane to our study—not only because it looks forward to the theoretically auspicious year 2030 in its projections, but also because so much has changed in the few short years between their writing and mine. (In particular, the energy resources made possible through hydraulic fracturing—“fracking,” for short—weren’t even a blip on their statistical radar; yet today these new technologies have managed to turn the world’s oil and gas reserves scenario upside down. More on fracking in a bit.) Note that the statistics quoted here are for the United States, not worldwide.
“Two profound questions loom over all other energy concerns: Will we have enough affordable energy in the near future? What will we do for the long term?
“The answers depend on our inventory of sources. At present, oil accounts for 40% of total energy consumption in the United States. Coal provides 23% and natural gas provides 22% of our energy. Another 8% comes from nuclear power plants. Renewable energy sources round out the roster, accounting for 7% of consumption—mostly as the result of hydropower investments made in the last century and the use of biomass (organic matter such as wood, municipal waste, and agricultural crops) for energy production.
“Those sources and their proportions will have to change eventually, since the planet’s known supplies of fossil fuels are limited.” They are “limited,” but not nearly to the extent the writers assumed. “But during the next couple of decades, the nation’s energy menu is unlikely to be substantially different from today’s—assuming ‘business as usual’ conditions.” Of course, over the past few chapters, we’ve learned that you can’t really count on “business as usual” over the long haul—for scores of different reasons.
But perhaps even the Academy can see this: “That may be a lot to assume: Energy prices and availability aren’t solely determined by the size of the supply. They’re also affected by the economy, possible new laws and regulations governing energy choices (such as emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases), worldwide demand, the policies and political stability of petroleum-rich nations, lifestyle choices and business decisions, climate change, and the pace of developments in science and engineering. Any of these factors can change in a very short period of time.” You have no idea, guys. Even as you were writing these words, America was about to be “blessed” with an administration that was willing to waste billions of borrowed dollars on green energy boondoggles that didn’t have a prayer of practical success, while actively impeding the development of proven energy reserves like coal, oil, and natural gas—all to placate a small but noisy (and well-funded) “green lobby.”
“Still, if the economy and the inflation rate perform as expected and there are no drastic geopolitical changes or dramatic technological breakthroughs [oops, on both counts—“if” can be such a big word], objective forecasts show that traditional supplies of petroleum, gas, and coal will be adequate to meet expanded demand for decades.” I would note that “decades” isn’t a very long time, it the broad scheme of things. Yet the only thing impeding the expansion of the energy supply is our own elected leaders. Speaking of his mercifully dead-on-arrival “Cap and Trade” system, Mr. Obama said (before his election, in January, 2008), “Under my plan…electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” That was his goal—to make energy more costly so we’d all be forced to use less of it. Unfortunately, we’re discovering that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Energy prices have “skyrocketed,” even without Cap and Trade. On January 19, 2009, the day before Obama took office, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the U.S. was $1.838. Ah, the good old days.
Let us then take a closer look at the Academy’s outlook on individual energy sources, beginning with Oil. “The United States, with less than 5% of the world’s population, is home to one-third of the world’s automobiles. Over the next 20 years, the total number of miles driven by Americans is forecasted to grow by 40%, increasing the demand for fuel. Yet there is little that can be done locally to increase the oil supply.” Not exactly true, as we shall see. “U.S. domestic production of crude oil peaked around 1970 at about 9.5 million barrels per day (MBD) and had declined to 5.1 MBD by 2006. Today America imports almost two-thirds of its oil from a handful of nations. The Energy Information Administration (EIA), a U.S. government agency that provides official energy statistics and forecasts, expects U.S. production of oil to remain approximately constant through 2030, while imports are projected to rise gradually to about 70% of consumption. So the basic question remains: How long can we maintain our petroleum dependency? The EIA cites known conventional oil reserves at more than 1.3 trillion barrels worldwide, and the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that there may be another 600 billion barrels undiscovered to date….”
Here is where the Academy’s ignorance of the coming fracking boom throws their projections off. For example, ABC News (November 13, 2012) reported, “Drillers in Utah and Colorado are poking into a massive shale deposit trying to find a way to unlock oil reserves that are so vast they would swamp OPEC. A recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office estimated that if half of the oil bound up in the rock of the Green River Formation could be recovered it would be ‘equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.’ Both the GAO and private industry estimate the amount of oil recoverable to be 3 trillion barrels. ‘In the past 100 years—in all of human history—we have consumed 1 trillion barrels of oil. There are several times that much here,’ said Roger Day, vice president for operations for American Shale Oil (AMSO). The Green River drilling is beginning as shale mining is booming in the U.S. and a report by the International Energy Agency predicts that the U.S. will become the world’s largest oil producer by 2020.” Actually, that milestone was reached by mid-2014. “That flood of oil can have major implications for the U.S. economy as well as the country’s foreign policy which has been based on a growing scarcity of oil.”
So things have gotten quite a bit more optimistic for oil production in the U.S. since the Academy’s 2008 article. That being said, the trend toward increasing demand and decreasing supply worldwide remains a concern. The Academy writes, “At present, total world consumption is approximately 85 MBD, millions of which are used by the United States. The nation’s dependency on oil and the rapidly rising demand for oil in other countries, such as China and India, are heightening concern that we will reach a point where the oil supply can no longer be increased to meet projected demand. While this will certainly be true eventually, there is no consensus as to whether we are already entering that period or it is decades away. Pinning down an exact time frame is nearly impossible as estimates of the amount of ‘recoverable’ oil available can change depending on new discoveries, technological developments, and price….” Not to mention the geopolitical developments described in prophetic scripture—the rapture, the utter destruction of the Islamic world, two back-to-back world wars, and the subjugation of the whole world under Satan’s meat puppet, the Antichrist. I’m no prophet, but it’s my guess that hardly anybody is going to be using much fuel by the middle of the Antichrist’s reign of terror.
As I said, in the meantime, one of humanity’s “coping mechanisms” for dealing with shrinking supplies is to invent substitutes. In the case of gasoline, the latest workaround has come in the form of grain alcohol—ethanol—made mostly from corn. Most gasoline sold in the U.S. today contains up to 10% of this alternate fuel. But, “Ethanol raises other concerns. One drawback of corn ethanol production is that it requires a large amount of land and fresh water, along with inputs of fertilizers and energy. This results in potential competition with food sources for land use and fresh water for other industrial and commercial uses. In addition, with current technology, two-thirds of the energy value of corn ethanol is used just to produce the fuel—and most of that energy comes from fossil-fuel-based electricity or heating, offsetting much of the benefit.” On the “bright side,” most of our corn these days has been genetically modified, and thus is not fit for human (or animal) consumption. So I suppose it makes sense (cough, choke) to make it into fuel you can put into your car so you can drive to someplace where you can buy some real food. (Or, you could if our government would require the labeling of GMOs—which they should, but don’t.)
What about Natural Gas? The Academy offers this assessment: “Unlike oil, our natural gas comes primarily from North America. The annual volume of consumption is projected to rise from 21.8 trillion cubic feet (TCF) in 2006 to about 23.4 TCF in 2030. New activity in Alaska will supply some of that, but most will likely come from the lower 48 states and the Gulf of Mexico. Although the nation imports less than 3% of its natural gas from outside North America, it is forecast that imports will increase in the next few decades, from 0.5 TCF per year in 2006 to 2.9 TCF per year in 2030. These imports will largely take the form of liquefied natural gas, which is natural gas cooled to its liquid phase, making it easier to transport.
“Global consumption of natural gas in 2004 was 100 TCF.” That had risen only slightly—to 106 trillion cubic feet per year—by 2010. “Known world reserves of conventional natural gas total about 6,000 TCF, with perhaps another one-tenth of that amount still undiscovered. At that rate, known reserves will be adequate for about 60 years.” The good news is that several huge new gas fields have been discovered since that was written. The bad news is that sixty years (make that fifty—the clock is ticking) is but a blink of an eye in the lifespan of the human race. It’s one more reminder that “the end of the world as we know it” may not be as far off as we tend to think.
How about Coal? “America has plenty of coal. Its mines produced 1.2 billion tons in 2006, nearly all of it destined for electricity generation. That was a record year, but it barely scratched the surface of U.S. recoverable coal reserves, which are estimated at about 270 billion tons. More than one-fourth of the total known world coal reserves are in the United States, and supplies are sufficient for hundreds of years at current consumption rates. Demand is projected to increase by 30% between now and 2030, propelled by rising use of electricity and possibly the expanded use of still-developing technology that converts coal to liquid fuel. Most of the increased supply will probably come from western states, which now provide about six-tenths of the nation’s coal. Wyoming alone accounted for 38% of all domestic coal mined in 2006.”
This, of course, was written before Mr. Obama launched his “war on coal,” making it practically a crime in America to utilize this cheap and abundant natural resource, all in the name of “saving the environment.” He has, through regulation, artificially increased demand by cutting the available supply. It might even have made some environmental sense if China and India had cut back on their coal usage as well, but they are (at this stage of their development) more concerned with profit than with pollution.
Call me naïve, but it seems to me that rather than strangling the coal industry, we should be investing in scientific research seeking ways to make it cleaner—less of a pollutant contributor. I mean, we threw away $523 million on Solyndra; $3 billion on First Solar; $1.5 billion on SunPower; $2.1 billion on Solar Trust of America; $43 million on Beacon Power; $1.66 billion on Bright Source; $17.1 million on Eastern Energy; $98.5 million on Nevada Geothermal; $178 million on Babcock & Brown; $118 million on Ener1; $5.9 million on Amonix; $339 million on Fisker Automotive; $400 million on Abound Solar; $404 million on A123 Systems; $3 million on Evergreen Solar; $6 million on the Willard and Kelsey Solar Group; $299 million on Johnson Controls; $86 million on Schneider Electric; $126.2 million on ECOtality; $33 million on Raser Technologies; and a measly $500,000 on SpectraWatt. Be honest now. How much money would have to be spent on coal research and development to make it a clean, viable energy solution? Less than that, I’m guessing.
The Academy explains why coal is worth developing: “Of all the fossil-fuel sources, coal is the least expensive for its energy content. In 2005, a million BTUs of energy from coal cost approximately $2, compared to $5 for natural gas and $10 for petroleum.” That’s the upside. The downside, to my mind is well worth the effort and expense it would take to overcome it: “However, burning coal in electric power plants is a major source of CO2 emissions [which may not turn out to be the bogey-man everybody imagines—stay tuned], and its use has repercussions beyond combustion. Mining coal disturbs the land and modifies the chemistry of rainwater runoff, which in turn affects stream and river water quality. Coal-fired power plant emissions include oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and heavy metals (such as mercury) that affect air quality and human health, often even hundreds of miles from the power plant. In response to strict environmental laws, ‘clean coal technologies’ are being developed to reduce harmful emissions and improve the efficiency of these plants.” All I’m saying is that these “clean coal technologies” could be developed faster if our government worked with the coal industry, rather than against it.
Let us move on to Renewable Energy Sources. The Academy opines, “Use of renewable energy sources will increase, in some cases dramatically, over the next two decades. While they may make significant contributions to the energy supply in certain geographic areas, absent major changes in economic, political, or technological factors, they will still provide a small fraction of our overall energy.” And “political factors,” as we have seen, don’t seem to be terribly effective in transforming a sow’s ear into a silk purse. It doesn’t seem to matter how much money we throw at solar power, windmills, or battery technology—our government hasn’t yet figured out how to make these things commercially viable.
“Hydropower is unlikely to increase much between now and 2030 [mostly because America’s ‘green lobby’ has been quite effective in stifling any new developments in this most efficient of renewable energy resources], but energy from biomass products (which include wood and wood byproducts, municipal waste, methane from landfills, and fuel from agricultural crops) will likely increase more than 60% by 2030.” Brilliant. That’s basically the same stuff coal is made out of. “Energy from wind, solar, and other renewable sources is expected to nearly triple. But the net effect of all that activity will probably only raise the total contribution of renewables from 7% of total consumption now to about 8% in 2030.” It might be different if these technologies could pay their own way. But at the present time, it costs us a dollar to make fifty cents.
“Hydroelectric production currently accounts for about 2.9% of our total energy production, while geothermal accounts for about 0.4%. Wind and solar-to-electric technologies account for a very small part of our total energy production, but wind, currently assisted by a production tax credit, has been penetrating the market rapidly in the past few years and accounted for almost 1% of the electricity generated in the United States in 2006. The idea of drawing our energy from sources that are renewable, are independent of foreign nations, and do not emit greenhouse gases has powerful appeal. But capturing these resources is expensive, and many are intermittent [like solar], or sporadic [like wind], which complicates using them on a large scale. Further development promises reduced costs and improved storage and controls to overcome the intermittency problem.”
And finally, what about Nuclear Power? “America is unlikely to face problems in obtaining enough uranium ore to meet anticipated demand for several decades. According to government estimates, output from nuclear power plants is expected to increase only 18% by 2030. However, a U.S. nuclear renaissance is possible, and a growing number of nuclear plant design and construction permits have been submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission over the past year. Some countries have successfully embraced nuclear power generation: for example, nuclear power plants produce nearly 80% of all electricity in France. In the United States, the issue prompts considerable debate, including concern over security and arguments about where and how to dispose of nuclear waste. But interest is growing, and nuclear energy may one day play a much larger role in supplying America’s electricity.” This was written, of course, before the Fukushima nuclear disaster of March, 2011. The world’s growing confidence toward nuclear power’s relative safety may have been shaken a bit since then.
“Even with renewed U.S. interest in nuclear power generation, sufficient uranium supplies will likely be available. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, known worldwide reserves are adequate for about 70 years at current consumption rates and under current policies.” Once again, we see that although we’re okay for the short term—the next generation or two—fuel promises to be in increasingly short supply in the coming decades. The idea of man continuing to live on this planet as he has for the past six thousand years for another six thousand years—or even another six hundred—is looking less likely all the time. Given our present voracious appetite for energy, our future (if things remain on their present course) is looking less like the “Jetsons,” and more like the “Flintstones” every day.
The Academy concludes, “Experts predict a 35% increase in demand for electricity by 2030. In practical terms, that means an equivalent increase in demand for coal and gas, at least for the next decade: Electricity generating plants now consume two-fifths of U.S. energy from all sources, including 90% of America’s coal and nearly 30% of its natural gas.
“There is no immediate way to alter that situation. In the near term, renewable sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal are unlikely to substantially change the mix of our energy supply. (And integrating the energy from many of these renewable energy sources would likely require substantial expansion of the electric transmission system.) While nuclear generation is a zero-atmospheric-emissions alternative that already produces one-fifth of America’s electricity, efforts to increase that capacity face two large, though not insurmountable, hurdles: high capital investment costs and resistance from citizens groups that oppose the use and storage of radioactive material.” (Yes, almost as much as they “oppose” living without air conditioning, water heaters, and refrigerators.)
Another “supply” issue that needs to be addressed is the transport mechanism—getting electricity from where it’s generated to where it’s used. There is invariably some distance involved, for folks don’t like living next door to nuclear, coal, or even natural gas-powered generation stations. Hydroelectric dams must be built on rivers, often hundreds of miles from where the power is used. The same sort of thing is true of wind power and geothermal energy. About the only possible way to generate electricity where it’s used is to have solar panels on the roof your home—technology that is woefully inefficient in its present state of development, and doesn’t work at night. (That’s not to say I don’t like the idea. I once looked into having my own house converted to solar power. But the “payback” was something in the neighborhood of fifteen to twenty years, and I don’t plan on being around that long—besides the fact that whole thing would doubtless need to be replaced by the time it had saved me enough on my electric bills to pay for itself.)
So for most of us, our electricity comes to us from someplace else, via something called “the grid,” an intricate, interlocking system of generation sites, intermediate power stations, high-voltage transmission lines, transformers, and distribution lines. It’s built so that if one sector fails, power from other places can be re-routed to pick up the slack—up to a point. There are fail-safes and redundant systems designed to mitigate widespread power outages, and for the most part the system works well. Even when extreme weather knocks out power to wide areas, the power-line crews are a well-oiled machine, willing to go the extra mile to minimize our inconvenience. (Thanks, guys.)
That being said, there is a “sword of Damocles” of sorts looming over North America’s power grid—and not just here, but worldwide, though our utter dependence on electricity makes us proportionately more vulnerable. That threat is a massive electromagnetic pulse, or “EMP.” Elizabeth Harrington, writing for the Washington Free Beacon (May 8, 2014), reports, “Experts on Capitol Hill Thursday warned that an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack aimed at the nation’s electrical grid could leave the majority of Americans dead.” Okay, that’s a worst case scenario. But as hysterical as it sounds, it should at least alert us that there is real danger present.
“The hearing, ‘Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP): Threat to Critical Infrastructure,’ before the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, explored the effects an EMP would have. ‘Some would say it’s low probability, but the damage that could be caused in the event of an EMP attack, both by the sun—a solar event—or a man-made attack, would be catastrophic,’ said Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas). ‘We talk a lot about a nuclear bomb in Manhattan, and cybersecurity threat to the power grid in the Northeast, but all of these things would probably pale in comparison to the devastation that an EMP attack could perpetrate on Americans.’
“Rep. Trent Franks (R., Ariz.), who has worked to raise awareness on the issue for years, testified during the first panel that ‘catastrophic civilian casualties’ could result unless Congress acts. An EMP (an overload of radio waves to electric systems) could result from a natural disaster, such as a solar storm, or a terrorist attack. Franks said ‘every single facet of modern human life’ would be ‘crippled’ by such an event. ‘It strikes at my very core when I think of the men, women, and children in cities and rural towns across America with a possibility of no access to food, water, or transportation,’ he said. ‘In a matter of weeks or months at most, a worst-case scenario could bring devastation beyond imagination….’”
The threat lies in our almost total reliance upon electricity in this country—a phenomenon that has become reality only within the past sixty or eighty years. Think beyond the inconvenience of no longer having indoor lighting or air conditioning. We preserve and cook our food with electricity. That water you drink, bathe in, and flush your toilets with? It’s unobtainable without electrically operated pumps. We can’t refuel our vehicles without it (or refine the fuel in the first place, for that matter). Our whole world runs on computers—but an EMP would render them all useless. Anything electronic that happens to be running when an electromagnetic pulse strikes is at risk of destruction. An EMP in the right/wrong place could conceivably wipe out the financial infrastructure of the entire nation—since “money” is increasingly little more than ones and zeros in a computer.
You could protest, “Before 1900, hardly anybody had electricity, and nobody relied on it. In some places in the world, that’s still the case. We could simply go back to the old ways.” You’re right, of course, but it would take time—decades—to achieve, as a national lifestyle. Few know how to grow their own food anymore. How many would die before they figured out how to get a simple glass of water without electricity? And even if you were “prepared” for such an eventuality—with your own vegetable garden, flock of chickens, and hand-pumped well, how long would it take until your desperate and anarchistic neighbors stole what you had so carefully prepared?
The Federal government, of course, has taken steps to protect what it deems indispensable—itself, including the nation’s critical defense assets, including nuclear weapons. The equally critical needs of hundreds of millions of ordinary citizens, not so much. Representative Franks reports that the civilian electrical grid is “almost entirely vulnerable” to an EMP event, whether caused by unusual solar activity or by terrorists.
“The issue is an urgent one, said Dr. Peter Pry, a member of the Congressional EMP Commission and executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, who testified that an EMP event could wipe out 90 percent of America’s population. ‘Natural EMP from a geomagnetic super-storm, like the 1859 Carrington Event or 1921 Railroad Storm, and nuclear EMP attack from terrorists or rogue states, as practiced by North Korea during the nuclear crisis of 2013, are both existential threats that could kill 9 of 10 Americans through starvation, disease, and societal collapse,’ he said.”
We can all weather a power outage for a few days—even weeks, if we have to. But the sort of catastrophic, region-wide electrical-grid shutdown an EMP could potentially precipitate could, under perfect-storm circumstances, last for months, even years. That puts it beyond the realm of “inconvenience,” and into the category of cultural upheaval. Such crises inevitably bring out the best—and the worst—in people. Some would use the emergency as an excuse to rob, steal, and kill—doing whatever they thought was necessary to stay alive. Others would help each other, sacrificially if need be. But with a condition this widespread and this persistent, it would eventually no longer matter whether neighbors would be willing to pull together and assist each other—or whether they’d turn on each other in cannibalistic desperation. Everybody would be in the same sinking boat, with no food, no water, and no hope.
It’s the ultimate supply vs. demand scenario: cut off the supply of electricity (with an EMP or some other means) and folks will do anything to get it back. I can practically guarantee (from prophetic implications) that one third of the earth will experience thermonuclear war in the coming years. The first trumpet judgment (Revelation 8:7, cf. Isaiah 24:6) seems to be describing that very thing in first-century language. Wherever the nukes fall, EMPs are part of the effect (especially if they are set off in the atmosphere)—and we can be reasonably assured that power grids will be impacted (pardon the word choice) far beyond the blast radii of the individual nuclear detonations. So does the Bible imply that the whole “civilized” world will be permanently blown back to the seventeenth century (that is, without electricity) by nuclear war?
Remarkably, no. There are quite a few indications (if we read between the lines, of course) that conspire to inform us that electronic communications (which require a working electrical grid) will be pretty much up and running worldwide during the reign of the Antichrist (that is, by my watch, spring 2030 to fall 2033). That’s the last half of the seven-year Tribulation, beginning perhaps a year after the nuclear holocaust has taken place.
First, we read of the ascension of the Antichrist: “I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast. They worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?’” (Revelation 13:3-4) “And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation…. And he [the false prophet] deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast.” (Revelation 13:7, 14) You can only “deceive” people if they can see and hear you; people can only “be amazed” and “follow” someone if they know about him; the Antichrist’s “authority” can be exercised only if what he has commanded can be communicated. And note: “every tribe, tongue, and nation” defines his realm as the whole earth. I can’t envision how any of that could be possible without modern electronic communications—something that runs on electricity.
Then, there’s the infamous “mark of the beast,” of which it is said, “No one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:17) Call me unimaginative, but I can’t seem to picture a “mark” of any description that would fulfill the commerce requirement of this prophecy without transferring information—most logically, via the Internet. The mark seems to be a personal biometric identifier of some sort that would be “read” with a scanner. It would, of necessity, identify the holder to the exclusion of every other person on the face of the earth, and would be issued and implemented only upon taking a solemn oath of loyalty to the Antichrist and his one-world government, including his god (Lucifer—Satan). Data transfers like this require connectivity, and that in turn requires a working power grid. A simple tattoo saying “Team Lucifer” could do nothing to enable or authorize commerce, nor would not having it prevent someone from buying or selling, especially in the black market that could be expected to thrive amid the inevitable anarchy that would run rampant in a post-nuke world.
The same sort of thing is shown to be true right up to the last week of the Tribulation. For three and a half years, two “witnesses” will function as the ants at the Antichrist’s picnic, proclaiming plagues of Biblical proportions—only to see them come to pass just as they were prophesied. For their whole time of “ministry,” these two will be untouchable, but when their job is done, the beast (the Antichrist or his demon) will be allowed to kill them. John reports, “Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations [that is, all over the earth] will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.” (Revelation 11:9-10) Once again, this sort of thing is literally impossible unless some means of electronic communication is in operation—the Internet, satellite television, or some unforeseen technological medium. But however the message is transmitted to the Antichrist’s sycophants all over the world, it is a “given” that it will run on electricity.
That in turn logically requires that the solar event implied in the fourth bowl judgment won’t include an EMP sufficient to bring down power grids all over the earth. John describes it: “Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.” (Revelation 16:8-9) Prophetic logistics place this event sometime during the reign of the Antichrist. How God intends to “scorch men” with the sun’s suddenly increased heat, while at the same time preserving their ability to communicate the news concerning the two witnesses worldwide is anybody’s guess. I’m just here to report the data.
One thing is certain, however. It is only recently (within the past half century or so) that the world has become so dependent upon electricity that vast numbers would suffer and die if it were suddenly “turned off” for good. And every day that goes by, more and more of the world’s populace becomes vulnerable to a collapse of the electrical grid. Can this balancing act be maintained until the fourth decade of the twenty-first century? Or is God’s timetable telling us what we should already have concluded from merely observing the sorry state of our world?
Game Changer #1: Muslim Oil Wealth and Power
Islam has been a force for instability and misery since its very inception in the seventh century. Its influence has expanded through conquest alone, since (according the Hadith) Muhammad’s entire strategy for the advance of Islam was piracy and plunder—driven by his personal greed and lust. His successor-caliph, Abu Bakr (father of Muhammad’s child-bride, Aisha) found that the only way he could prevent Islam from collapsing under its own weight after the death of the charismatic prophet in 632 was to strike out militarily beyond the borders of the Arabian Peninsula in search of booty.
So by 638 A.D., within a few short years of Muhammad’s death, Muslim armies occupied the area north of Arabia—Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq. By 641, they had entered Egypt and routed the Byzantine forces there. Their march west across North Africa began in 655, and by 711 the sword of Islam had entered Spain. Their advance through Western Europe was stopped (finally) by Charles Martel at the battle of Poitiers, in France in 732. Meanwhile, their conquest also proceeded eastward from Baghdad. They had entered India by the early eighth century, spreading from there like a malicious cancer across much of South Asia.
But although the first century following Muhammad’s death saw stunning gains both in territory and forced “conversions,” their success was based entirely on greed, not religious fervor. Why? Because Muhammad had forbidden taking the Qur’an (supposedly the very words of Allah) outside of Arabia. It is recorded in the Hadith of Imam Muslim thus: “The Messenger said, ‘Do not take the Qur’an on a journey with you, for I am afraid lest it would fall into the hands of the enemy.’ Ayyub, one of the narrators in the chain of transmitters, said: ‘The enemy may seize it and may quarrel with you over it.’”
Good move, actually. Having read the Qur’an, I can assure you, it’s totally indefensible—a hodgepodge of conflicting and contradictory situational scriptures whose sole purpose is to lend “divine” support to whatever Muhammad wanted at any particular moment. The third caliph, Uthman, made an attempt to have the Qur’an written down (in about 650) but he found so many conflicting versions floating around, he simply selected the ones he liked, and burned the rest. Many of the most enthusiastic and devoted “transmitters” (those who had memorized bits of the Qur’an and were charged with passing it on as oral tradition) had been killed in battle early in the game. The chain of oral transmission (or isnad) is questionable at best, and at worst is too long and thin to be remotely credible. Bottom line: for all practical purposes, much of the Qur’an was invented out of whole cloth and wishful thinking by Islamic clerics in Baghdad, centuries after Muhammad’s death. One telling indicator: Qur’anic quotes inscribed within the Dome of the Rock (built in the late seventh century) bear no resemblance to anything in today’s Qur’an.
The only reason I even bring up the subject of questionable Qur’anic credibility, however, is that it has a bearing on the energy issues of the Last Days. Bear with me as I connect some prophetic dots.
People who desperately wish to see Islam as just one of many religions in the world (instead of an acquisitive and militaristic political doctrine) invariably refer to “Islam’s golden age,” as if Islam itself were once a source of culture and knowledge illuminating the medieval world. And indeed, there was a time in which Islam served as a conduit of excellence in art, architecture, science, mathematics, and medicine. But what was the true source of this cultural renaissance? It was in the peoples the Muslims had overrun and subjugated. Knowledge was collected and codified from that which had been developed previously, and elsewhere. It was then dispersed throughout dar al-Islam via its own dark-ages version of pax Romana.
For example, Wikipedia reports, “Responding to circumstances of time and place, Islamic physicians and scholars developed a large and complex medical literature exploring and synthesizing the theory and practice of medicine. Islamic medicine was built on tradition, chiefly the theoretical and practical knowledge developed in India, Greece, Persia, and Rome.” That is, places Islam either took with the sword, or wanted to. “For Islamic scholars, Galen, Mankah, Sustura, and Hippocrates were pre-eminent authorities. Islamic scholars translated their voluminous writings from Syriac, Greek, and Sanskrit into Arabic and then produced new medical knowledge based on those texts. In order to make the Greek tradition more accessible, understandable, and teachable, Islamic scholars ordered and made more systematic the vast and sometimes inconsistent Greco-Roman medical knowledge by writing encyclopedias and summaries. Pagan Latin and Greek learning was viewed suspiciously in Christian early medieval Europe, and it was through 12th-century Arabic translations that medieval Europe rediscovered Hellenic medicine, including the works of Galen and Hippocrates.”
The same sort of thing could be said of many of the “bright spots” of the Islamic golden age. The Muslims, having no real God, were willing to receive knowledge from any and all sources—and they did so with alacrity, claiming it all as their own—theirs by right of conquest. (Meanwhile, the church under Roman authority made the inverse error of assuming that if God hadn’t spelled it out and they hadn’t invented it, it must be evil—so they suppressed knowledge and burned books—metaphorically, anyway—from the Torah to the Greeks to the Persians.) The Muslims, meanwhile, absorbed the knowledge and culture of whomever they subjugated—Persians, Pagans, Christians, Byzantines, Jews, Hindus, and Chinese, etc. Even the vaunted Jewish Torah scholar Moses ben Maimon (a.k.a. Maimonides, a.k.a. the Rambam, a Spanish physician, philosopher, and astronomer), ended up working in Cairo as the court physician to the Grand Vizier Al Qadi al Fadil, and later to Sultan Saladin himself.
How could this be, in light of the Qur’an’s proven ability to stifle civilization and turn men into beasts? It’s quite simple, actually. The Islamic “golden age” occurred at a time when the Qur’an was not widely known or studied—even in Islamic circles—after the period of rampant conquest, but before the invention of printing. Most Muslims were (if you’ll pardon the comparison) sort of like faux “Christians” who attend church on Christmas and Easter (both recycled pagan holidays, by the way) but entirely ignore the faith, its precepts, and its God the rest of the year. In other words, Islam during the “golden age” was a cultural phenomenon, based not on the words of Allah (or even Muhammad), but on ingrained tradition—societal habits (many of them quite benign) that went back so many generations, no one really remembered what had held things together before the Muslims took over.
Although Muslims have always been an aggressive and acquisitive people, with piracy and plunder in their blood (and using robbery, rape, and slavery as their tactics, just as Muhammad had), they were never actual terrorists until the Qur’an became their guiding force. This phenomenon began (in the modern sense) with the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928 by a schoolteacher, one Hassan al-Banna, whose goal was for the Qur’an and Sunnah (the recorded deeds of Muhammad) to become the sole guiding force in Islam, providing order and purpose in the life of the Muslim individual, family, community, and state. This return to Islamic fundamentalism is what drives the barbarity of Sharia Law today, not to mention the insane, often suicidal, hatred by Muslims toward Christians, Jews, and Hindus in the modern world.
The Muslim Brotherhood has had only spotty success—notably in Egypt, where it recently held the reins of power for a brief season, but is now classified once again (quite rightly) as a terrorist organization. But its ideas and ideals have found fertile ground among Muslims generally in recent years. It makes sense, I guess: cultural Islam was a dry hole, offering its adherents no salvation, no purpose, no redemption, and no hope. At least fundamentalist Islam offers the outside possibility of a perverted “paradise” for those rare individuals willing to hate their fellow man unreservedly in the name of Allah. Cultural (a.k.a. “peaceful”) Islam offered no such hope—only the depressing realization that a “god” who doesn’t like you very much predestined your eternal fate before you were even born. I presume that it doesn’t help to know that the Hadith of al-Bukhari quotes Muhammad as saying that the total capacity of the Islamic “paradise” is but 70,000 souls (which, given the number of Muslims who have lived since the seventh century, makes the chances against entering this blessed state about 43,000 to one—and that’s if you’re a Muslim).
By this time, you’re no doubt asking, “What does all that have to do with energy issues?” Ask yourself this. Is it a coincidence that the Muslim Brotherhood and its ideals took hold at roughly the same time oil was first being discovered in the Middle East? Oil was being pumped from the sands of Iraq as early as 1908, in Persia (Iran) in 1911, and from Saudi Arabia in 1938. Kuwait, Libya, Algeria, and other Middle Eastern and North African sources began being developed in earnest in the 1950s and ’60s. The immense oil wealth that flowed into Muslim lands during the second half of the twentieth century is the very factor that fueled the rise in Islamist (i.e., Qur’an-based) sentiment.
Max Singer, senior fellow at The Hudson Institute, writes, “The rise of terrorism by militant Islam against the United States and the West coincided with the rise in oil prices of 1979-80 and the subsequent transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars from the West to Muslim countries.” Thus begins an article published on AmericanEnergyIndependence.com entitled: “Militant Islam is spreading throughout the world—financed by Middle East oil wealth.” They report, “Islamic terrorism feeds off of the world’s addiction to oil. Oil wealth in the hands of dictators and ideological extremists is financing terrorism. Oil money flowing into the Middle East finances the militant Islamic ideology that is flowing out of the Middle East, spreading around the world. The modern world trades its wealth for Middle East oil, enriching the sponsors of terrorism. For these reasons, the war against terrorism cannot be won without breaking free of oil dependence.”
At first, it seemed odd to me that Yahweh would place so much of the world’s oil wealth in the hands of people who hate Him—especially Muslims and Communists (or ex-communists like modern Russia). But upon reflection, it makes perfect sense (in a twisted sort of way). Under Satan’s tutelage and control, these peoples accomplish next to nothing. The Soviets drove Russia into the ground, though it took them seventy years to kill that once great land. Similarly, ever since the Qur’an became widely known, poverty and malaise have been rife in Muslim lands—and the situation would have remained so, had not petroleum been discovered there (discovered by Westerners, ironically enough—people laboring under the Judeo-Christian ethos, whether or not they were actually believers). America blew through much of its easily accessed oil defending Europe during World War II (the prophetic result of which was to provide Israel with a homeland in Canaan for the first time in a couple of millennia). Ironically, it is only now that we Americans have left our first love—the Kingdom of God—that we have again become oil-rich via new recovery technologies.
In other words, God’s timetable for the Last Days apparently required that the evil in the world be given a kick in the pants so that the myriad of prophecies we discussed in The End of the Beginning could begin to come to pass—all at once. Oil is being used by God as a lubricant and a catalyst—it helps things (or makes things) slide into place, on His schedule and according to His plan. If you think about it, this is merely the latest in a long string of historical incidences in which God gave the “bad guys” a leg up in order to achieve His sovereign will—from using the Babylonians to take out the Assyrians (and punish Judah) to allowing Hitler’s Germany to walk all over post-Christian Europe in order to bring Israel back home again. It’s usually opaque to us in real time, but our God knows exactly what He’s doing—and in many cases, He even revealed the “bottom line” in prophetic scriptures, as we have seen a thousand times over.
Anyway, the American Energy Independence article continues: “The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) produces about 40% of the world’s oil today, which translates to OPEC getting 40 cents on every dollar paid for oil anywhere in the world. Current OPEC members are Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Venezuela. All are Islamic countries except Venezuela which [being run by Communists] has partnered with Iran.” OPEC, then, is one big happy Satanic family, philosophically speaking (except of course for the happiness).
“In the year 2007, over 700 billion dollars flowed into OPEC from oil hungry countries around the world. How much of that money was given to support terrorist organizations? From September 2007 through October 2008, the world economy was rocked by the unprecedented transfer of over one trillion dollars from European, Asian and American economies into Middle East national treasuries in exchange for oil. Even with reduced, yet still high, oil prices, OPEC countries received $600 billion from oil exports in 2009 and are expected to take in more than $800 billion in 2010….” More recent data pegs OPEC revenues (not counting Iran) at $933 billion for 2011, $982 billion for 2012, and declining slightly to $940 billion in 2013.
“Islamic terrorism, as a global threat to civilization, cannot sustain itself without the massive oil revenue that finances it. (That does not mean their feelings and beliefs will not remain; it just means they will have limited influence without the oil wealth.) Islamic militancy is emboldened by the perception of power and dominance that Islam gains from the world’s dependence on oil—oil that the world must get from Arab countries. Eliminate world oil dependence and the Islamic extremists will be deflated psychologically.” Okay, so it’s not terribly practical as strategies go. Petroleum as fuel is not going to be eclipsed by something else any time soon. And besides, I have a feeling that “psychologically deflating” the Islamists is the least of what Yahweh has planned for them.
It is my considered opinion that God gave to Muslims their vast oil wealth (and to Communists, and yes, to apostate post-Christian societies as well) so that their true colors might be shown. It’s sort of like winning the lottery: as long as someone is forced by circumstances to plod along in the same old job just to make ends meet, you can’t count on the realities of his daily life being an accurate reflection his dreams and desires. But give that same guy a hundred million bucks, and in short order his true nature will surface. He may prove to be narcissistic, greedy, and paranoid, or he might turn out to be generous, compassionate, and loving. Money can be a magnifying glass that reveals our true natures—and especially our spiritual proclivities.
This holds true for nations as well as individuals, of course. In an article that appeared in Forbes (January 8, 2013), technology entrepreneur Ryan Lackey answers the question, “Why have the Islamic countries failed to develop, even with resources like oil, while countries with no resources, like Switzerland, have flourished?” I personally would have chosen Israel as the shining example of what a people can accomplish without vast natural resources to exploit, but okay.
Lackey writes, “Outside of oil and gas projects and a few specific infrastructure projects (ports like Jebel Ali and airports like Dubai), far less real economic development has happened in the oil-rich parts of the Arab world than would be expected based on their great endowment of human and natural resources…. Overall, the local standard of living has improved dramatically. Walking around Dubai or even a moderately sized city anywhere in the region shows a reasonable standard of living, especially compared to a few decades ago. All those shiny new condo buildings, huge hypermarkets, highways, etc.
“However, it’s all consumption of energy wealth, not evidence of other productive economic activity…. There is a huge qualitative difference between an economy built on natural resource extraction, where the populace is a cost center, and an economy built on productive labor by the population, where increasing capabilities of the society leads to more wealth. If you look at western countries, plus Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and increasingly, China, they largely developed through manufacturing, initially low cost, low value-add manufacturing, moving up the chain, and ending up with vibrant, well-educated [populations], and diverse economies. (Even though Japan has demographic challenges, it will still be the #3 economy in the world in 2030.) The alternative is an extractive economy like Argentina, which went from 10th in the world in 1930 to a basket case for the past 80 years. That’s not to say that natural resource endowment hasn’t helped some countries (like the US), but natural resource economies, in the absence of local value creation, don’t tend to lead to well-developed societies.
“Wealth in a resource-based economy is distributed much more unequally and more inefficiently. It goes to a small number of people at the top, and they’re at the top due to tribal, family, or political connections, not due to skill or productivity. In a vibrant, competitive manufacturing economy, wealth tends to accrue to innovators and efficient operators, and someone with a new idea or better way of doing things has a chance to get to the top. Admittedly, this is imperfect even in the US, but still, it’s a better system than political patronage….
“Outside simple products and services for local consumption…what local development that has happened [in Muslim oil-rich nations] has been economically inefficient—building empty skyscrapers in the desert. This has been largely directed by government, or influential families affiliated with government, and financed by huge capital flows from oil/gas and foreign investment from Russia, South Asia, and other parts of the Arab or Muslim world, and not the product of real free enterprise. Essentially, these investments don’t produce wealth; they’re just a way to store wealth generated elsewhere, as a form of regulatory arbitrage. Even crazier, most of the labor, including skilled labor, to build buildings and operate companies is imported, too—labor from China and Pakistan, accountants from the Philippines, advertising executives from the Levant, and engineers and architects from the UK and US….”
Mr. Lackey goes on to list—from a business perspective—why oil-rich Muslim nations can’t seem to build healthy economies, even after they’ve been blessed with such a promising head start. He writes, “There are a few likely reasons energy wealth hasn’t been sufficient to push these countries toward greater and more robust development:
(1) “Resource curse (“Dutch Disease”). Essentially, anyone smart goes into oil/gas, or if smart and lazy, into oil/gas ministry jobs; and anyone seeking safe investment returns tends to invest in oil/gas, where a great return is likely. Having some resources is better than no resources, but having resource-based industries dominate your economy crowds out all other investment.” It’s basically the same mindset Muhammad inflicted upon his followers: he taught them that it’s easier to rob caravans and sack villages than it is to farm the land, build products, and work for a living. Fourteen hundred years later, nothing has changed.
(2) “Anti-intellectualism and anti-science bias of modern fundamentalist Islam. Clearly it’s not the case that Islam itself is hostile to science; after all, for hundreds of years, the Islamic world was the standard-bearer for world scientific knowledge and progress. Yet, education in many Muslim countries consists primarily of religious rather than scientific programs, and those who do get quality educations in the west tend to remain overseas.” What Mr. Lackey has failed to factor in is the corrupting influence of the Qur’an—which was largely absent from the scene during Islam’s so-called “golden age.” Allah, it would seem, is not happy unless people are miserable and ignorant.
(3) “Women as second-class citizens. It’s not just that women can’t contribute directly to the workforce (although that’s a big factor), but that women aren’t educated to the same standard, and thus aren’t able to raise children to be scientists and engineers as effectively. This is one area where great progress has been made, but there’s a generational lag.” The closer one is to Muhammad’s heart, the worse he treats the women in his life—whom he decided were nothing but chattel, good only for sexual recreation (making rape a sport, instead of a crime), procreation, and manual labor.
(4) “Geopolitical instability. In general, lack of stability doesn’t lead people to make long-term investments in the future. If you’re worried the world is going to end, you’re going to enjoy life now (to the extent possible), not sacrifice a lot to potentially have a better future. A high level of fatalism and lack of feeling of agency has never helped entrepreneurship.” This too is a direct legacy of Islam, in which Allah’s presumed will and predestination are the driving psychological forces. There is practically nothing one can do to influence his eternal destiny in Islamic theology—everyone’s fate was determined by what might be described as “Adam’s back rub” (al-Tabari I-305, Qur’an 56), when Allah pre-determined the fate of everyone to be descended from Adam over the centuries. The “right handers” (of whom there are few) get all the good stuff, while the products of Allah’s left hand—the vast majority—are doomed to hell’s torments, no matter what they do. One’s beliefs or behavior (short of martyrdom while killing infidels) have no bearing on his eternal status in Islam. And there is no such thing as forgiveness of sins, no atonement, no reconciliation with god.
(5) “Antiquated legal environment (largely based on old UK law without update, merged with Sharia), which is not really compatible with modern business. Setting up a business takes a long time, requires local partners, etc.—not a free market. There are efforts to have different law for some countries (the Dubai free trade zones are great examples—Jebel Ali in the 70s was probably the first major development of its kind), but the law outside business still needs revision.” It’s worth noting that Sharia law cannot be found in the Qur’an. It must be gleaned piecemeal from the Hadith and Sunnah—the words and deeds of Muhammad—proclamations that were designed to give “the Prophet” some temporal advantage or to keep his followers compliant. English common law, meanwhile, was based (far too loosely, I’m afraid) on Judeo-Christian tradition—which is antithetical to Sharia at every turn. No wonder dar al-Islam’s “antiquated legal environment” doesn’t work. It’s schizophrenic, and off its meds.
(6) “Corruption. It’s a combination of an inefficient official process and a small number of wealthy and powerful families, able to either change the law as needed, or ignore it. If you ever get into a dispute with a local national, you’re going to lose. If local nationals of different levels of power (“wasta”) get into a dispute, it’s usually decided on the basis of connections [rather than] the merits of the case.” In Islam, tribal affiliations are infinitely more important than national considerations, and personal gain (again, mirroring Muhammad’s example) trumps all. This explains why inbreeding is so rampant in Islamic society—especially in places like Saudi Arabia: it is presumed that no one is to be trusted who isn’t a close family member—so it is common to marry one’s sister or cousin. This explains why you can sometimes barely get your feet wet in the Muslim gene pool.
(7) “High cost of failure. If someone launches a new business and it fails, there’s a high degree of shame and loss of social standing, but even worse, potential prison time for any debts personally guaranteed. Compare this to Silicon Valley where an entrepreneur with a few failed businesses is generally viewed as ‘experienced.’” At its heart, the problem here is the Islamic view toward forgiveness—it’s nonexistent. Despite all the rhetoric about Allah being “merciful,” there is no evidence that mercy in any form exists in Islam. The vast majority of Muslims (according to their own theology) are predestined to hell fire—no matter how well they do in this life. Compare this to the concept of repentance that’s endemic in Christianity: God is willing and ready to forgive us if we will acknowledge our sins (i.e., our missing of the target of His perfection) and receive His grace.
(8) “I’d also argue that their hostility to Israel—and thus Jews—actually hurts them a lot, as some of the most dynamic tech and business people in the US are Jewish—they and their firms are unlikely to do business where they’re not welcome.” Qur’an-influenced Muslims hate Jews simply because Muhammad (after a brief flirtation with them—ending with their rejection of his ridiculous Messianic pretensions) hated them, envied their success, and set a precedent by killing or enslaving every Jew in the Arabian Peninsula.
“It’s especially interesting what is not on this list. Islam is certainly not inherently opposed to development and progress—there’s the shining example of the classical period of Islamic civilization [which we’ve exposed previously as the achievements of Islam’s conquered nations, not of Muslims themselves, except as collectors], and the huge number of successful Muslim scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and business people in the US, Europe, and elsewhere.” Muslims, for all their erroneous spiritual proclivities, are no more or less intelligent than anybody else (except, of course, where genetic inbreeding has taken its toll). Traditional Islamic religion (declaring Allah to be god with Muhammad his messenger, ritual prayer, paying the zakat tax, daytime fasting during Ramadan, and pilgrimage to Mecca) doesn’t ordinarily get in the way of living an ordinary self-centered (if not greed-driven) life. It is only when the Qur’an (the supposed words of Allah himself) are taken to heart that poverty, pain, and destruction follow one’s footsteps in this life.
Mr. Lackey concludes, “Democracy isn’t on the list either—we have great examples of non-democratic economic successes (China, and if you extend to one-party democracy, Singapore), and of democratic non-successes (India pre-1990s).” In other words, the lack of democracy isn’t what’s preventing dar al-Islam from pursuing productive economic activity. As I’ve opined elsewhere, democracy is little more than mob rule in a three-piece suit. It is only as good as the attitudes and agenda of the voting public.
Not to put too fine a point on it, once a citizenry has turned its back on God—once the majority has decided that it can steal what it wants from the minority without regard to Yahweh’s absolute truth—then that nation is as good as finished. As with other forms of government—monarchies, dictatorships, theocracies, oligarchies, even anarchies—the welfare of the people will only be as good as the leaders’ true intentions. A kind king is to be preferred to a democracy in which the majority has voted to enslave themselves in ignorance and greed; an enlightened dictatorship is better than a corrupt republic. But in the end, human nature ensures that all human governments are fatally flawed. The only perfect government will be that of Yahshua the Messiah—the prophesied thousand-year reign of God Himself in human form. His administration will have no flaws, because He is flawless. That is not to say everyone born during the Millennium will like it.
But I digress. We were considering why oil-rich Muslim nations can’t seem to develop self-sustaining economies that could continue to function and thrive even if (or when) the oil were no longer there to exploit. My conclusion is that from day one, Islam was built on a philosophy of piracy and plunder, not the providence of God and the virtue of hard work. When the oil becomes scarce (as it must) dar al-Islam will not revert to their nomadic roots, nor will they join the Jews and Christians in working to make the world a better place. They will, rather, pick up the scimitar once again, and attack somebody who still has something worth stealing.
Game Changer #2: Fracking
Alarmists have been telling us since the 1970s that we’re running out of oil. As it turns out, that’s not entirely true. What we’re running out of is easy oil—the sort of thing that characterized the early days of oil exploration in Pennsylvania or Texas, where you could practically produce a gusher by poking a stick in the ground. The really easy fields were discovered and sucked dry a century ago. For the past half century or so, the relatively easy oil fields of the Middle East, Russia, and America (both north and south) have been fueling the world. At the same time, techniques were being developed to extract crude from offshore sites.
As time has marched forward and as demand has increased (in tandem with both population growth and increasing worldwide prosperity) the known oil reserves have been depleted and the newly discovered sources have proven harder to extract and more difficult to refine. All of this has tended to push the price of the end products upward. Gasoline prices today are about ten times what they were when I learned to drive—and it’s not all just inflation (or manipulation). The actual product also costs more to get out of the ground and into my gas tank. There’s one silver lining to today’s high fuel costs: at these prices, it is possible to invent, perfect, and employ oil extraction techniques capable of reaching heretofore inaccessible or impracticable petroleum deposits—those locked up in tar sands or shale, for example.
From the prophetic point of view, this is a total game-changer, primarily because of one factor. By far the biggest newly discovered oil and gas deposits are found not in Muslim lands, but in North America and Israel—known in dar al-Islam as “the Great Satan” and “the Little Satan,” respectively. (I’ll be discussing the newly-discovered Israeli resources under a separate heading.) In time, this one issue will bring to light—all by itself—the treason that resides today in the halls of power in the U.S. government (and, unless I miss my guess, will continue well into the foreseeable future). And that will go a long way toward explaining why America’s continued influence over world affairs isn’t even hinted at in prophetic scripture: the de facto hegemony we’ve wielded for the past century is as good as gone.
Until quite recently, you see, one could make the case that we must “play ball” with the oil-rich Arab-Muslim countries because we need their oil to run our economy. This concept gives plausible “cover” to those politicians who would support Palestine over Israel, for instance: We can’t appear to be antagonistic toward the Muslims, for fear they’ll cut off the oil. Never mind that our oil money has been the single largest (and perhaps the only significant) source of funding for jihadist-terrorist causes for the past half century. Never mind that the Saudis are (rightly) far more terrified of the Shiite Mullahs in Iran than they are of the Israelis (who have had nuclear weapons for fifty years but have never threatened to use them against anyone).
The United States has lately developed a bad case of paranoid schizophrenia. On the one hand, we’ve spent—wasted—hundreds of billions of dollars backing hopelessly inefficient green-energy boondoggles—at least partially (according to the prospectus) because we needed to achieve “energy independence.” Even the New-World-Order socialists who run our government can see that the more energy we must import (especially from those who hate us on principle, like dar al-Islam and Communist Venezuela) the more vulnerable we are. But at the same time, we (well, they) have adamantly refused to develop or exploit the abundant natural resources that lie beneath our feet—coal and oil-bearing shale deposits. The Obama administration is waging an active and vigorous war on coal, and the only shale oil deposits being tapped in America are on private property—not Federal lands.
Why? If energy independence were really a priority for our government, we would be drilling like crazy, using the new hydraulic fracturing technology that makes accessing the oil more feasible than ever before. It wouldn’t necessarily bring fuel prices down much (since fracking is a relatively expensive process, and one that must be done carefully if safety is to be maintained) but it would make our nation energy supply invulnerable to boycotts and foreign wars. The tipoff to this administration’s real agenda lies in its illogical refusal to approve construction of the Keystone pipeline project (which would transport the newly recovered crude from North Dakota and Canada to the refineries in the South). There is no good reason for not proceeding with this project. It would add tens of thousands of high paying jobs to the economy while providing a safe, proven means of oil transport. The unions—Mr. Obama’s biggest supporters—are all for it. Even the environmentalists’ studies can’t seem to find fault with the project, since the alternative—hauling the oil by trucks or rail—is a more perilous pollution proposition than the pipeline would ever be.
No, there can only be two reasons why our government would refuse to drill for the oil we know is there and refuse to build the Keystone pipeline to transport it. (1) They’re purposely trying to weaken this nation, or (2) they’re supporting the cause of Islam—which in turn is sworn to destroy us. Either way, it’s treason. Environmentalism is a red herring in this case—it has nothing to do with energy realities. If there weren’t scores of indicators—both scriptural and secular—conspiring to inform us that a paradigm shift of “Biblical proportions” is poised to descend upon the world during the fourth decade of the twenty-first century, I would be shocked and dismayed at the direction the United States is going, and at the insane agenda its “leaders” are pursuing. But as it is, a weakened, apostate, self-destructive America—though not overtly prophesied—seems to be a logical requisite for the Last Days events foretold in Scripture. If Isaiah 18 speaks of America (as I believe it does), we are portrayed as having been “pruned back” like a diseased and unruly grapevine—having our promising potential lopped off for our own ultimate good. So although I’m saddened beyond comprehension, I’m not particularly surprised at our impending demise.
Let us, then, take a look at this technology that is bringing Satan’s Last Days agenda into focus, if only we’ll consider its ramifications. Wikipedia’s article on Hydraulic Fracturing gives us the nuts and bolts: “Induced hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracturing, also commonly known as fracking) is a mining technique in which a liquid (in most cases water) is mixed with sand and chemicals and the resultant mixture is injected at high pressure into a wellbore. This creates small fractures in the deep rock formations, typically less than 1mm wide, along which gas, petroleum and brine may migrate to the well. Hydraulic pressure is removed from the well, then small grains of proppant (sand or aluminum oxide) hold these fractures open once the rock achieves equilibrium.
“The technique is very common in wells for shale gas, tight gas, tight oil, and coal seam gas and hard rock wells. This well stimulation is usually conducted once in the life of the well and greatly enhances fluid removal and well productivity, but there has been an increasing trend towards multiple hydraulic fracturing as production declines.
“The first experimental use of hydraulic fracturing was in 1947, and the first commercially successful applications were in 1949. As of 2012, 2.5 million hydraulic fracturing jobs have been performed on oil and gas wells worldwide, more than one million of them in the United States.” It should be noted that these statistics demonstrate two things: we have moved far beyond the “experimental” stage with this technology, and America is the epicenter for its promise.
“Proponents of hydraulic fracturing point to the economic benefits from the vast amounts of formerly inaccessible hydrocarbons the process can extract.” As I mentioned, there is something to be said for being energy independent. OPEC’s oil embargo in the early 1970s should have taught us that being at the mercy of anyone—especially those who are sworn to destroy us—is probably a bad idea, if it can be avoided.
That being said, fracking is neither easy nor risk free. It must be done with great care, following carefully crafted industry guidelines if environmental disaster is to be avoided. Truthfully, though, the same thing can be said of virtually any energy source, whether based on fossil fuels (probably a misnomer, by the way) or renewable energy sources. I don’t care whether you’re considering conventional oil drilling, coal mining, hydroelectric dams, geothermal energy, nuclear power, solar, or wind—all of them have potential (or proven) pitfalls. Let us not forget the “acceptable avian losses” the government is willing to take with wind farms. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010 demonstrated the risks of operational complacency, even if the drilling techniques are well established. And the Fukushima nuclear disaster a year later should have taught us that there is no such thing as “safe enough.” (Who plans for a nearby 9.0 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami, anyway?) We haven’t had too many hydro-power dam disasters in the U.S., but elsewhere the litany is long and sobering. Topping the list, I suppose, would be the Banqiao Dam disaster in China (1975). 26,000 people died from direct flooding, and another 145,000 perished from subsequent famine and epidemics, while 11 million people were left homeless.
So not surprisingly, “Opponents of hydraulic fracturing point to environmental risks, including contamination of ground water, depletion of fresh water, contamination of the air, noise pollution, the migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, surface contamination from spills and flow-back, and the possible health effects of these…. For these reasons hydraulic fracturing has come under international scrutiny, with some countries protecting it, and others suspending or banning it. Some of those countries, including most notably the United Kingdom, have recently lifted their bans, choosing to focus on regulation instead of outright prohibition. The European Union is in the process of applying regulation to permit this to take place.” The growing consensus seems to be that as tricky as hydraulic fracturing seems to be, the rewards are worth it. Without it, the world could well find itself back on a bicycle (or a horse) in a few decades.
More information is provided by EnergyFromShale.org. “Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has played an important role in the development of America’s oil and natural gas resources for nearly 60 years. In the U.S., an estimated 35,000 wells are processed with the hydraulic fracturing method; it’s estimated that over one million wells have been hydraulically fractured since the first well in the late 1940s. Each well is a little different, and each one offers lessons learned. The oil and natural gas production industry uses these lessons to develop best practices to minimize the environmental and societal impacts associated with development.” I would add that until relatively recently, fracking was considered too expensive to employ widely. Until 9/11/2001, oil prices hovered in the neighborhood of $30 per barrel. But as I write this, it’s over $100, and the end of the upward trend is nowhere in sight. At these prices, absorbing the extra expense of hydraulic fracturing is quite feasible.
“Studies estimate that up to 80 percent of natural gas wells drilled in the next decade will require hydraulic fracturing to properly complete well setup. Horizontal drilling is a key component in the hydraulic fracturing process. In short, this makes it possible for shale oil extraction to produce oil and natural gas in places where conventional technologies are ineffective. Hydraulic fracturing involves the use of water pressure to create fractures in rock that allow the oil and natural gas it contains to escape and flow out of a well. This process takes place under tight regulatory control….
“In a hydraulic fracturing job, ‘fracturing fluids’ or ‘pumping fluids’ consisting primarily of water and sand are injected under high pressure into the producing formation, creating fissures that allow resources to move freely from rock pores where it is trapped. Typically, steel pipe known as surface casing is cemented into place at the uppermost portion of a well for the explicit purpose of protecting the groundwater. The depth of the surface casing is generally determined based on groundwater protection, among other factors. As the well is drilled deeper, additional casing is installed to isolate the formation(s) from which oil or natural gas is to be produced, which further protects groundwater from the producing formations in the well.”
Needless to say, protecting the groundwater from contamination is the central safety issue with this mining technique. Most of the large recent oil finds are far below the aquifer, which explains why multiple redundant systems are put in place to isolate the water from the oil drilling process. “Casing and cementing are critical parts of the well construction that not only protect any water zones, but are also important to successful oil or natural gas production from hydrocarbon bearing zones. Industry well design practices protect sources of drinking water from the other geologic zone of an oil and natural gas well with multiple layers of impervious rock. While 99.5 percent of the fluids used consist of water and sand, some chemicals are added to improve the flow. The composition of the chemical mixes varies from well to well….
“The process of bringing a well to completion is generally short-lived, taking only 70 to 100 days for a single well, after which the well can be in production for 20 to 40 years. The process for a single horizontal well typically includes four to eight weeks to prepare the site for drilling, four or five weeks of rig work, including casing and cementing and moving all associated auxiliary equipment off the well site before fracturing operations commence, and two to five days for the entire multi-stage fracturing operation. Once completed, the production site is reduced to about the size of a two-car garage. The remainder of the site is restored to its original condition and the environmental benefits, such as reduced air and greenhouse gas emissions, last for decades. Local impacts, such as noise, dust, and land disturbance, are largely confined to the initial phase of development….”
Unfortunately (considering the rapidly deteriorating state of our aquifers—see Appendix 5) quite a bit of water is used in the process: “Water accounts for about 90 percent of the fracturing mixture and sand accounts for about 9.5 percent. Chemicals account for the remaining one half of one percent of the mixture. There are several ways oil and natural gas companies manage the use of fracturing fluids, depending on what specifically is in them, the presence of usable groundwater or surface waters, geography, and local, state, and federal regulations.”
They make it sound easy. Let me assure you, it isn’t. “Spent or used fracturing fluids are normally recovered at the initial stage of well production and recycled in a closed system for future use or disposed of under regulation, either by surface discharge where authorized under the Clean Water Act or by injection into Class II wells as authorized under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Regulation may also allow recovered fracturing fluids to be disposed of at appropriate commercial facilities. Not all fracturing fluid returns to the surface. Over the life of the well, some is left behind and confined by thousands of feet of rock layers.”
As with most things in life, fracking offers a trade-off. On the negative side, fracking is (like most energy technologies) fraught with risk. It can be done safely, as far as we can tell, but the potential pitfalls are serious. One of the most often cited is the leakage of methane or drilling chemicals into the aquifer, making the local drinking water toxic to some extent—and perhaps even flammable. As drillers have gained experience and knowledge, this factor has been minimized. There is (possibly) a seismic threat as well, something I’ll address in a moment. And finally, environmentalists hate the idea of large quantities of crude being transported by rail (or worse, by trucks). But there is a simple, proven solution to this one—simply build the Keystone pipeline.
On the plus side, fracking offers the prospect of billions of barrels of otherwise-unrecoverable oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas that we would otherwise be unable to retrieve. The patriot in me rejoices that the biggest deposits found so far are in North America and Israel—something that could conceivably make both the U.S. and Israel far less vulnerable to Muslim (and Russian) shenanigans. But since America is a post-Christian society, and Israel is a pre-redeemed nation, perhaps my enthusiasm is misplaced.
As I’m sure you’ll recall, “earthquakes in various places” were prophesied in the Olivet Discourse as one of the signs heralding the Last Days. And there has been a measurable increase in the numbers of small earthquakes in regions in which oil is being extracted using hydraulic fracturing. Bryan Walsh opines in Time Magazine (May 1, 2014) that “New research indicates that wastewater disposal wells—and sometimes fracking itself—can induce earthquakes.” So far, the problem is theoretical—based on little more than statistics—but it’s an issue that bears watching. Is it a question of coincidence or improved seismic tracking, or is there really something to worry about?
Walsh writes, “Ohio regulators did something last month that had never been done before: they drew a tentative link between shale gas fracking and an increase in local earthquakes. As fracking has grown in the U.S., so have the number of earthquakes—there were more than 100 recorded quakes of magnitude 3.0 or larger each year between 2010 and 2013, compared to an average of 21 per year over the preceding three decades. That includes a sudden increase in seismic activity in usually calm states like Kansas, Oklahoma and Ohio—states that have also seen a rapid increase in oil and gas development. Shale gas and oil development is still growing rapidly—more than eightfold between 2007 and 2012—but if fracking and drilling can lead to dangerous quakes, America’s homegrown energy revolution might be in for an early end.
“But seismologists are only now beginning to grapple with the connection between oil and gas development and earthquakes…. Wastewater disposal wells—deep holes drilled to hold hundreds of millions of gallons of fluid produced by oil and gas wells—may be changing the stress on existing faults, inducing earthquakes that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Those quakes can occur tens of miles away from the wells themselves, further than scientists had previously believed. And they can be large as well—researchers have now linked two quakes in 2011 with a magnitude greater than 5.0 to wastewater wells….
“The vast majority of wastewater disposal sites and oil and gas wells weren’t connected to increased quake activity—which is a good thing, since there are more than 30,000 disposal wells alone scattered around the country. But scientists are still trying to figure out which wells might be capable of inducing strong quakes, though the sheer volume of fluid injected into the ground seems to be the driving factor. (That’s one reason why hydraulic fracturing itself rarely seems to induce quakes—around 5 million gallons, or 18.9 million L, of fluid is used in fracking, far less than the amount of fluid that ends up in a disposal well)….
“So far the quakes that seem to have been induced by oil and gas activity have shaken up people who live near wells, but haven’t yet caused a lot of damage. But that could change if fracking and drilling move to a part of the country that already has clear existing seismic risks—like California, which has an estimated 15 billion barrels of oil in the Monterey Shale formation that could only be accessed through fracking.”
As usual, it’s shaping up to be a battle between the environmentalists (to whom any amount of risk is unacceptable) and the entrepreneurs (who know you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs). My position is that they’re both right—and they’re both wrong. That is, on the one hand, the earth and its bounty are gifts from God that we are instructed to preserve and defend, even as we “subdue” them (see Genesis 1:28)—the essence of good stewardship. On the other hand, if we ban fracking altogether, the world could begin running out of easily accessible oil and gas by, say, the fourth decade of the twenty-first century—a timeframe that continues to present itself as the focal point of so many lines of inquiry.
If a total ban were to be imposed, the political and military ramifications would be, shall we say, “interesting.” By any foreseeable metric, the world’s appetite for fuel will not have abated. How will the politicians and princes react when their citizens can no longer afford to drive their cars or heat their homes—when desperation sets in, and anarchy raises its ugly and unpredictable head? One need not be a genius (nor a Bible scholar) to anticipate “wars and rumors of wars,” or that “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and pestilences….” (Matthew 24:6-7) Those things are in evidence even without major oil shortages—how much more so if we voluntarily cut off our own fuel supply?
But if, in an effort to head off these inevitable events, governments throw caution to the wind and begin fracking with gleeful abandon, they will quite possibly have to contend with “earthquakes in various places” (v.7). No matter what they do, the word of God will be proven true in the end. As far as fracking is concerned, the kings of the earth may be quite literally “damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.”
The question on my mind is: will the fracking we’ll do during the next couple of decades have any effect on the spate of major—dare I say, unprecedented—earthquakes that are prophesied for the Tribulation years? Two of them come to mind immediately. First, during the Magog war (perhaps two years into the Tribulation): “Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.” (Ezekiel 38:19-20). Could it be that Israeli fracking today will be used by God to trigger a seismic “weapon” against the invading Muslim hordes? At the very least, the scenario positively reeks with irony.
And second, the “big one.” This worldwide earthquake will, I believe, occur five days before the end—prophesied in the sixth seal judgment (“…and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.” Revelation 6:14), the seventh trumpet judgment (“And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.” Revelation 11:19), and the seventh bowl judgment (“And there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth…. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” (Revelation 16:18, 20)
I can’t really see how fracking could cause these earthquakes, but it is altogether possible that the earth’s crust will be rendered more vulnerable at strategic locations because of the activities of man between now and the Tribulation. One thing is certain: the prophecies will come to pass precisely as God revealed them—no matter what we decide to do.
Game Changer #3: Israeli Oil and Gas
As long as the vast majority of the world’s oil and gas reserves were in the hands of dar al-Islam and their Communist allies, the fiction could be maintained that all the Muslims had to do to drive Israel to the brink of extinction was to wait them out. Nibble away at the edges. Keep up the international P.R. campaign designed to make the Jews look like the devil himself to those who buy the lies put forth by a gullible world press. Keep firing Katyusha rockets (bought with American and European petro-dollars) at Israeli civilians from the Gaza Strip and Southern Lebanon. Send the occasional pair of suicide bombers to an Israeli bus stop or restaurant. Keep them on edge. Wear them down. Out-breed them (See? Women are good for something), and then, like a python, simply squeeze the life out of them.
This tactic (in case you haven’t noticed) hasn’t worked any better than the Muslims’ sporadic attempts to invade Israel with huge armies trying (for reasons not even they can explain) to drive her into the sea. Every time they’ve tried that, they lost territory and assets. In fact (since we’re talking about energy issues) after the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel held Egypt’s oil-rich Sinai Peninsula for ten years—before allowing themselves to get talked into giving it back. (I’d like to believe they returned it to their enemy because they realized that Yahweh had never deeded it to them, but in fact, they don’t seem to know what their borders are supposed to be: they ceded the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Arabs in 2005, though God’s definition of Israeli land in Numbers 34 clearly included it. Sigh.)
No, since their founding in 1948, Israel has—without any significant mineral resources of their own to exploit—built the most robust economy and the freest society in the entire Middle East (and that includes people of religions other than Judaism). Their remarkable prosperity is due to their propensity for hard work, innovation, insight, their respect for education, and their tenacity in the face of adversity, hatred, and hardship. God has preserved them—miraculously at times—but He hasn’t handed them material success on a silver platter.
Until now. The time has come, it appears, to “up the ante.” There were hints in Scripture, of course, that there might be oil in Israel. Writing of an incident that took place near the Dead Sea some four thousand years ago, Moses reports: “Now the Valley of Siddim was full of asphalt pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled; some fell there, and the remainder fled to the mountains.” (Genesis 14:10) The word for “asphalt” here (Hebrew: chemar—tar or bitumen) is also used to describe the material that was used as mortar at the building of the Tower of Babel (in present day Iraq) and the sealant used in baby Moses’ ark of bulrushes (in Egypt)—both places where oil has been discovered in recent decades.
A synonym (used along with chemar to describe the waterproofing on Moses’ floating bassinet in Exodus 2:3) is the Hebrew zepheth (tar, pitch, or bitumen—a “black, sticky substance used for waterproofing—Baker & Carpenter). This description of surface tar takes on dire prophetic significance in reference to Edom (southern Jordan), for the Prophet Isaiah writes of Edom’s demise on the day of judgment: “For it is the day of Yahweh’s vengeance, the year of recompense for the cause of Zion. [Edom’s] streams shall be turned into pitch [zepheth], and its dust into brimstone. Its land shall become burning pitch [zepheth]. It shall not be quenched night or day. Its smoke shall ascend forever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste. No one shall pass through it forever and ever.” (Isaiah 34:8-10) This picture is reminiscent of Kuwait’s oil fields, set on fire out of spite by Saddam Hussein’s retreating troops in 1991—a black, smoking hell on earth.
Since “Edom” is within Israel’s neighbor Jordan, we shouldn’t be too surprised to find confirmation of this oil’s presence in the secular press. Jon Mainwaring, writing for Rigzone (May 2, 2014) informs us, “Israel also has a very significant onshore opportunity in the shape of oil shale—oil trapped in rock that is extracted using heat as well as drilling. Israel and neighboring Jordan sit on the second-largest deposits of oil shale in the world after the United States.” For what it’s worth, the Valley of Siddim (mentioned above in Genesis 14:10) straddles the present boundary line between Israel and Jordan.
Mr. Mainwaring, unfortunately, has no clue about the Muslim mindset toward other people’s wealth. He writes, “Since natural gas was first discovered offshore Israel in 1998, the country has seen the growth of an oil and gas industry that promises to provide not only an economic boost to the country itself but could also prove to be a diplomatic tool that can be used to build better relations with some of its neighboring states.” Better relations? No, I’m afraid not. Muhammad’s example taught them to steal everything they could belonging to Jews, and his instructions were thus: “Just issue orders to kill every Jew in the country.”—the Hadith of al-Bukhari (repeated in the Sunnah, in both Tabari and Ibn Ishaq) No, to a Qur’an-compliant Muslim, Israel’s mineral wealth merely makes them a more enticing target. Hate and greed: a potent combination.
At last, Ezekiel’s description of the motivation of Gog’s Islamic hordes makes sense: “Thus says the Lord Yahweh: ‘On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you [Gog of the land of Magog] will make an evil plan: You will say, “I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people [Israel, dwelling under the security guarantees of the Antichrist’s “covenant with many” (see Daniel 9:27)], who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates”—to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.” Until quite recently, there was nothing much worth stealing in Israel—their wealth, which is considerable, was due mainly to Israeli intellect, entrepreneurial spirit, and good old fashioned hard work. But now, with their newly discovered oil and gas reserves, there is finally something in Israel of intrinsic value. “Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?”’” (Ezekiel 38:10-13) “Livestock and goods…silver and gold” I take to mean anything of value, anything worth stealing. Oil and gas would fill the bill quite nicely. Iran (Gog’s probable home base) has plenty of its own oil, but no fewer than four of Gog’s allies—Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Togarmah—are located in oil-poor Turkey.
Speaking of the comparative speed of Israel’s oil and gas development, Mainwaring goes on to quote Joshua Beagelman (the Chief Operating Officer of Universal Oil & Gas), explaining that “Cyprus may have made a few discoveries but it hasn’t developed them yet, while Lebanon is still at a very early exploration stage. ‘So, Israel in that region is the only country with production online at the moment.’ Indeed, the time taken for the Tamar field from discovery in 2009 to production of first gas in March 2013 is demonstrative of why Israel should be on more international oil and gas firms’ radar screens, according to Beagelman. ‘It took them four years to get to the production stage. That’s up there as one of the fastest-ever turnarounds of a deep-water discovery. This showcases a lot of things: it demonstrates Israel’s infrastructure and it shows that they can go to production in a short space of time in an emerging oil and gas market. In other emerging markets, that process can take double the amount of time, or even longer.”
Even before the Tamar field came online, National Geographic News published an article (July 3, 2012) thinking ahead to the next logical step. It’s entitled “New Natural Gas Wealth Means Historic Change for Israel—Key Question: How Much to Export?” Sharon Udasin (the energy and environment correspondent for The Jerusalem Post) writes, “The newfound offshore gas fields of Tamar, Leviathan, and Tanin give Israel a historic chance at energy independence and could transform the region’s geopolitics….” Yes, suddenly, there’s booty to be had there, just as Ezekiel predicted. “Israel’s northern port city of Haifa has been a crucial energy center for decades; refineries dating back to the British Mandate in this land have long processed the oil sent by pipeline or shipped here from abroad. Today, rigs are working off Haifa’s coast to tap the first major fossil-fuel reserve ever found in Israel’s territory, a store on which it hopes to build a far more independent energy future.
“The Tamar natural gas field was discovered in 2009 some 50 miles (80 kilometers) off Haifa’s coast in the Mediterranean Sea. There are perhaps scores of known gas fields bigger than Tamar, with its estimated 250 billion cubic meters (9 trillion cubic feet) in reserves; Alaska’s North Slope, for instance, is believed to hold four times as much fuel. But Tamar is large enough to meet all of Israel’s natural gas requirements for 20 to 30 years, the experts say.” To put that in perspective, “20 years” would fall within the timeframe to which we’ve been led so often in this study—the fourth decade of the twenty-first century.
“This unprecedented offshore bonanza expanded dramatically the following year when another field, Leviathan, almost double the size of Tamar, was discovered another 30 miles (48 kilometers) to the west. (A smaller field, Tanin, with an estimated 33.9 billion cubic meters—1.2 trillion cubic feet—in natural gas, was discovered nearby earlier this year.) With natural gas scheduled to begin flowing from Tamar next year , and from Leviathan about four years later, Israel is on the brink of a historic shift. Instead of being an energy-scarce nation amid Middle East oil giants, many of them hostile, Israel now faces a future as a fuel producer in its own right—likely as an exporter and supplier to some of its neighbors, a development that could dramatically alter the region’s geopolitics.” Yes: it makes them more volatile than ever.
“Israel’s foreign and domestic policy no longer will be intertwined with the question of securing adequate fuel supply. Now it will face a quite different challenge—managing the nation’s newfound energy abundance. ‘This is going to change the overall way of the economy of Israel,’ says Shaul Zemach, director general of Israel’s Ministry of Energy and Water Resources. ‘It’s like a domino—it’s going to have a domino effect on all of the markets.’ Quite simply, he said, it’s a ‘game changer.’”
“Israel has depended on energy imports since its founding in 1948, and the political conflict between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors and Iran has been riddled with strife over oil resources.” Basically, the more “Islamist” one’s outlook, the less likely he is to be willing to sell fuel to Israel—at any price. That explains why Israel has been getting her oil from the North Sea and Venezuela, not neighboring Saudi Arabia and nearby Iraq. “Only during the decade following the 1967 war, when Israel gained control of the Sinai Peninsula’s oil fields, did the nation produce a significant share of its own fuel. When Israel surrendered Sinai as part of its peace treaty with Egypt, it secured assurances both from Egypt and the United States on future energy supply.” In other words, they were willing to trade a bird in the hand for the promise of one in the bush. The God who protects her, of course, knows that neither the U.S. nor Egypt can be trusted to keep their word.
“An outgrowth of that pact was Egypt’s 2005 agreement to provide natural gas to Israel via pipeline. Two small offshore gas fields in the Mediterranean had begun providing natural gas to Israel in 2004. But within just a few years the conduit from Egypt across the Sinai Desert was providing half of Israel’s gas supply. The risks of such foreign reliance became clear after last year’s [i.e., 2011’s] ouster of Egypt’s longtime leader Hosni Mubarak. The pipeline has been sabotaged 14 times since the uprising, rendering it essentially unusable.” Not to mention proving Egypt to be unreliable as a gas supplier. So, “In April, in what was at that point a symbolic gesture, Egypt formally cancelled the deal. Thanks to the development under way off the coast of Haifa, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response was unruffled: ‘We have gas reserves that will make Israel totally energy independent, not only from Egypt, but from any other source,’ he said.
“Like many nations, Israel has been working to increase use of natural gas and reduce its dependence on coal, which now provides about 70 percent of the nation’s power.” Israel imports its coal from Australia, South Africa, and Columbia. “The new supply from Tamar and Leviathan can aid in the shift to a fuel that can produce electricity with fewer toxic pollutants and half the carbon dioxide emissions of coal. The government also sees potential for natural gas to replace oil as a transportation fuel. And, because it is a key feedstock in the petrochemical business, it is expected to spur new industry.
“‘If it’s played right, it’s an economic opportunity for Israel, in public health and environmentally,’ says Brenda Shaffer, an expert on energy policy and management at the University of Haifa. But she strikes a note of caution, especially because the enormous size of Israel’s energy prize has led, inevitably, to planning for sale of natural gas abroad. ‘Energy export is always a two-headed sword,’ Shaffer says….” She then cautions against the sort of thing we noted above, in which Islamic oil has fostered export economies totally dependent on their mineral wealth—with no corresponding industry that doesn’t in some way depend on oil. Somehow, though, I can’t see Israel falling into the trap of resource-economy malaise: they have far too much on their minds for that—high tech industry, medical and scientific innovation, and even world-class agricultural prowess, not to mention the constant threat of being swallowed whole by their envious Muslim neighbors. No, it’s not in the modern Israeli playbook to grow complacent and lazy.
Author Udasin, refreshingly, seems to have a good handle on the political realities of Israel’s new oil resources: “Energy wealth will complicate already tense Middle East relations. Lebanon, which has no agreed-upon maritime (or land) border between Israel, has asked the United Nations to intervene to prevent Israel’s energy drive from encroaching on its undefined territorial waters as it prepares to launch its own offshore energy exploration. Meanwhile, the island Republic of Cyprus, 300 miles (480 kilometers) from Israel’s coastline in the Mediterranean, has its own large natural gas discovery. With Noble Energy, an oil company based in Houston, Texas, a major stakeholder in both the Israel and Cyprus finds, the two nations are in talks on how to coordinate development and potential export. But Turkey, which has de facto control of the northern part of Cyprus and doesn’t recognize the Cypriot government, has begun energy exploration too.” Turkey’s involvement complicates things, at least potentially. Remember, at least four of the nations named in the Magog federation (which is prophesied to invade Israel—Ezekiel 38) define modern Turkey, which has in recent days begun to turn from its historically “moderate” stance to a more fundamentalist (i.e., Islamist) form of Islam.
The rest of the article is primarily concerned with the issue of what to do with the oil and gas—use it domestically, or export it for sale. Those who are realistically attuned to Israel’s historic vulnerability lean toward keeping large reserves at home, while the energy companies, not surprisingly, would like to see a larger proportion sold abroad (something that would, on balance, increase the fuel costs for Israeli consumers, not to mention their vulnerability). For now, there seems to be enough to go around, but if our research in other matters is accurate, that picture will change dramatically by the fourth decade of the twenty-first century.
The most efficient way to move large quantities of natural gas long distances is to convert it to liquid form—LNG, or liquefied natural gas—which may then be shipped all over the world in tankers. The problem is that building an LNG facility can be quite expensive—in the neighborhood of $5 billion. “Gideon Tadmor, chairman of Delek and chief executive of Avner, said the region’s politics necessarily become part of the economic calculations. ‘If we would’ve been elsewhere in the world, obviously the most efficient thing to do would be to have reverse flow from Israel to Egypt to be liquefied in its facility there,’ he said. ‘But we are not elsewhere. We are in the Middle East, and we are all aware of the challenges of our relationship with Egypt.’”
The LNG terminal in Egypt is currently running at only 40% capacity, so the potential for mutual benefit is obvious. And who knows? With the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt’s dog house once again, perhaps a deal can be struck. Still, it’s amazing how the envy, greed, and irrational hatred of one evil man who lived fourteen hundred years ago still has the capacity to stifle progress and cooperation today. On the other hand, it is equally remarkable how the unfathomable love of another Man, living two thousand years ago, made it possible for the whole world to live in peace, if only we would hear Him. But alas, the world—most of it—doesn’t want to hear Him, heed His teachings, or receive His salvation. So the events of the Last Days will play out precisely as Yahweh’s scriptures insist they must. After all, free will (by God’s design) is ours to exercise, at least for now. Just because He knows which path we’re going to take, it doesn’t mean He’s happy about it.
Although Israeli oil wealth wasn’t specifically prophesied in scripture, it is, in retrospect, a perfect fit for the prophecy we do have, in which Last Days Israel is depicted as a “land of unwalled villages,” rich with tempting treasures that will prove irresistible to the acquisitive Muslim hordes. It will matter not that many of her neighboring adversaries have their own mineral wealth. Part of the curse of envy is that other people’s blessings are perceived as an intolerable affront. Well did Yahweh command us: “You shall not covet.”
Political “Correctness” and Junk Science
The U.S. government website GlobalChange.gov paints a dire picture: the earth is heating up, and we’re to blame because we use fossil fuels like coal and oil. But have no fear: the government is ready to step in to save us from ourselves: They say, “Climate change is happening now. The U.S. and the world are warming, global sea level is rising, and some types of extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and more severe. These changes have already resulted in a wide range of impacts across every region of the Nation and many sectors of the economy. Today, America needs reliable scientific information about current and future changes, impacts, and effective response options….” Mind you, most of what is published here is either unwarranted extrapolation or outright lies—as we shall soon discover. But let us allow them to have their say:
“Evidence from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans, collected by scientists and engineers from around the world, tells an unambiguous story: the planet is warming, and over the last half century, this warming has been driven primarily by human activity—predominantly the burning of fossil fuels…. U.S. average temperature has increased by 1.3°F to 1.9°F since 1895, and most of this increase has occurred since 1970. The most recent decade was the Nation’s and the world’s hottest ever recorded, and 2012 was the hottest year on record in the continental United States. Temperatures are projected to rise another 2°F to 4°F in most areas of the U.S. over the next few decades.” The implication is that if we all stop burning fossil fuels, all will be well.
“Climate change means more than hotter weather. Certain types of extreme weather events with links to climate change have become more frequent and/or intense, including prolonged periods of heat, heavy downpours, and, in some regions, floods and droughts. In addition, warming is causing sea level to rise and glaciers and Arctic sea ice to melt. Oceans are becoming more acidic as they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and climate change is impacting biodiversity and disrupting ecosystems.” Never mind the inconvenient fact that glaciers and Arctic sea ice aren’t melting, but are actually growing. Never mind that the biodiversity of the oceans is actually being destroyed by overfishing and nitrate run-off from artificially fertilized farmland, not by CO2 emissions (see my chapter on “Famine Factors”).
Never mind the facts. The problem, our government says, is all those people: “Multiple lines of independent evidence confirm that human activities are the primary cause of the global warming of the past 50 years. The burning of coal, oil, and gas, and clearing of forests have increased the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by more than 40% since the industrial revolution, and methane and nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture and other human activities add to the atmospheric burden of heat-trapping gases….” Gee, no wonder the “humanists” are on record as wanting to use any means necessary to kill 90% of the earth’s human population.
“Global temperatures are still on the rise and are expected to rise further. Climate change will accelerate significantly if global emissions of heat-trapping gases continue to increase….” While the “rising temperatures” claim is a bald-faced lie (they’ve been level or falling for the past twenty years or so), atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations actually have been rising, as is claimed. The only logical conclusion we can draw is that CO2 is not a major contributor to runaway global warming, nor is that “other” essential greenhouse gas—water vapor. But it doesn’t suit the government’s agenda to admit that the climate might be influenced by something (like solar activity) that is totally beyond human control (something they can’t tax, regulate, or put in prison).
It amuses me to observe how God has messed with these earth worshipers. If they’re not totally stupid, they know that CO2 is not a major cause of global warming—that heavy solar (sunspot) activity plays a much larger role. But their wealth redistribution scheme demands a villain they can pretend to regulate, so carbon dioxide is the bad guy upon which they’ve settled. Since CO2 levels are rising, they presumed they could simply watch the eleven-year sunspot cycles (when average global temperatures could be safely predicted to be at their peak) and blame the resulting “thaw” on CO2, leaving no one the wiser. The previous solar peak was in 2001-2002, so they figured things would be sufficiently toasty by 2013. They therefore confidently predicted that the North Polar ice cap would have completely melted by the summer of 2013.
What happened? The solar max of 2013 failed to materialize—sunspot activity was far lower than had been expected, meaning the surface temperatures on Earth were correspondingly cooler. And almost a million square miles of ice were added to the Arctic polar ice cap by the autumn of 2013. Well did the prophet Isaiah report: “I am Yahweh, who makes all things, who stretches out the heavens all alone, who spreads abroad the earth by Myself; who frustrates the signs of the babblers, and drives diviners mad; who turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolishness.” (Isaiah 44:24-25)
But don’t take my word for it. Listen to these scientists who have debunked the CO2-global warming myth, tying average global temperature instead to solar activity—or the lack of it. Our government, it seems, is counting on us being unable to sort out the technical jargon. But the facts are there: “A relatively localized small-amplitude solar influence on the upper atmosphere could have an important effect, via the nonlinear evolution of atmospheric dynamics, on critical atmospheric processes.” –Lam, Chisham, Freeman (British Antarctic Survey) Small changes on the sun can produce large temperature shifts here on Earth—and throughout our solar system. “The sun’s output varies not by a minuscule 0.1%, but by a whopping factors of 10 or more. This can strongly affect the chemistry and thermal structure of the upper atmosphere.”—Tony Phillips (NASA Solar Physicist)
2013 was supposed to mark the peak of the normal eleven-year sunspot cycle, but what is actually happening? “Solar activity is declining very fast at the moment, we estimate faster than at any time in the last 9300 years.”—Mike Lockwood (Professor of Space Environmental Physics at Reading University, UK) What’s happening? “The sun’s current maximum activity period is very late and very weak, leading to speculation that the sunspot cycle itself could be shutting down or entering a dormant phase.”—Craig DeForest (American Astronomical Society) Where, then, are we headed? “It all points to perhaps another little ice age. It seems likely we are going to enter a period of very low solar activity and it could mean we are in for very cold winters.” –Ian Elliot (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies)
So the climate is changing, all right, but it’s getting cooler, not warmer; and it has nothing to do with mankind’s consumption of fossil fuels. But forgive me for interrupting the government’s tale of global warming woe. Again. GlobalChange.gov goes on to say, “Climate change is affecting the American people in far-reaching ways. Impacts related to climate change are evident across regions and in many sectors important to society—such as human health, agriculture and food security, water supply, transportation, energy, ecosystems, and others—and are expected to become increasingly disruptive throughout this century and beyond. As the impacts of climate change become more prevalent, Americans face decisions about how to plan and respond. Using scientific information to prepare for climate change can create economic opportunities, and proactively managing the risks can reduce impacts and costs over time.” In case you don’t comprehend government double-speak, that means, “Trust us. Our scientists are gods. We know what’s best for you. Pay your taxes and go back to sleep.”
The facts of the case, as I said, would beg to differ. ClimateDepot.com (in an article by Marc Morano, May 7, 2014) weighed in on a recent Federal climate report, calling it a “600-page litany of doom.” The headline reads: “Weather Channel Co-Founder John Coleman slams Federal climate report: A ‘total distortion of the data and agenda driven, destructive episode of bad science gone berserk.’” Something tells me Mr. Coleman (whose livelihood, unlike most “climate people,” is not dependent on toeing the government line) isn’t buying it.
“Coleman: ‘When the temperature data could no longer be bent to support global warming, they switched to “climate change” and now blame every weather and climate event on CO2 despite the hard, cold fact that the “radiative forcing” theory they built their claims on has totally failed to verify.’”
He explains: “The current bad science is all based on a theory that the increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the exhaust of the burning of fossil fuels leads to a dramatic increase in ‘the greenhouse effect’ causing temperatures to skyrocket uncontrollably. This theory has failed to verify and is obviously dead wrong. But the politically funded and agenda driven scientists who have built their careers on this theory (and live well on the 2.6 billion dollars a year of Federal grants for global warming/climate change research) cling to this theory and bend the data spread to support the glorified claims in their reports and papers.” As they say, follow the money.
The article is accompanied by a chart that demonstrates that there has been no global warming in the 17 years and 9 months between August, 1996 and April, 2014 (the latest data available when the article was written). Coleman opines, “The climate of Earth has never been ‘normal’ or stable. It has continuously changed through this planet’s 4.5 billion year history. Powerful storms, floods, droughts, heat waves and ice and snow storms have come and gone as long as Earth has existed.”
Writing for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (May 29, 2014), Jack Kelly reports, “The first five months of 2014 have been the coldest since the National Weather Service began keeping records in 1888. If ‘climate change’ alarmists got out more, they might have noticed. Between 1979—when weather satellites started measuring temperatures in the lower troposphere—and 1997, they rose about 1.1 degrees Celsius (1.98 degrees Fahrenheit). Temperatures stopped rising then, have fallen since 2012. The ‘pause’ in warming (212 months) is now longer than the warming trend was (211 months).
“The earth has warmed about 16 degrees F since the last ice age. The net increase since 1979—0.19 degrees C (0.34°F)—is well within the range of natural fluctuation. So why, as President Barack Obama says so often, do 97 percent of scientists agree climate change is ‘real, man-made, and dangerous?’ They don’t. This bogus stat is derived from two questions University of Illinois researchers asked in a survey of earth scientists in 2008: 1. ‘When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?’ 2. ‘Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?’ The researchers culled from 3,146 responses those of 79 climate scientists who’d been published in peer reviewed journals. 76 answered “risen” to the first question; 75 “yes” to the second. Temperatures have risen since the Little Ice Age ended around 1870, skeptics agree. Most think the activities of humans have some effect on them. The key question is whether that effect is big enough to do harm, but that’s not what the scientists were asked.
“John Cook, climate communication fellow (a publicist, not a climate scientist) at the University of Queensland in Australia and eight colleagues examined abstracts of 11,944 articles on climate published between 1991 and 2011. ‘Among abstracts expressing a position… 97.1 percent endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming,’ they concluded in a paper last May. Which is as meaningless as the “consensus” in the two-question survey, for the same reason. Even skeptics agree humans cause some warming. Mr. Cook et al. included papers by prominent skeptics Willie Soon, Craig Idso, Nocola Scafetta, Nir Shaviv, Nils-Axel Morner and Alan Carlin in their 97.1 percent ‘consensus.’ Only 41 papers (0.3 percent) explicitly state support for Mr. Cook’s assertion that humans have caused most of the warming since 1950, found former Delaware state climatologist David Legates and three colleagues in a peer reviewed study last September. ‘It is astonishing that any journal could have published a paper claiming a 97 percent climate consensus when on the authors’ own analysis the true consensus was well below 1 percent,’ Mr. Legates said.” Somebody’s been cooking the books. The question is: why?
“Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased from about 285 parts per million 250 years ago to about 380 ppm today. CO2 is a ‘greenhouse’ gas—it holds heat in the atmosphere—so if humans are generating more, it should have a warming effect. But probably not much of one. Greenhouse gases comprise less than 1 percent of the earth’s atmosphere; carbon dioxide is less than 4 percent of all greenhouse gases; and 96 percent of CO2 in the atmosphere was put there by Mother Nature. Compared to variations in solar radiation and other natural forces, the effect of greenhouse gases on climate is trivial.” And if you’ll recall, our study of deforestation in an earlier chapter revealed that fully half of the anthropogenic release of CO2 into our atmosphere in recent years is due to the ongoing decimation of the earth’s rainforests—not the production of energy. Any rational approach to the global reduction of CO2 emissions should begin there.
“‘There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing, or will cause in the foreseeable future, catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate,’ says a petition signed by more than 31,000 American scientists in climate-related disciplines. That’s rather more than 79 or 41. There is no scientific consensus on human-caused global warming, and there shouldn’t be. ‘If it’s science, it isn’t consensus,’ said Mr. Soon, a solar expert at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. ‘If it’s consensus, it isn’t science.’ Scientists search for truth by observation and experimentation, not by taking polls. Consensus is a political concept. The skeptics are true to the scientific method. The abusers of science are those who politicize it.”
As if all that weren’t bad enough, it has also recently come to light that the temperature readings upon which all the global warming hype was based were manipulated—fudged by people whose agenda “needed” a warming earth to gain traction. Writing for The Telegraph, (June 21, 2014) Christopher Booker reports: “When future generations try to understand how the world got carried away around the end of the 20th century by the panic over global warming, few things will amaze them more than the part played in stoking up the scare by the fiddling of official temperature data. There was already much evidence of this seven years ago, when I was writing my history of the scare, The Real Global Warming Disaster. But now another damning example has been uncovered by Steven Goddard’s US blog Real Science, showing how shamelessly manipulated has been one of the world’s most influential climate records, the graph of US surface temperature records published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“Goddard shows how, in recent years, NOAA’s US Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) has been “adjusting” its record by replacing real temperatures with data ‘fabricated’ by computer models. The effect of this has been to downgrade earlier temperatures and to exaggerate those from recent decades, to give the impression that the Earth has been warming up much more than is justified by the actual data. In several posts headed ‘Data tampering at USHCN/GISS,’ Goddard compares the currently published temperature graphs with those based only on temperatures measured at the time. These show that the US has actually been cooling since the 1930s, the hottest decade on record; whereas the latest graph, nearly half of it based on ‘fabricated’ data, shows it to have been warming at a rate equivalent to more than 3 degrees centigrade per century.
“When I first began examining the global-warming scare, I found nothing more puzzling than the way officially approved scientists kept on being shown to have finagled their data, as in that ludicrous ‘hockey stick’ graph, pretending to prove that the world had suddenly become much hotter than at any time in 1,000 years. Any theory needing to rely so consistently on fudging the evidence, I concluded, must be looked on not as science at all, but as simply a rather alarming case study in the aberrations of group psychology.” How charitable. I’d simply call it fraud.
I find it rather ironic that the same people who rejoice over Galileo’s ultimate vindication in the face of ignorant religious dogma are so reluctant to challenge the politically driven agenda of “climate change.” (Galileo demonstrated that the earth was not the center of the universe—as the Catholic Church adamantly insisted, though the Bible itself said nothing of the sort.) I guess what they fail to see is that their master (the holder of the purse strings, the research grants, and the tenured professorships) is still the “state religion”—no longer Galileo’s Roman Catholic Church, but now the atheistic secular-humanist establishment. Cross them, and you can kiss your funding goodbye.
Bear in mind that the only reason we’re discussing “climate change” at all here is its presumed relationship to the energy issues upon which our mobile, electricity-dependent way of life depend. Note, however, that God never promised that His blessings would include fast cars, airplanes, computers, cell phones, and a plethora of kitchen appliances. Yes, the angel told Daniel that at the time of the end, “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” (Daniel 12:4) but God’s foreknowledge of future events doesn’t imply His proactive involvement, only His permission. Alas, man’s inclination to follow God has not improved with the advent of modern mobility and communication technology. Quite the opposite, it would appear.
I’m not saying that harnessing energy for the benefit of mankind is a bad thing. Like so many other factors, it is spiritually neutral—what we do with it is up to us. There is something to be said for not having to spend every waking moment providing ourselves with food, water, and shelter. I, for one, would hate to have to go back to writing with a quill on parchment. (I’m slow enough as it is.) I like my computerized research tools, my air conditioning, and my ergonomic chair. I like being able to trade emails with friends I’ve never actually met in Nigeria, Brazil, or Australia. I like the idea of publishing my thoughts on the Internet, free to anyone who wants to read them. “Progress” isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but too often, we waste the free time it gives us—time that might have been better used helping others than amusing ourselves.
But such ruminations are rather beside the point. Our energy-hungry labor saving devices, communication tools, and mobility machines are a fact of life. We can’t un-invent them. They are the products of the creative nature within man, part of what it means to have been “made in the image and likeness of God: ingenuity, insight, the entrepreneurial spirit, and industrial endeavor. And like it or not, industry (in the real world) runs on fuel.
We have briefly perused both sides of the argument. The liberal-progressives insist that our use of CO2-generating fossil fuels is causing global warming (excuse me, now it’s “climate change”) and if we don’t stop, we will destroy the earth. The ice caps will melt, the seas will rise, the ocean currents will stop dead in their tracks, and all life on earth will eventually grind to a halt. All because you want to drive a Chevy Suburban instead of a Honda Prius. The solutions they propose, however, don’t exactly address the problem. You’d think they’d be lobbying for a return to a simple horse-drawn agrarian society, where no fuel was burned and no resources were expended. But no—they would never advocate something that entailed giving up their cell phones.
Instead, one faction advocates killing upwards of ninety percent of the humans on the planet—so the ten percent who are left can have a fighting chance. Another faction plans to sell “carbon credits” to rich polluters. According to the brochure, “the goal is to allow market mechanisms to drive industrial and commercial processes in the direction of low emissions or less carbon intensive approaches than those used when there is no cost to emitting carbon dioxide and other GHGs into the atmosphere. Since GHG mitigation projects generate credits, this approach can be used to finance carbon reduction schemes between trading partners and around the world.”—Wikipedia. In reality, the idea is promulgated so that (1) the ruling elite can redistribute more of the world’s wealth to themselves, (2) only the privileged few will be able to afford to burn fossil fuels, and (3) the poor underclass can be kept in their place.
Conservatives, meanwhile, tend to take the opposite tack. Their tack: if the science behind the global warming agenda doesn’t hold up, don’t impoverish yourself trying to fix something that isn’t really a problem. If industry needs energy, support the production of the most efficient and plentiful sources of energy—at the moment, fossil fuels. Do what’s logical, what’s practical, what’s efficient. If fossil fuel resources are finite (and only a fool would assume they’re not) then devote a portion of the profits of your endeavor toward developing logical and practical energy solutions for future generations.
At least, that’s how I see it.
Has it occurred to anybody but me that, at least as far as our work ethic is concerned, the political labels we use are completely backward? Those called “conservative” are actually pro-growth, pro-innovation, and pro-progress. They tend to be against excessive government regulation and overbearing top-down control—which in reality defines them as being “liberal.” Meanwhile, those labeled “liberals” or “progressives” are nothing of the sort: they thrive on conformity, regulation, and repression of the entrepreneurial spirit—forsaking equality of opportunity in favor of equality of result. Because their methods stifle progress, they are actually working to conserve the status quo.
But excuse my rant. We are on the trail of an answer as to which camp has the facts on its side. So far (it seems to me) the climate-change camp has offered little but fancy statistical footwork and sincere assurances from a government who (let’s face it) has proven to be, shall we say, less than forthright in the past. The hard data seem to be falling on the side of the “drill-baby-drill” crowd. But the day is yet young. Let us consult a few more sources.
Rense.com published an article (December 9, 2009) entitled “Ten Facts & Ten Myths on Climate Change,” by Professor Robert M. Carter, a Research Professor at James Cook University, Queensland, Australia and the University of Adelaide (South Australia). He is a palaeontologist, stratigrapher, marine geologist and environmental scientist with more than thirty years professional experience. It seems to me, his “ten facts” are not earthshaking new revelations, but merely things about which we could all stand to be reminded from time to time—they are, for the most part, self-evident (or at least, easily researched).
Fact #1. “Climate has always changed, and it always will. The assumption that prior to the industrial revolution the Earth had a ‘stable’ climate is simply wrong. The only sensible thing to do about climate change is to prepare for it.” The evidence is widespread and plentiful, from Antarctic ice cores, to glacial moraines left over from previous ice ages, to evidence of bygone tropical vegetation in Arctic Siberia, to 16th Century little-ice-age paintings by Pieter Bruegel.
Fact #2. “Accurate temperature measurements made from weather balloons and satellites since the late 1950s show no atmospheric warming since 1958. In contrast, averaged ground-based thermometers record a warming of about 0.4°C over the same time period. Many scientists believe that the thermometer record is biased by the Urban Heat Island effect and other artefacts.” And if you’ll recall, Stephen Goddard’s research, referenced above, demonstrates that real temperature readings in the U.S. (i.e., not computer-model fantasies) have not risen since their peak in the 1930s. If you’re selective with your statistics, you can “prove” pretty much anything you want.
Fact #3. “Despite the expenditure of more than US$50 billion dollars looking for it since 1990, no unambiguous anthropogenic (human) signal has been identified in the global temperature pattern.” Gee, that’s even more than the $2.5 million we’ve been wasting every year since 1960 looking for little green men from outer space with the SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) program. Apparently, if secular humanists feel the need to prop up their sagging atheistic presuppositions in this country, no expense will be spared. I just wish they’d do it with their own money, instead of mine.
Fact #4. Without the greenhouse effect, the average surface temperature on Earth would be -18.0°C (-22.4°F) rather than the equable +15.0°C (59°F) that has nurtured the development of life.” Were it not for plate tectonics, spawning volcanoes that have spewed millions of tons of greenhouse gasses like CO2 and water vapor into our atmosphere, this would be a cold, dead planet. From where I sit, it appears that God has this whole climate thing balanced on a razor’s edge. He made the earth specifically for our habitation (see Isaiah 45:18). “Carbon dioxide is a minor greenhouse gas, responsible for ~26% of the total greenhouse effect, of which in turn at most 25% can be attributed to carbon dioxide contributed by human activity. Water vapor, contributing at least 70% of the effect, is by far the most important atmospheric greenhouse gas.” Did you get that? Only about 1/16 of the total greenhouse effect on this planet is caused by human activity. And yet, for some reason, we don’t see any push among the progressives to ban water.
Fact #5. “On both annual (1 year) and geological (up to 100,000 year) time scales, changes in atmospheric temperature precede changes in CO2. Carbon dioxide therefore cannot be the primary forcing agent for temperature increase (though increasing CO2 does cause a diminishingly mild positive temperature feedback).” In other words, even if carbon dioxide emissions are somehow related to global warming, the government scientists have confused cause with effect.
Fact #6. “The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has acted as the main scaremonger for the global warming lobby that led to the Kyoto Protocol. The IPCC is a political, not scientific, body.” Its fatal flaw is that it is driven not by science, but by a strictly political (and leftist) agenda. There is money to be made here, and power to be grasped. Never let a crisis go to waste, even if you have to invent it yourself. “Hendrik Tennekes, a retired Director of Research at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, says that ‘the IPCC review process is fatally flawed’ and that ‘the IPCC wilfully ignores the paradigm shift created by the foremost meteorologist of the twentieth century, Edward Lorenz.’” The reference is to “chaos theory,” or “the butterfly effect,” in which a seemingly insignificant “cause” in one place sets off a chain of unpredictable events that can produce an unexpected (and apparently unrelated) “effect” in another.
Fact #7. “The Kyoto Protocol will cost many trillions of dollars and exercises a significant impost those countries that signed it, but will deliver no significant cooling (less than .02°C by 2050, assuming that all commitments are met).” It’s worth noting that signatories to the protocol saddled with no current binding carbon emission reduction targets include all of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, India, China, Russia, and Southeast Asia. (The United States has signed, but does not intend to ratify the Protocol.) The only places with binding targets are the European Union, Greenland, and Australia—leaving China and India free to pollute with abandon, laughing all the way to the bank. “The Russian Academy of Sciences says that Kyoto has no scientific basis; Andre Illarianov, senior advisor to Russian president Putin, calls Kyoto-ism ‘one of the most aggressive, intrusive, destructive ideologies since the collapse of communism and fascism.’” Perhaps it’s merely communo-fascism’s new façade. After all, you can’t really kill an idea like that without taking its author out of the picture: Satan remains (for the moment) free to mess with us.
Fact #8. “Climate change is a non-linear (chaotic) process, some parts of which are only dimly or not at all understood. No deterministic computer model will ever be able to make an accurate prediction of climate 100 years into the future.” The single biggest factor, solar activity, is never factored in (since there’s nothing puny humans can do about it anyway). This fact alone automatically makes every computer climate model a farce.
Fact #9. “Not surprisingly, therefore, experts in computer modelling agree also that no current (or likely near-future) climate model is able to make accurate predictions of regional climate change.” You can get “climate scientists” to issue warnings about global warming because their funding depends on doing so. But their data is based on computer models that have been declared unreliable by the very people who generated them. Does that bother anybody but me?
Fact #10. “The biggest untruth about human global warming is the assertion that nearly all scientists agree that it is occurring, and at a dangerous rate.” In the section above, we explored how the vaunted “97% consensus” was reached (or should I say, perpetrated), coming to the conclusion that the “consensus” was actually for something very different than the blanket concept that man-caused CO2-based global warming is a threat to the earth. Beware of statisticians with agendas. “The reality is that almost every aspect of climate science is the subject of vigorous debate. Further, thousands of qualified scientists worldwide have signed declarations which (1) query the evidence for hypothetical human-caused warming and (2) support a rational scientific (not emotional) approach to its study within the context of known natural climate change.”
Professor Carter then goes on to list ten commonly believed global warming myths—providing corresponding data intended to correct the record.
Myth #1. “Average global temperature (AGT) has increased over the last few years.” (The fact is that “within error bounds, AGT has not increased since 1995 and has declined since 2002, despite an increase in atmospheric CO2 of 8% since 1995.”)
Myth #2. “During the late 20th Century, AGT increased at a dangerously fast rate and reached an unprecedented magnitude. (The fact is that “the late 20th century AGT rise was at a rate of 1-2.0°C/century, which lies well within natural rates of climate change for the last 10,000 years. The average global temperature has been several degrees warmer than today many times in the recent geological past.”)
Myth #3. “AGT was relatively unchanging in pre-industrial times, has sky-rocketed since 1900, and will increase by several degrees more over the next 100 years (as per the Mann, Bradley & Hughes ‘hockey stick’ curve and its computer extrapolation).” (The fact is that “the Mann et al. curve has been exposed as a statistical contrivance. There is no convincing evidence that past climate was unchanging, nor that 20th century changes in AGT were unusual, nor that dangerous human warming is underway.”)
Myth #4. “Computer models predict that AGT will increase by up to 6.0°C over the next 100 years.” (The fact is that “deterministic computer models do so. But other equally valid (empirical) computer models predict cooling.”)
Myth #5. “Warming of more than 2.0°C will have catastrophic effects on ecosystems and mankind alike.” (The fact is that “a 2.0°C change would be well within previous natural bounds. Ecosystems have been adapting to such changes since time immemorial… Mankind can and does adapt to all climate extremes.”)
Myth #6. “Further human addition of CO2 to the atmosphere will cause dangerous warming, and is generally harmful.” (The fact is that “no human-caused warming can yet be detected that is distinct from natural system variation and noise. Any additional human-caused warming which occurs will probably amount to less than 1.0°C. Atmospheric CO2 is a beneficial fertilizer for plants, including especially cereal crops, and also aids efficient evapo-transpiration.”) That is, plants take in CO2 and exhale oxygen. Without atmospheric carbon dioxide, all life on earth would die.
Myth #7. “Changes in solar activity cannot explain recent changes in AGT.” (The fact is that “the sun’s output varies in several ways on many time scales (including the 11-, 22- and 80-year solar cycles), with concomitant effects on Earth’s climate. While changes in visible radiation are small, changes in particle flux and magnetic field are known to exercise a strong climatic effect. More than 50% of the 0.80°C rise in AGT observed during the 20th century can be attributed to solar change.”)
Myth #8. “Unprecedented melting of ice is taking place in both the north and south polar regions.” (The fact is that “both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are growing in thickness and cooling at their summit. Sea ice around Antarctica attained a record area in 2007. Temperatures in the Arctic region are just now achieving the levels of natural warmth experienced during the early 1940s, and the region was warmer still (sea-ice free) during earlier times.”) I would add that after the article was written, government climate scientists were hysterically predicting that the north polar ice cap would have completely melted by the end of 2013. What actually happened was that cooler temperatures added a million square miles of arctic ice by the autumn of that year. The only remotely plausible explanation for this is the unexpectedly weak sunspot cycle during what was expected to be a normal eleven-year solar activity peak. This was, by the way, during a period when global CO2 emissions (mostly from China and India) continued to rise precipitously.
Myth #9. “Human-caused global warming is causing dangerous global sea-level (SL) rise.” (The fact is that “sea level change differs from time to time and place to place; between 1955 and 1996, for example, the sea level at Tuvalu fell by 105 mm (2.5 mm/yr). Global average SL is a statistical measure of no value for environmental planning purposes. A global average SL rise of 1-2 mm/yr occurred naturally over the last 150 years, and shows no sign of human-influenced increase.”) Another factor that seems to have occurred to nobody but me: we live on a planet whose landmasses are defined by plate tectonics. Everything is in motion, albeit so slowly glaciers look quick in comparison. Add to that the constantly pulsing tidal pull of the moon’s gravitational field, and the elevation of one piece of coastline in relation to the nearby sea level becomes a ridiculously poor metric for gauging the effects of climate change. But as with solar flares and sunspots, there’s no money to be made (or political power to be grasped) in trying to stop continental drift. CO2, however—that can be taxed. Hence the politically popular fiction of carbon-caused climate change.
Myth #10. “The late 20th Century increase in average global temperature caused an increase in the number of severe storms (cyclones), or in storm intensity.” (The fact is that “meteorological experts are agreed that no increase in storms has occurred beyond that associated with natural variation of the climate system.”) If you’ll recall, we covered this subject in detail in Appendix 7: “Earth Sciences and Beyond.”
At the risk of appearing to beat a dead horse, allow me to quote from a Forbes.com article by Peter Ferrara (May 31, 2012) entitled “Sorry, Global Warming Alarmists, The Earth Is Cooling.” He writes, “Check out the 20th century temperature record, and you will find that its up and down pattern does not follow the industrial revolution’s upward march of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), which is the supposed central culprit for man-caused global warming (and has been much, much higher in the past). It follows instead the up and down pattern of naturally caused climate cycles.
“For example, temperatures dropped steadily from the late 1940s to the late 1970s. The popular press was even talking about a coming ice age. Ice ages have cyclically occurred roughly every 10,000 years, with a new one actually due around now. In the late 1970s, the natural cycles turned warm and temperatures rose until the late 1990s, a trend that political and economic interests have tried to milk mercilessly to their advantage. The incorruptible satellite-measured global atmospheric temperatures show less warming during this period than the heavily manipulated land surface temperatures.
“Central to these natural cycles is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Every 25 to 30 years the oceans undergo a natural cycle where the colder water below churns to replace the warmer water at the surface, and that affects global temperatures by the fractions of a degree we have seen. The PDO was cold from the late 1940s to the late 1970s, and it was warm from the late 1970s to the late 1990s, similar to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO).
“In 2000, the UN’s IPCC predicted that global temperatures would rise by 1 degree Celsius by 2010. Was that based on climate science, or political science to scare the public into accepting costly anti-industrial regulations and taxes? Don Easterbrook, Professor Emeritus of Geology at Western Washington University, knew the answer. He publicly predicted in 2000 that global temperatures would decline by 2010. He made that prediction because he knew the PDO had turned cold in 1999, something the political scientists at the UN’s IPCC did not know or did not think significant….
“Easterbrook shows that by 2010 the 2000 prediction of the IPCC was wrong by well over a degree, and the gap was widening. That’s a big miss for a forecast just 10 years away, when the same folks expect us to take seriously their predictions for 100 years in the future…. Because PDO cycles last 25 to 30 years, Easterbrook expects the cooling trend to continue for another 2 decades or so. Easterbrook, in fact, documents 40 such alternating periods of warming and cooling over the past 500 years, with similar data going back 15,000 years. He further expects the flipping of the ADO to add to the current downward trend.
“But that is not all. We are also currently experiencing a surprisingly long period with very low sunspot activity. That is associated in the earth’s history with even lower, colder temperatures. The pattern was seen during a period known as the Dalton Minimum from 1790 to 1830, which saw temperature readings decline by 2 degrees in a 20 year period, and the noted Year-Without-A-Summer in 1816 (which may have had other contributing short term causes [like volcanic eruptions]). Even worse was the period known as the Maunder Minimum from 1645 to 1715, which saw only about 50 sunspots during one 30 year period within the cycle, compared to a typical 40,000 to 50,000 sunspots during such periods in modern times. The Maunder Minimum coincided with the coldest part of the Little Ice Age, which the earth suffered from about 1350 to 1850. The Maunder Minimum saw sharply reduced agricultural output, and widespread human suffering, disease and premature death.”
As the facts debunking the “global warming / climate change” myth continue to pile up, the “scientific establishment,” rather than facing the facts (and kissing their funding goodbye) has become something of a witch-hunting cult. At least, such is the opinion of The Weekly Standard, in their June 16, 2014 article entitled “Climate Cultists—Has the desperate global warming crusade reached its Waterloo?”
Steven F. Hayward writes, “The climate change crusaders, who have been at it for a quarter-century, appear to be going clinically mad. Start with the rhetorical monotony and worship of authority (“97 percent of all scientists agree!”), add the Salem witch trial-style intimidation and persecution of dissenters, and the categorical demand that debate about science or policy is over because the matter is settled, and you have the profile of a cult-like sectarianism that has descended into paranoia and reflexive bullying. Never mind the scattered and not fully suppressed findings of climate scientists that the narrative of catastrophic global warming is overstated, like nearly every previous predicted environmental apocalypse. It matters not. The recent crescendo of scary government climate reports and dutiful media alarm has paved the way for the Obama administration to throw its weight around in ways that would make Woodrow Wilson blush….”
“The environmental community is so deeply invested in looming catastrophe that it’s difficult to envision a scientific result that would alter their cult-like bearing. Rather than reflect, they deflect, blaming the Koch brothers, the fossil fuel industry, and Republican ‘climate deniers’ for their own lack of political progress. Yet organized opposition to climate change fanaticism is tiny compared with the swollen staffs and huge marketing budgets of the major environmental organizations, not to mention the government agencies around the world that have thrown in with them on the issue. The main energy trade associations seldom speak up about climate science controversies. The major conservative think tanks have no climate change programs to speak of…. The total budgets for all of these efforts would probably not add up to a month’s spending by just the Sierra Club. And yet we are to believe that this comparatively small effort has kept the climate change agenda at bay. It certainly keeps climateers in an uproar.
“Instead of confronting the fact that their cause has foundered mostly of its own dead weight—and the sheer fantasy of proposals for near-term replacement of hydrocarbon energy—the climate campaigners have steadily ratcheted up their bad-faith arguments and grasping authoritarianism. The result is a catalogue of exaggerated claims and appalling clichés, the most egregious being the refrain that ‘97 percent of scientists “believe in” climate change.’ [You’ll recall that we examined above how this disingenuous statistic was invented.] This dubious talking point elides seamlessly into the implication that scientists should strive for unanimity and link arms in full support of the environmentalists’ carbon-suppression agenda….
“It is clear that the climate establishment has become as narrowly intolerant as any department of gender studies on a college campus, and for much the same reason. The frenetic publicity campaigns of recent months—the hyped reports of imminent climate catastrophe and the serial exaggerations of the prognosis of the West Antarctic ice sheet, polar bear numbers, extreme weather events, and so forth—were designed to provide unstoppable momentum behind the Obama administration’s remarkable assertion of executive power unveiled on June 2 (2014): regulations aimed at putting coal-fired electricity in the course of ultimate extinction in the United States.
“Using the authority of the Clean Air Act improvidently granted by the Supreme Court in 2007, the EPA is proposing a 30 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by the year 2030. But the proposal masks a lot of mischief…. The EPA has taken great care to construct a complicated scheme that provides plausible deniability that they are targeting coal, even though everyone knows that is the object of the exercise. The centerpiece of the scheme is a different carbon-intensity standard for each state based on its current energy profile…. The EPA strategy will constrict the economic prospects of coal-fired power such that utilities will simply shut down coal plants on their own. And if states like Indiana and Ohio calculate that the easiest way to reach their targets is to buy emissions credits from other states through a cap and trade scheme, it will amount to a wealth transfer mostly from red states to the blue states that have gone whole hog for renewable energy subsidies.
“What will it all cost? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce puts the price tag at more than $50 billion a year, while the EPA and environmentalists preposterously claim the scheme will actually reduce energy costs for consumers, even though they can’t point to a single state where their vaunted renewables have reduced energy costs. To the contrary, most states with aggressive renewable energy plans have higher than average electricity rates….
“The cruel irony for the climateers is that the more they hype the apocalypse of future climate change, the more farcically inadequate are their proposed remedies. Global primary energy demand is going to double over the next generation, and there is no one who thinks hydrocarbons—especially coal—aren’t going to play a large role in providing this energy, especially in developing nations. While the EPA tries to shut down most or all of our more than 500 remaining coal plants, there are currently more than 1,000 coal plants under construction elsewhere in the world. If catastrophic climate change is somewhere in our future, the only serious remedy is to deploy new sources of affordable and abundant non- or low-carbon energy. The EPA plan does little in service of a serious energy transition; to the contrary, to the extent that it props up the inferior current renewable technologies such as wind, solar, and biomass, it will retard serious efforts to develop breakthrough energy sources.
“The real “deniers” today are the climateers who refuse to consider that their case for catastrophe has weakened even as they promote unserious solutions that do little or nothing to stimulate the genuine energy transition they say they want. Their default position continues to be simpleminded exaggeration or distortion of every possible angle for political gain.
“The best opinion polls from Pew and Gallup show that the public doesn’t buy it and is suffering from a case of ‘apocalypse fatigue.’ The rank politicization of the issue and the relentless demonization of any critics within the scientific community are a catastrophe for science and debilitating for serious deliberation about policy. But the left is so far gone into climate madness, and the Democratic party so beholden to its green faction, that they are likely to persist in their inordinate fear of the Keystone pipeline, natural gas fracking, and the extraordinary revival of American oil production, all of which, in a relatively unmolested market, would tend to displace coal. Absent an unusual level of political resolve from Congress, the climate campaign may yet succeed in hobbling the electric power sector in America. That would be a high price to pay for indulging a fanatical movement that in every other respect must be reckoned a pernicious failure.”
As usual, we must enquire as to why the “climateers” (as Hayward calls them) would want to push such an obviously disastrous—nationally suicidal—agenda on the American public. Bankrupting the nation (as their program, fully implemented, is guaranteed to do) serves no one—not even them. Emasculating America (the one constant goal of the Obama administration) makes the whole world unstable, like ripping a ship’s anchor from its moorings. The progressive left’s most optimistic “scientists” openly admit (as we saw above) that even if the Kyoto protocols were carried out to the letter, and even if our EPA’s suicidal regulations were implemented completely, no significant progress would be made in cooling the earth—which is their stated objective—never mind what the thermometer says, and never mind that there is no reliable causal correlation between atmospheric CO2 and average global temperature.
This is not the same thing as determining why people say they want to stop environmental pollution. Any sane person would prefer to live with clean air and clean water, in an environment that promotes health and wellness, with fertile lands and robust oceans. The atheist’s utopian ideal (as far as the environment is concerned) looks pretty much like the Christian’s scripture-based vision of the Millennial Kingdom. The disagreement is only about how to bring about these worthy goals.
At one end of the spectrum, the hyper-Greenpeace idealist dreams of banning all fuels, fossil and nuclear, and using only power derived from “renewable” sources like the sun, wind, tides, and the heat of the earth’s core—things that leave no carbon footprint. Why? Because it is taken as an article of faith that CO2 is pure evil—that it heats up the earth, melts the ice caps, kills the polar bears, and poisons the oceans—though the actual data support none of these assertions. Another unwarranted assumption embraced by this group is that fossil fuels—oil and coal—are the primary source of atmospheric CO2 on this planet, so killing these industries will solve the problem and save the environment.
The fact that it’s just not true is not considered: they have been assured by their politicians that “the science is settled” and that “consensus has been reached.” It has not, not even remotely. (Illogically, the use of biofuels like ethanol from corn or other plants is embraced by the environmentalists, though these too release CO2 into the air, and their creation is ridiculously inefficient, consuming about 70% of energy produced.) Practicality, reason, and logic are not part of the progressive formula. They operate instead on wishful thinking, blind faith (i.e., faith in nothing), and unfounded optimism.
Conservatives too want clean air and all the rest. Like the greenies, they cringe when they look at the Beijing sky, slow-flowing sewers like the Ganges River, or decaying cities like Detroit (okay, the greenies’ political soul-mates, the liberal left, caused that disaster), and they dream of finding solutions. Clearly, the rape of the planet is an unsustainable strategy: thoughtful, logical, fact-based strategies are badly needed. But they look at the data concerning the non-existent causal connection between global warming and fossil fuels and conclude that the real problem lies elsewhere. Yes, great care and responsibility are needed when harvesting and utilizing the earth’s mineral bounty, but saying “Thanks, God, but no thanks—your gifts stink” is not in the conservatives’ vocabulary.
The two groups remind me of the Israelites of the exodus. Today’s radical environmentalists are like the first generation—those who sent spies into the Land, the majority of whom came back with hyped, exaggerated tales of “giants in the Land.” They refused to receive the grapes, figs, and pomegranates of the land of milk and honey—and their ungratefulness toward God manifested itself in a slow death in the wilderness. But our Conservatives remind me of Joshua’s generation—those who, even knowing the challenges set before them, determined to meet them head on in Yahweh’s strength and with His guidance. Did they screw up? Yes, once or twice—okay, dozens of times. But as long as they kept their eyes on the God who had given the Land to their ancestor Abraham in response to his faithfulness, they enjoyed the bounty of the Promised Land. The funny thing is, their parents had been right (sort of): there were giants in the land, powerful armies to defeat, and a whole new way of life to get used to. But they had also been wrong. The problems were not insurmountable, as long as they followed Yahweh’s instructions. How had they managed to forget about His miraculous deliverance at the Red Sea?
Listen, America: we’ve got a choice. Either thankfully receive the bounty of oil, gas, and coal that Yahweh has bequeathed to us, being faithful and responsible stewards of these riches, or perish in poverty in a wilderness of our own imagination.
So I’ll repeat my original question: why do America’s radical environmentalists persist in pushing an anti-coal, anti-oil agenda, even though their success (if they ever fully achieved it) would spell the demise of the nation? I’ll offer a short list of possible motivations. I should preface my remarks by noting that self-destructive behavior is nothing new—it has been an ingredient endemic in the human condition since before we left the Garden. That being said, people invariably find ways to convince themselves that the stupid things they do are right and proper: we are masters of self-deception and self-justification.
1. It’s pretty obvious that America’s status as a post-Christian nation has a lot to do with it. Although the atheistic secular humanists who are running the show these days hate to admit it, man is a “religious” animal. That is, it is in our nature to worship something. When we turn our backs on Yahweh, the God of the Bible and the Creator of the Universe (as the majority of “us” have), we will naturally try to fill the aching void in our lives with something else. For the run of the mill secular humanist, that would be himself, both as an individual and as a species. It’s the classic blunder: worshiping the creature in place of the Creator.
But for those who hate the idea of God but still can’t get past the idea that there’s something “larger” than man (who has, let’s face it, proved himself to be self-destructive and morally corrupt more often than not—traits no mere animal ever displayed) the concept of “Mother Nature” is invoked. It’s not that “she” is personified as a goddess (usually), but, like any pagan deity, Nature is conceived to be both source and servant. That is, we would not be here without it/her, but men (being at the top of the food chain) have the power to destroy her, as well as a responsibility to save her. It’s a total cognitive disconnect.
This illogical thought process of today’s Earth-worshipers reminds me of the relationship of the pagan Ephesians to their favorite deity, Diana (one of dozens of ancient permutations of the Babylonian Semiramis). The idol-making silversmiths of Ephesus complained, “‘This Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands. So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.’ Now when they heard this, they were full of wrath and cried out, saying, ‘Great is Diana of the Ephesians!’” (Acts 19:26-28) Somehow, they couldn’t see the irony of worshiping a goddess who needed their enthusiastic defense in order to survive.
The prophet Isaiah pointed out the same illogical proclivity: “Bel and Nebo, the gods of Babylon, bow as they are lowered to the ground. They are being hauled away on ox carts. The poor beasts stagger under the weight. Both the idols and their owners are bowed down. The gods cannot protect the people, and the people cannot protect the gods. They go off into captivity together.” (Isaiah 46:1-2, NLT)
Today’s Earth-worshipers are like that. Since (according to the brochure) life appeared spontaneously and evolved ever upward ever since without direction, intelligence, or divine intervention, Mother Nature must be a powerful force, even though she isn’t real—having no life, sentience, personality, or volition of her own. But at the same time, she is so fragile and vulnerable, she needs our protection—mostly from ourselves. The odds against man (or any other living thing) happening by accident are beyond astronomical; yet here we are. But because God is disallowed (since they don’t like the idea of being morally culpable) we must be the product of random chance. So, as the theory goes, life’s accidental presence is “miraculous” enough already: the cosmic dice could never land so fortuitously again, especially since there’s no one to roll them. Thus it is up to man to preserve his “god,” nature.
I know. It doesn’t make any sense to me, either. And it still doesn’t explain why they would fabricate climate data, name a villain (CO2) who, though a plausible suspect, has been cleared of (almost) all the charges in the court of scientific inquiry, and then punish only a handful of nations for “aiding and abetting” this criminal—leaving the whole rest of the world “unindicted co-conspirators.” The fact is, since Og the caveman discovered fire, every human has contributed to the earth’s carbon footprint. It therefore makes no sense to single out America and Europe as carbon culprits when China and India are blackening the sky with the stuff—without repercussion.
So perhaps there’s more to it than simple pagan Earth worship.
2. Simple environmental concern (something in which we should all participate) would encourage finding real solutions to our anthropogenic pollution crisis, not fabricating data designed to pin the tail of blame on a donkey of our own imagination—atmospheric CO2. (I mean, at least the global elite have a point in expressing their desire to kill 90% of the world’s population so the planet will have a fighting chance. Attributing climate change to CO2, on the other hand, is like blaming the Jews for Hitler’s holocaust simply because they were there.) So the conspiracy theorist in me smells an ulterior motive for waging a war on fuel (at least in America), in which hydrocarbons clearly aren’t the global-warming culprit they’re made out to be.
Since liberal politicians are the only ones pushing the global warming myth, it seems to me that there are two possible explanations for their actions—their motives are either philosophical or financial. If philosophical, this could turn out to be a corollary to the back-door communist plot proposed by Cloward and Piven. In case you’re not familiar with this concept, “The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven that called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a national system of ‘a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty.’ Cloward and Piven were a married couple who were both professors at the Columbia University School of Social Work. The strategy was formulated in a May 1966 article in the liberal magazine The Nation titled ‘The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty.’”—Wikipedia.
The concept was a product of the Johnson-era “great society.” It was hatched at time in which all three branches of our government were dominated by Democrats, (though admittedly, Democrats in the 1960s weren’t as uniformly leftist as they are today). Cloward and Piven realized that their blatantly Marxist manifesto might be “too much” for even the left-wing activists of their day. They wrote, “The ultimate objective of this strategy—to wipe out poverty by establishing a guaranteed annual income—will be questioned by some. Because the ideal of individual social and economic mobility has deep roots, even activists seem reluctant to call for national programs to eliminate poverty by the outright redistribution of income.” Anybody with a brain in their head (and a firm grip on history) knows that the redistribution of income as a strategy for ending poverty doesn’t work—and indeed, can’t work as long as actual human beings are involved. The Soviets tried it for seventy years and it was an utter failure.
But the Cloward-Piven strategy is all about welfare and poverty. What does it have to do with climate change? Nothing directly, but the heart of the strategy is to crash the system so a new socialist utopia can arise from the ashes, unhindered by inconvenient capitalist economic theories, reactionary conservative principles, and the “opiate” (as Lenin put it) of Judeo-Christian morality. What if the same strategy were to be applied to energy issues? What if a way could be found to squelch the development of America’s most abundant and practical fuel resources and substitute them with inefficient, unreliable, and expensive energy sources? If one were able to accomplish this to the proper degree, the energy infrastructure of the country would collapse, just as the load on the welfare system precipitated the near-bankruptcy of major cities like New York and Detroit.
But in order to achieve this dubious goal, you would have to find a common enemy, a straw man that could function as the focus of the establishment’s hype and hysteria, serving to make the inefficient alternatives look good in comparison. Enter the “fall guy,” CO2, a relatively innocent gas (when compared with such pollutants as anthropogenic sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides, etc.). If one’s goal were to destroy America, it would be hard to imagine a better “villain” upon which to project the failures of our society.
3. Follow the money. The “solution” to this imaginary problem is an idea that refuses to die, though it has been “slain” several times in the past. And it introduces us to the second possible motive for pushing an anti-CO2 global warming agenda when no real causal connection exists—and the scientists know it. That motive is greed. Truly it was written, “The love of money is a root of all sorts of evil.” (I Timothy 6:10)
This “dragon” that has been repeatedly slain in this country, and yet continues to arise from the dead, is the idea of selling (or trading) carbon credits—the so-called “cap and trade” system. One “global electronic trading platform serving the compliance and voluntary carbon markets” (their terminology) is CarbonTradeXchange.com, which explains in plain English (more or less) what it’s all about. First, a definition of the “unit” itself: “A carbon credit represents one ton of carbon dioxide equivalent either removed, avoided or sequestered.” They offer the following Q&A session to help us learn the lay of the land:
“How are carbon credits created?
“The carbon market can be divided into two: the voluntary market and the regulatory (compliance) market. In the compliance market, carbon credits are generated by projects that operate under one of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) approved mechanisms such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).” There’s our first clue: this is a U.N.-driven scheme. The whole point, therefore, is to bring all of the world’s peoples and nations together under one political umbrella—an all-powerful entity some would call the New World Order. The only thing preventing this from becoming reality is the collective incompetence of the United Nations. But if you’ll recall, my conclusion from studying prophetic scripture was that the U.N. will fall under the spell—not to mention control—of the Antichrist. I believe the famous “covenant with many” of Daniel 9:27—the event that will serve as the starting gun for the Tribulation proper—will most likely be a United Nations resolution. This isn’t really about saving the planet. It’s about power and money—as usual.
Anyway, “Credits generated under this mechanism are known as Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs)…. Carbon credits differ from carbon allowances although the term carbon credit is interchangeably used to represent both. Although in most cases they both represent one ton of carbon dioxide equivalent, allowances do not originate from carbon projects but are allocated to companies under a ‘cap and trade’ system such as the EU Emissions Trading Scheme—therefore, they represent the right to emit.” Did you catch that? You can, under this system, buy the right to pollute, to spew CO2 into the air—to cause (gasp!) global warming. So in reality, this has little or nothing to do with reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide, but rather is simply a scheme designed to redistribute wealth from the richer nations and companies to the poorer ones—making the middlemen as rich as Croesus in the process, of course.
“How do carbon credits impact global emissions?
“Carbon credits are an immediate answer to reducing the amount of Green House Gas (GHGs) emissions in the atmosphere.” Their own “right to emit” policy outline above would beg to differ. “The generation and sale of carbon credits funds carbon projects which would not have gone ahead [otherwise, at least in theory]. Carbon credits also help lower the costs of renewable and low carbon technologies as well as assisting in the technology transfer to developing countries.” Again, it’s taking away wealth (this time in the form of technological assistance) from people who have built their worlds with ingenuity, investment, and sacrifice, and “transferring it” to those who have done nothing to earn it. It’s Marxism on steroids, designed to reduce the whole world to a moribund state of dystopia—an equality of poverty.
“What are the different types of carbon projects?
“Carbon credits can be generated from various types of projects including:
1. “Renewable energy: a switch from fossil fuels to a ‘clean’ energy e.g. wind and solar energy.” The Obama administration threw hundreds of billions of dollars—borrowed dollars—at such green boondoggles, only to see them fail, one by one. Why? Because they just can’t compete with fossil fuels on a level playing field. The socialists, as usual, are attempting to engineer outcomes according to their philosophical proclivities, rather than merely ensuring fairness.
2. “Forestation and afforestation: The planting of new trees, as trees sequester and store CO2 (e.g. forest regeneration).” As long as you’re so all-fired anxious to rule the world, how about beginning by doing something to stop the rape of the rainforests—the source (as we have seen) of fully half the total anthropomorphic CO2 emissions in the world today.
3. “Energy efficiency: reducing emissions though an increase in energy efficiency, e.g. installation of energy-efficient machinery.” Any capitalist could agree with this, as far as it goes. Efficiency is usually a good thing. But stealing from me so you can buy a fuel-efficient truck for somebody on another continent isn’t exactly my definition of “being efficient.”
4. “Methane capture: avoiding methane emissions through capture and burning to create energy, e.g. landfill methane capture.” Landfill design and construction is an area where great technological strides have been made over the past few decades. As organic waste biodegrades, methane and other gasses are released, so it’s a good thing if we can capture the methane and use it as fuel: win-win. It’s worth noting, however, that one of the biggest unharnessed sources of methane being released into the atmosphere is from bovine respiration—cow burps (not to mention gaseous emissions from the other end). It makes one wonder about the methane level in Liberal-Progressive brain farts.
5. “Project eligibility for carbon credits depends on whether a project follows one of the Kyoto Protocol’s project-based mechanisms or an independent voluntary standard.” Again, we are reminded that they’re not interested in environmental responsibility per se as much as in the appearance of progress, administered through the politically correct uneven playing field of the Kyoto environmental standards. As I said, it’s all about the exercise of power and the seizing of other people’s money. Somehow, I don’t think I’ll be awarded any “carbon credits” for “sequestering” the carbon in the woods surrounding my home by not cutting down the trees.
How are carbon credits issued?
“All projects listed on CTX are certified, verified and registered, ensuring that actual emission reductions take place before the credits are issued thus providing a secure and transparent environment for carbon trading. The process of getting credits issued varies depending on the credit type i.e. (CERs vs. VERs). However, below is a very general overview of the process a project developer needs to follow before credits can be issued:
1. “The selection of an approved methodology which quantifies the GHG benefits of a project. 2. The development of a Project Design Document (PDD) which describes the whole project in detail including the project crediting period and the demonstration of ‘additionality.’ 3. An independent auditor reviews the PDD and validates the project. 4. The project is monitored to ensure that GHG reductions are occurring. 5. The monitoring reports are verified by an independent auditor. 6. The project gets credits issued into an appropriate registry account.” As long as you have enough bureaucrats on the job spouting indecipherable mumbo-jumbo, and you use a sufficient number of three-letter acronyms, all is well. Or so they’d like you to believe.
“Where are carbon credits held?
“Carbon credits are stored electronically in ‘registries.’ Registries are essential for issuing, holding, and transferring carbon credits. Once a carbon project is issued with credits, the registry gives each one a unique serial number so that they can be tracked through their entire life-cycle. Registries also facilitate the retirement (surrendering) of credits for carbon neutrality purposes, ensuring credits are not resold at a later date.” The foxes are in charge of guarding the hen house, and the farmer gets to pay their salaries. What could possibly go wrong?
I don’t mean to sound cynical. I just can’t help myself. The entire ponderous program is based on a lie (that anthropogenic carbon dioxide is the primary cause of the global warming), founded on another lie (that man’s use of fossil fuels is a significant source of atmospheric CO2), supported by another lie (that the earth is warming—when the data show that it has actually leveled off and begun to cool, and that the recent-historic peak global average temperatures were actually reached sometime back in the 1930s). And it’s all being perpetrated to obfuscate yet another lie: that the welfare of mankind is the whole point. It is not. The point of this exercise is to grasp power, placing it in the hands of a small global elite class, who stand to make an immense amount of money by redistributing wealth from the “haves” to the “have nots,” taking a healthy cut off the top, of course.
And how does all of this mesh with my “theory” that human civilization is headed for a rude and abrupt awakening around the fourth decade of the twenty-first century—even if the Bible’s revealed timeline (which points toward the same chronological conclusion) were a load of holy hogwash? Perfectly, I’m afraid. If the cap-and-trade proponents got their way, fossil fuels—coal most certainly, but also oil and gas, and even biofuels (if carbon content is really the issue)—would be taxed into extinction. As petroleum put whaling virtually out of business in the late 19th century, fossil fuels would be replaced in the 21st by solar and wind energy—woefully inadequate, especially for transportation needs, but at least politically correct.
Do I expect that to happen? No, I don’t. As I said before, the Bible’s prophetic scenario suggests a world in which electronic communications (at the very least) are still possible, right up until the end of the Tribulation. That means that the worldwide electrical grid will still have to be up and running, after a fashion. But I do expect that the global elite will continue to find new ways to steal money and seize power using the issue of energy as their weapon. The pattern I see developing is rising energy prices, manipulated markets, and unequitable distribution: that is, the governments of the world, and the elite class that controls them, will have all the fuel and energy they need to keep their sheeple in line, while the ordinary taxpayers will suffer shortages, blackouts, and artificially inflated energy prices. Manipulating markets, of course, could involve the temporary lowering of energy prices (as established oil giants try to put fracking innovators out of business with supply-and-demand price wars, for example). But this is a cyclical process, one that, if extreme enough, invariably leads to general economic collapse. In the long run, the poor will continue to suffer, the rich will seize even more wealth, and the world will continue to march toward its own self-ordained destruction.
This issue of “climate change” is like scores of other strategies that Satan uses in the world. They may take decades or centuries to gain a foothold, but they never really go away, even if proven wrongheaded and destructive. They merely go “underground,” only to emerge a bit later in a slightly different guise. Look at the history of apostate religions, or the theory of evolution (i.e., faith in “nothing”), or socialist economic doctrine, or the abortion issue, or homosexuality, or the welfare state, or the obsolescence of marriage, or the substitution of God in the popular mind with science and technology. All of these things are wrong, if not evil and even suicidal. And none of them were accepted without resistance. But all of them have, in these Last Days, become mainstream, commonly received concepts—taught widely as truth, or worse, merely presumed to be good and right and indisputable.
If things remain on their present course, by the fourth decade of the twenty-first century I expect the global energy picture to be pretty much as it is today, only on steroids. The “easy oil” of the OPEC nations will be almost gone, and Muslims with foresight will be casting a covetous (and increasingly desperate) eye on Israel’s newly discovered oil and gas reserves. Israel, meanwhile, will have built their oil and gas operation into a finely tuned machine—the envy of the world. The coal industry in the U.S. will have been regulated to death, for all practical purposes. China and India will still be using coal with reckless abandon, but the dire air pollution situation there will have forced them to invent technologies enabling them to use this most plentiful resource more cleanly. An increasingly desperate U.S. government will have finally opened up some Federal lands to oil exploration, but it’s a mixed blessing: the restrictions and regulations placed on fracking will have pushed the price of oil to a level so high that the ridiculously expensive Obama years will begin to look like the “good old days.” The renewable energy industry will have grown, but it still won’t come close to being able to pay for itself. The global energy grid will be held together with duct tape and super glue—but it will be holding together. Atmospheric CO2 levels will continue to rise; average global temperatures will continue to fall. Scientists will continue to scratch their heads. Politicians will continue to lie.
On the other hand (as I’m sure you’ve noticed), I do not expect things to remain on their present course much longer. There are a hundred cultural, technological, and geophysical factors that are begging us to wake up and smell the Last Days. The energy issues we face are but one small part of the picture.
Alternative and Emerging Energy Sources
We’ve all heard of the urban myths that say some guy working in his garage came up with an engine that could get 250 miles to the gallon, or would run on tap water—only to “learn” that he got paid off by the oil industry to bury his research, or “met with an unfortunate accident” when he insisted on making his technology public. And knowing both the creativity and depravity of man, the latent conspiracy theorist in me is half ready to give the tales credence. (Or is it merely my inner ten-year-old telling me such things are not only possible, but would also be extremely cool?)
Such stories surface often enough to at least make us wonder about the future of energy in a utopian world. As bad as conditions on the earth have gotten, and as much worse we’re told they’re going to become (by both secular and Biblical sources) in the near future, I can’t get past the fact that God’s prophecies don’t even hint at possible issues with energy—whether shortages, expense, or pollution—during the coming thousand-year reign of Christ. Yes, the initial population of the Millennial Kingdom will be (maybe) a tenth of what it is today, so the demographics will go a long way toward solving the problems all by themselves, at least at first. But the Millennium is also spoken of as a time of great fertility, fecundity, and prosperity: by halfway through it, the earth is going to be densely populated once again, unless I miss my guess.
Some have conjectured that the world under Christ’s reign will revert to pre-industrial-revolution technology, but a careful reading of scripture demonstrates this to be mere misplaced nostalgia. As I’ve said before, the technology is spiritually neutral—it merely magnifies and accelerates our ability to do evil or good. For example, we are given hints that worldwide travel will (as it is today) still be possible. You can’t really do that on a horse.
In a clearly eschatological passage, the prophet Zechariah describes what will happen in the wake of the “battle” of Armageddon—in which all of the world’s kingdoms will attack God’s people in Jerusalem: “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” (Zechariah 14:16) These aren’t the individuals who fought in the battle, for they’re all dead. Rather, it is those who refused to go and fight, who defied the Antichrist, refused to take his mark, and sided instead with Yahweh and His people Israel. Yes, they earned themselves a death penalty in the process, but some of them somehow managed to evade the headman’s axe until the end. These are the fellowship of repentant Laodicea (see Revelation 3:14-22) who took Christ’s advice to repent and open the door to Him—albeit belatedly. They are the gentile “sheep” who were blessed by the Messiah-King in Matthew 25.
For our present purposes, merely note that these people, spread out (presumably) all over the earth, will still travel to Jerusalem every year to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles and pay homage to King Yahshua (identified here as Yahweh Himself) in person. Unless I’m missing something here, that requires some sort of robust international transportation system—most likely, aircraft. The bottom line: petroleum is still going to be in use throughout the Millennium, or at least until something better comes along.
And what about electricity? There’s no reason to suppose that we’ll revert to the dark ages during the Kingdom age. We should all be familiar with this description of the New Jerusalem (which I take to be a feature of the “new heaven and new earth” that will replace our present celestial infrastructure after the Millennial Kingdom): “And he [the angel] carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal…. But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light…. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 21:10-11, 22-23, 22:5) But by that point in time (or should I say, beyond time), every human believer will have received his or her immortal, incorruptible resurrection body—the point being that our capabilities will surely have transcended the need for electrical devices. And if Christ’s resurrection body is any indication, our transport from one location to another will look something like sci-fi “teleportation,” as in “not requiring fuel.”
During the Millennium, however, both mortals and immortals will populate the planet—and the mortals can be presumed to need some technological assistance, just as we do today. Where will the “juice” come from? Coal? Nukes? Let us confer with the prophet Isaiah. “The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; but Yahweh will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory. Your sun shall no longer go down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself; for Yahweh will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended.” (Isaiah 60:19-20) This is precisely as John described it in Revelation, but the timeframe is left unspecified: does this describe the Millennium, or the eternal state that follows?
Another couple of passages clear up that question. Speaking of the same enhanced light source—God Himself—Isaiah ties the timeframe to the Millennial age: “Then the moon will be disgraced and the sun ashamed; for Yahweh of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders, gloriously.” (Isaiah 24:23) That’s clearly a description of the earthly Kingdom of Christ.
Then we read, “The light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that Yahweh binds up the bruise of His people and heals the stroke of their wound.” (Isaiah 30:26) When will Yahweh “bind up the wound” of Israel? Hosea reveals the answer: “Come, and let us return to Yahweh; for He has torn, but He will heal us. He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days [read: two thousand years after Israel’s transgression—their rejection of the Messiah] He will revive us. On the third day [i.e., during the third one-thousand-year period—the Millennial Kingdom age] He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight.” (Hosea 6:1-2) That “third day,” in case you haven’t noticed, will by God’s own definition begin in 2033. It’s the single statistic that got me started on this whole chronological line of inquiry.
So it would seem—though I can’t explain it from a technical standpoint—that “encouraged” by the reigning presence of its Creator, the light of sun (and its subsequent reflection by the moon) will be increased sevenfold during the Kingdom age, though its heat and magnetic activity will apparently remain constant and benign. (I realize that’s an extrapolation, based on little more than my knowledge of God’s love and power.) Forgive me for making an intuitive leap here, but does it not seem reasonable to assume that solar power will at last come of age during the Millennium? If today’s solar collectors received seven times more light, even they (as inefficient as they are) would prove capable of powering the world.
But solar technology hasn’t remotely “peaked.” Let us take a look at what’s on the near horizon…
Until now, solar power has shown far more promise than payout. Everybody likes the idea, of course—free energy from the sun. But today’s commercially available solar panels are inefficient and under-powered (though they’re better than they used to be). Today the basic reality is, buying your electricity from somebody who makes it by burning coal, gas, or nuclear fuel is, 99 times out of 100, a better, cheaper solution than paying a fortune installing your own solar system. (The exception, I suppose, is if you live ten miles from anybody in the middle of the Mojave Desert, in which case solar power would be the perfect solution.)
Andy Tully, writing for Oilprice.com (republished by Nasdaq.com, June 11, 2014) offers good news on the solar front, theoretically, at least. In an article entitled “Solar Energy Breakthrough Could Drop Consumer Price,” he explains: “You can put a solar panel on the roof of your house, but it won’t be efficient unless you’re willing to pay more. But a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley says that may be a thing of the past. Ali Javey, a Berkeley professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, reports finding a far less expensive way to make more powerful semiconductors, which reduces the cost of high-efficiency solar cells, perhaps to the cost level of conventional solar cells.
“While solar energy has been attractive as a clean and renewable source of power, it’s not economically competitive with fossil fuels. Javey says his research could become a ‘game changer’ in this equation. More efficient solar cells means fewer are needed. Fewer cells means lower cost per solar panel and for installation. And cutting the costs of the cells’ constituent materials would lower those costs even more. The cells Javey is proposing would have an efficiency of about 25 percent, compared with the 18 percent efficiency in conventional low-efficiency solar cells….” I know, it doesn’t sound like much, but that’s about a 40% jump in efficiency.
“High-efficiency solar cells are currently made from semiconductors in expensive crystal form. These crystals are exposed to certain vapors that generate the thin film that coats solar cells. Javey has sidestepped the expensive crystals and instead creates the films using materials that are far less expensive: a sheet of metal or even glass. He reports that he’s even managed to use a less expensive vapor to create the film, and uses less of this cheaper vapor by reducing waste.”
“As promising as the new technology is, it’s still in its very early stages, and Javey says he has far more work to do to produce solar cells at an industrial level. Jessica Adams, a senior engineer at Microlink Devices, which makes high-efficiency solar cells, agrees that a commercial product won’t be available for some time, but says Javey’s research has ‘demonstrated a way that we may be able to make solar cells out of indium phosphide relatively cheaply, with the potential to get very high efficiency.’”
One obvious problem with solar power is that the sun doesn’t shine at night. For it to become a real power player, there must be a way to store the energy generated when the sun was shining and retrieve it for use after sundown. ExtremeTech.com, in an article by Joel Hruska entitled “Breakthrough could help solve solar power’s biggest problem: Power generation at night,” (April 16, 2014) presents one possible (though again, still largely theoretical) solution.
“One of the most fundamental barriers to the widespread adoption of renewable energy has been the inconvenient truth of planetary rotation. Solar power has advanced enormously over the past few decades but panel efficiency and solar concentration plants are of limited assistance when Apollo [i.e., the ‘sun god’—I hope Hruska was just being cute] is busy elsewhere on the Earth. Now, researchers think they’ve found a partial solution to that problem by combining the known properties of one substance with everyone’s favorite technological advance: carbon nanotubes.
“One of the problems with electrical power generation is that we’re much better at generating electricity than we are at storing it. This makes it difficult to rely solely on renewable sources for electricity; power generation can vary substantially in any given area depending on prevailing weather conditions at the time. One solution to the problem is to build out 2-3 times the capacity needed to provide average power consumption, but the capital costs associated with doing so are extremely high and there are only so many ideal spots to stick a giant solar concentration facility in any case. What’s needed is a simple method of converting energy gathered during the day into a resource that can be tapped at night—and Timothy Kucharski, a post-doc at MIT and Harvard, thinks his team has found it.” Well, sort of.
“Kucharski’s work is based on the well-known properties of azobenzenes. These are molecules, dubbed photoswitches, that have one particular molecular configuration by default but, when struck by certain frequencies of ultraviolet light, assume a new configuration. When the molecule ‘relaxes’ from its excited state to its base state it releases about 50KJ/mol-1 of energy….” Basically, solar energy causes the azobenzene molecules to change shape, a process that increases their energy state. Later, a trigger restores the molecules to their original state, releasing the stored energy. “While they were unable to hit the necessary density of azobenzene molecules, adding carbon nanotubes drastically increased the overall efficiency….”
Don’t get all excited yet, though. This isn’t energy storage in the ordinary (electrical) sense. Rather, “The goal would be to create a short-term thermal battery that could be used to power a stove or other heat sources during the night after charging all day…. While it’s not a full-scale solar battery, discoveries like this could make solar power far more useful in developing nations, which still rely primarily on wood or peat for cooking fuel.”
Okay, so it’s not quite the “breakthrough” in solar power you were hoping for. Still, you may be thankful for developments like this someday. After all, every move our Liberal-Progressive politicians make takes us one step closer to our new status as a third-world nation.
They were right about one thing, however: storing the “green” energy until it’s needed is as thorny a problem as generating it in the first place. So this article on Harvard’s website (by Paul Karoff, January 8, 2014) looks promising: “Battery offers renewable energy breakthrough—Harvard technology could economically store energy for use when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.”
Karoff writes, “A team of Harvard scientists and engineers has demonstrated a new type of battery that could fundamentally transform the way electricity is stored on the grid, making power from renewable energy sources such as wind and sun far more economical and reliable….” This is “a metal-free flow battery that relies on the electrochemistry of naturally abundant, inexpensive, small organic (carbon-based) molecules called quinones, which are similar to molecules that store energy in plants and animals.” Makes sense to me: if you need valuable insight, study the way Yahweh did things when He created life.
“The mismatch between the availability of intermittent wind or sunshine and the variable demand is the biggest obstacle to using renewable sources for a large fraction of our electricity. A cost-effective means of storing large amounts of electrical energy could solve this problem…. Flow batteries store energy in chemical fluids contained in external tanks, as with fuel cells, instead of within the battery container itself. The two main components—the electrochemical conversion hardware through which the fluids are flowed (which sets the peak power capacity) and the chemical storage tanks (which set the energy capacity)—may be independently sized. Thus the amount of energy that can be stored is limited only by the size of the tanks. The design permits larger amounts of energy to be stored at lower cost than with traditional batteries.
“By contrast, in solid-electrode batteries, such as those commonly found in cars and mobile devices, the power conversion hardware and energy capacity are packaged together in one unit and cannot be decoupled. Consequently they maintain peak discharge power for less than an hour before they are drained, and are therefore ill-suited to store intermittent renewables…. One to two days’ worth of storage is required for making solar and wind dispatchable through the electrical grid….
“To store 50 hours of energy from a 1-megawatt power capacity wind turbine (50 megawatt-hours), for example, a possible solution would be to buy traditional batteries with 50 megawatt-hours of energy storage, but they would come with 50 megawatts of power capacity. Paying for 50 megawatts of power capacity when only 1 megawatt is necessary makes little economic sense. For this reason, a growing number of engineers have focused their attention on flow-battery technology. But until now, flow batteries have relied on chemicals that are expensive or hard to maintain, driving up the cost of storing energy.
“The active components of electrolytes in most flow batteries have been metals. Vanadium is used in the most commercially advanced flow-battery technology now in development, but it sets a rather high floor on the cost per kilowatt-hour at any scale. Other flow batteries contain precious metal electrocatalysts, such as the platinum used in fuel cells. The new flow battery developed by the Harvard team already performs as well as vanadium flow batteries, with chemicals that are significantly less expensive, and with no precious-metal electrocatalyst.
“The whole world of electricity storage has been using metal ions in various charge states, but there is a limited number that you can put into solution and use to store energy, and none of them can economically store massive amounts of renewable energy. With organic molecules, we introduce a vast new set of possibilities. Some of them will be terrible and some will be really good. With these quinones we have the first ones that look really good.”
It should be noted that quinones are organic aromatic hydrocarbons (based on such compounds as benzene or naphthalene). “Quinones are abundant in crude oil as well as in green plants. The molecule the Harvard team used in its first quinone-based flow battery is almost identical to one found in rhubarb. The quinones are dissolved in water, which prevents them from catching fire.” So the future of solar electrical power storage may lie in oil. Ironic, isn’t it? Perhaps the liberal-progressives’ “war on carbon” was a bit shortsighted.
Theoretically, the technology is scalable, from grid-wide applications with a few very large storage tanks, to small home installations. “Imagine a device the size of a home heating-oil tank sitting in your basement. It would store a day’s worth of sunshine from the solar panels on the roof of your house, potentially providing enough to power your household from late afternoon, through the night, into the next morning, without burning any fossil fuels.” The systems are still in the testing phase, but commercial applications are already being planned. The potential benefits are enormous, for the technology would allow solar energy to overcome its most formidable obstacle—the fact that electricity isn’t being generated between sundown and sunrise. “‘The intermittent renewables storage problem is the biggest barrier to getting most of our power from the sun and the wind,’ [project leader Michael J.] Aziz said. ‘A safe and economical flow battery could play a huge role in our transition off fossil fuels to renewable electricity.’”
Not all of the advancements in solar power generation are being made in America, of course. Campbell Simpson, writing for Gizmodo.com.au (June 4, 2014), reports on progress being made by Australia’s national science agency CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation—one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world). “Supercritical solar steam energy uses the power of the Sun, collected on hundreds of solar panels and used to heat water under extremely high pressure to massive temperatures. That steam then drives a turbine to produce electricity. CSIRO’s development is the combination of achieving the highest-yet recorded pressure of 23.5 megapascals and temperature of 570 degrees Celsius, demonstrated in a real-world setting rather than a lab.
“‘This temperature is the highest supercritical steam record outside of a fossil fuel power plant, and CSIRO hopes that with more development, the solar-powered technology will be able to supplement or replace fossil fuel power plants in coming decades,’ according to CSIRO energy director Dr Alex Wonhas: ‘It’s like breaking the sound barrier. This step change proves solar has the potential to compete with the peak performance capabilities of fossil fuel sources. Instead of relying on burning fossil fuels to produce supercritical steam, this breakthrough demonstrates that the power plants of the future could instead be using the free, zero-emission energy of the sun to achieve the same result.’”
But for sheer entrepreneurial chutzpah, you can’t really beat the Americans. One idea that’s gaining traction is the “solar roadway.” Indiegogo.com reports: “Solar Roadways is a modular paving system of solar panels that can withstand the heaviest of trucks (250,000 pounds). These Solar Road Panels can be installed on roads, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, bike paths, playgrounds... literally any surface under the sun. They pay for themselves primarily through the generation of electricity, which can power homes and businesses connected via driveways and parking lots. A nationwide system could produce more clean renewable energy than a country uses as a whole. They have many other features as well, including: heating elements to stay snow/ice free, LEDs to make road lines and signage, and attached Cable Corridor to store and treat stormwater and provide a ‘home’ for power and data cables. EVs [electro-voltaic cells] will be able to charge with energy from the sun (instead of fossil fuels) from parking lots and driveways and after a roadway system is in place, mutual induction technology will allow for charging while driving.”
Never let it be said that Americans no longer know how to think big. The numbers are either amazing or outlandish, depending on your point of view. SolarRoadways.com reports, “The first thing that one has to understand before beginning to look at numbers is this: an apples to apples comparison between asphalt or concrete roads and Solar Roadways is not possible. An asphalt/concrete road is simply a hard surface to drive a vehicle on. A Solar Roadway is a modern modular system with a multitude of uses and features. For an accurate cost comparison between current systems and the Solar Roadways system, you’d have to combine the costs of current roads (including snow removal, line repainting, pothole repair, etc.), power plants (and the coal or nuclear material to run them), and power and data delivery systems (power poles and relay stations) to be comparable with the Solar Roadway system, which provides all three. So the comparison is more like an apple to a fruit basket….
The primary question is: “Can we really generate enough pollution-free electricity to power our businesses and homes? The calculations below are presented to answer this very important question.
“First, the ‘givens’: In the 48 contiguous states alone, pavements and other impervious surfaces cover.… 31,250.86 square miles of roads, parking lots, driveways, playgrounds, bike paths, sidewalks, etc., to work with. If these impervious surfaces were replaced with Solar Road Panels, how much electricity could we produce?...
“Sunpower offers a 230 Watt solar panel rated at 18.5% efficiency. Its surface area is 13.4 square feet. If we covered the entire 31,250.86 square miles of impervious surfaces with solar collection panels, we’d get: ((31,250.86 mi²) x (5280 ft / mi)²) / (13.4ft²/230W) = ((31,250.86 mi²) x (27,878,400 ft² / mi²)) / (13.4ft²/230W) = (871,223,975,424 ft²) / (13.4ft²/230W) = 14,953,844,354,292 Watts, or over 14.95 billion kilowatts. If we average only 4 hours of peak daylight hours (1460 hours per year), this gives us: 14.95 billion kilowatts x 1460 hours = 21,827 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity…. For fairness, let’s subtract 31 percent from our totals since we can’t [optimally] angle roads and parking lots: 21,827 Billion Kilowatt-hours x 0.69 = 15,060 billion kilowatt-hours.
“We did our testing in January and February in northern Idaho. Here we have worst case scenario: our measurements were taken in the dead of winter (sun is at its lowest point of the year) an hour south of the Canadian border at latitude 48.19 degrees…. Conclusion: we would be hard pressed to find a worse time and place to conduct this experiment!” Any way you slice it, the bottom line is fairly amazing: if solar roadways were installed everywhere they could be in America, they would be expected to generate 15,060 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity! “According to the Energy Information Administration, the United States (all 50) used 3,741 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2009 (EIA Electricity Overview, 1949-2009). It’s easy to see that the Solar Roadways could produce over three times the electricity that we currently use in the United States.” In fact, “The ‘lower 48’ could produce just about enough electricity to supply the entire world. And once again, remember: these calculations are made with very conservative numbers using north Idaho as a reference point, which is one of the worst case scenarios in the U.S. where latitude is concerned (Okay, we have to concede to Alaska!).” Something tells me Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona would deliver even better results.
They appear to have considered every foreseeable factor, both positive and negative. Other points they raise: “A Solar Roadway has the ability to cut greenhouse gases by up to 75-percent!... Some components like the solar cells, capacitors, and LEDs will wear out and have to be replaced, but much of the panel is reusable. If we began manufacturing today with 18.5% efficient solar cells, and the panels lasted 20 years before the need for refurbishing, the latest (20 years from now) efficiency solar cells would be installed and the same Solar Road Panel would produce even more power than before. This will allow the Solar Roadway to keep up with the increase in electricity demand over the years.
“In addition, the Solar Roadway replaces our current aging power grid. The Solar Roadways carry power not from a centralized point like a power station, but from the power-producing grid itself along with data signals (cable TV, telephone, high-speed internet, etc.) to every home and business connected to the grid via their driveways and parking lots. In essence, the Solar Roadways becomes a conduit for all power and data signals….” If implemented, the design would decentralize the energy and communications grid—much like the Internet—making it relatively impervious to catastrophic system-wide events.
Of course, at this early stage, nobody has a clue as to how much the hexagonal Solar Roadway modular panels would cost to manufacture, install, and maintain. But the Solar Roadways Company makes a valid point: no matter how much the initial cost, “Unlike current road systems, a Solar Roadway will pay for itself over time. No more contributing to the climate crisis. No more power outages (roaming or otherwise). Safer driving conditions. Far less pollution. A new secure highway infrastructure that pays for itself. A decentralized, self-healing, secure power grid. No more dependency on foreign oil. The real question may be: What will be the cost if we don’t implement the Solar Roadways?”
In fairness, I must note that there are entire websites devoted to telling us why solar roadways “are a terrible idea” (in the words of one of them). In all honestly, they all seemed to boil down to one thing: “There are (gasp!) problems to overcome. Horrors!” With this sort of whiney attitude, we never would have sent astronauts to the moon or built the Hoover Dam. But at the same time, I can’t see how implementing the concept on any kind of broad scale would be possible in a world facing the kinds of Last Days challenges we’ve been studying for the past few hundred pages. It’s not the technology—it’s the humanity. Man is simply too self-destructive to allow himself to be blessed like this. Call me a pessimist, but between wars, envy, greed, and generally poor attitudes on the part of nine tenths of the world’s population, mankind would dismantle the system as soon as it was built, for we are a fallen, silly race.
But could this be accomplished during Christ’s Millennial Kingdom? It seems to me to be a perfect fit for the times of peace and plenty that lie ahead for those who trust in Yahweh’s grace. It’s not that fossil fuels are intrinsically evil (as we’ve been taught for the past quarter century). They were a gift from God that proved sufficient to get us through the present age—and perhaps a century or two into the next. No, it’s that (as far as we know) there aren’t natural fuel reserves sufficient to last us for the next thousand years. But remember: God has already revealed where our energy will come from during the Kingdom age—from the sun. “The light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that Yahweh binds up the bruise of His people and heals the stroke of their wound.” (Isaiah 30:26) That “day” will commence (unless I’m confused about a great many things) On October 8, 2033. Call me naïve, but I think solar roadways (with other recent developments like quinone-based flow batteries) would be a perfect way to utilize and distribute Yahweh’s solar bounty to the mortals of the Millennial age.
Most of us are familiar with the concept of nuclear power—whether through our own use of it or through news of rare but catastrophic accidents. About ten percent of the world’s electricity is generated in nuclear reactors, including the juice that’s bringing you this book—produced at the Lake Anna nuclear facility in Virginia. Today there are 437 operational nuclear power reactors in 31 countries, although not every reactor is presently producing electricity. There are also approximately 140 naval vessels in operation using nuclear propulsion.
All things considered, nuclear energy is quite safe—in France, for example, some 80% of the electricity is generated in nuclear power plants, and they’ve never had a serious mishap. But when things go wrong, they can go terribly wrong—as witnessed by the devastation caused by Ukraine’s human-error-caused Chernobyl disaster in 1986, or Japan’s Fukushima Daiiachi meltdown (2011), caused by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
All of these reactors run on a technology called “nuclear fission,” an outgrowth of the atomic bomb research done during World War II. Basically, heat energy is produced by “splitting the atom.” The “fuel” is rare—usually either uranium or plutonium—and the byproducts of the spent fuel are dangerously radioactive, making disposal or storage problematic. Still, the amount of energy produced is millions of times more potent than with fossil fuels, pound for pound. So nuclear fission is definitely a technology worth having and developing further.
But there is another type of nuclear reaction in which atoms aren’t split, they’re fused. Hydrogen atoms, for example, are forced to join together, producing helium. This is the type of nuclear reaction that powers our sun. It’s called nuclear fusion, and it has been the dream of physicists almost since the dawn of the nuclear age to harness this technique to power our world—a dream that has so far proved elusive. The problem, simply put, has always been that it has taken as much energy to get the atoms to fuse as is produced in the subsequent reaction. If that problem could be solved, a whole new world of cheap, safe, pollution-free energy could be within our reach.
Recently, a breakthrough of sorts has been made. Steve Connor, reporting for The Independent/UK (February 13, 2014) wrote an article entitled “The lasers fuelling hopes of unlimited, clean nuclear energy—A major engineering milestone in the quest for nuclear fusion holds the promise of a future without energy fears.” We’re not there yet, you understand, but this indeed sounds encouraging:
Connor writes, “A milestone has been reached in the 60-year struggle to harness the nuclear reactions that power the Sun in an experiment that could lead to a way of producing an unlimited source of clean and sustainable energy in the form of nuclear fusion. Scientists in California said on Wednesday night that they have for the first time managed to release more energy from their nuclear fusion experiment than they put into it, which marks a critical threshold in eventually achieving the goal of a self-sustaining nuclear-fusion reaction.
The potential benefits of fusion power are clearly worth the effort: “Nuclear fusion uses a fuel source derived from water and produces none of the more dangerous and long-lasting isotopes, such as enriched uranium and plutonium, that result from conventional nuclear power plants, which rely on the fission or splitting of atoms rather than their fusion.”
So what happened? “Researchers involved in the Nuclear Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said that they have used 192 laser beams to compress a tiny fuel pellet less than half the diameter of a human hair in such a way that it triggered the net release of energy by nuclear fusion. The fuel, composed of the two hydrogen isotopes tritium and deuterium derived from water, was compressed together under enormous pressures and temperatures for less than a billionth of a second, but this was enough to see more energy coming out of the experiment than went into it. ‘We are fusing deuterium and tritium, which are isotopes of water, in a way that gets them to run together at high enough speed to overcome their natural electrical repulsion to each other,’ said Omar Hurricane of the Livermore laboratory. ‘We are finally, by harnessing these reactions, getting more energy out of these reactions than we are putting into the deuterium-tritium fuel....’”
“There are currently two parallel approaches to nuclear fusion. One uses laser energy to compress fuel pellets—like the NIF experiment—and aims to keep the fuel in place by a process known as inertial confinement. The other approach is to build a complex magnetic ‘bottle’ to hold the hot, electrically charged plasma of the fuel in place. This magnetic confinement is the strategy of the Joint European Torus…. Both approaches aim to gain more energy than is put into the system, and ultimately to a critical stage called “ignition” when the reaction becomes self-sustaining, which would mean that fusion could be exploited practically in power plants as an unlimited source of clean energy.”
Reporting on the same breakthrough at Lawrence Livermore, Scientific American’s David Biello (February 12, 2014) cautions: “Scientists remain a long way from what’s known as ignition: the point at which fusion of any kind releases more energy than was consumed to start it. And the method used to produce this result is unlikely to create the conditions needed to reach that goal. ‘By lowering the compressibility, they have lowered the pressure that can be reached,’ explains physicist Mark Herrmann, director of the Pulsed Power Sciences Center at Sandia National Laboratories….
“But the discovery team has also seen for the first time the early stages of the kind of physical processes needed to create such fusion. Specifically, the fuel showed evidence of what fusion physicists like to call ‘bootstrapping.’ Essentially, the helium nuclei (otherwise known as alpha particles) thrown off by the fusing hydrogen isotopes left their energy behind, maintaining the conditions needed for yet more fusion. That helped more than double the superheating of the fusing fuel and suggests the team is halfway to the kinds of energies needed to achieve ignition….
“Dr. Hurricane compares the ongoing ignition quest with climbing a mountain of unknown height with a summit wreathed in clouds and therefore invisible. This step of getting more energy out of the fuel than is put in represents a base camp of sorts, farther up the mountain than any have ever tread before and from which new paths to reach the summit of ignition might be tried….
“Regardless of whether NIF achieves ignition or not, the facility will continue to create the kind of high-density fusion conditions that have also proved useful to those charged with ensuring that the U.S. nuclear arsenal remain in working order. Instead of occasionally setting off nuclear bombs, this weapons crew now relies on such tests that create conditions similar to those at the core of a thermonuclear weapon. The NIF shots also simulate conditions that are found at the center of gas-giant planets like Jupiter or brown dwarf stars. ‘It allows us to study nuclear synthesis processes that we’ve never had access to before,’ says Livermore experimental plasma physicist Tammy Ma, another member of the fusion team.
“But even if scientists do achieve ignition one day…there will still be a long road to building an actual fusion power plant. For one thing, a fresh source of rare tritium would be required to sustain fusion. Current ideas focus on a so-called blanket of lithium that would be bombarded by the spare neutrons from fusion itself, producing yet more helium and tritium while still leaving some energy leftover to be harvested for electricity production…. After all, E = mc2, which means a very small amount of mass can produce a great amount of energy, given the speed of light. The prospect of near limitless, sustainable energy with just a whiff of helium as a by-product ensures continued interest.”
But the real “holy grail” (or perhaps I should say “Loch Ness Monster”) of energy production is cold fusion. Wikipedia explains: “Cold fusion is a hypothetical type of nuclear reaction that would occur at, or near, room temperature, compared with temperatures in the millions of degrees that are required for ‘hot’ fusion. It was proposed to explain reports of anomalously high energy generation under certain specific laboratory conditions. The original experimental results which were touted as evidence for cold fusion were not replicated consistently and reliably, and there is no accepted theoretical model of cold fusion.
“Cold fusion gained attention after reports in 1989 by Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, then one of the world’s leading electrochemists, that their apparatus had produced anomalous heat (‘excess heat’), of a magnitude they asserted would defy explanation except in terms of nuclear processes. They further reported measuring small amounts of nuclear reaction byproducts, including neutrons and tritium. The small tabletop experiment involved electrolysis of heavy water on the surface of a palladium (Pd) electrode.
“The reported results received wide media attention, and raised hopes of a cheap and abundant source of energy. Many scientists tried to replicate the experiment with the few details available. Hopes fell with the large number of negative replications, the withdrawal of many positive replications, the discovery of flaws and sources of experimental error in the original experiment, and finally the discovery that Fleischmann and Pons had not actually detected nuclear reaction byproducts. By late 1989, most scientists considered cold fusion claims dead.”
The way scientific experimentation is supposed to work is: your experiments must be so carefully controlled, measured, and documented, other scientists can (if your premise is valid) repeat your work and consistently obtain the same results. The work of Fleischmann and Pons didn’t live up to these criteria, so cold fusion became something of a unicorn in the scientific community: everyone agreed that it would be a wonderful discovery, but few believed it could actually exist in the real world.
Cold fusion is such a promising premise, it is not surprising that some folks never lost hope in it, figuring that this idea was so good, it just had to have some life left in it. (As Miracle Max said in the movie The Princess Bride, “There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, there’s usually only one thing you can do… go through his clothes and look for loose change.”)
The World Future Society, through their website wfs.org (April 1, 2014), brings us up to date on the progress of cold fusion’s unlikely resurrection. Richard Sampson writes: “Within a few short years we could see an energy explosion that changes everything. It promises to come years to decades sooner than conventional (hot) nuclear fusion [something we have just seen is showing great promise of late]. And it could be a lot cheaper, more scalable, and more transformative….
“Since 2009, research has blazed ever hotter on exotic new energy technologies, most of which avoid the once-defamed term “cold fusion,” best known for describing it. The technologies go by names such as Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR), Lattice Assisted Nuclear Reaction (LANR), Chemical Assisted Nuclear Reaction (CANR), and Energy Catalyzer (E-Cat). “LENR” is now the most common name for this new area of super-clean, super-cheap potential energy solutions.”
Not only have such venerable government institutions as NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy been quietly supporting recent research into these successor technologies to cold fusion, but commercial interests are on the cusp of real world implementation in such varied fields as electricity generation, industrial or commercial heating, automotive applications, spacecraft, food preparation, and manufacturing.
“Some of the developers are years away from marketable solutions. Others are licensing their technology to manufacturers and distributors now, although the reality of practical field installations is not yet clear. A few are preparing open-source specifications to let local entrepreneurs experiment with devices on their own. Here’s a sampling:
“Mitsubishi has been granted a patent for transmuting nuclear waste into energy using LENR technology.
“Brillouin Energy Corporation is developing what they call Controlled Electron Capture Reaction (CECR) technology with broad applications. Others might call it LENR, LANR, or cold fusion. A South Korean industrial company recently signed a license with Brillouin, hoping to develop manufacturing and distribution plans for CECR by 2015. One key application is to provide a safe, clean and economically compelling solution to retrofit and repower smaller ‘stranded asset’ conventional fossil fuel or biomass power plants with Brillouin’s CECR technology. ‘Stranded asset’ plants are those idled for any number of environmental, economic or operational reasons.” Or political, I might add.
“Industrial Heat LLC has acquired the rights to the Energy Catalyzer (E-Cat), a form of LENR developed by Andrea Rossi of Italy. Industrial Heat was recently funded by individual investors and senior personnel of Cherokee, a significant private investment company based in Raleigh, North Carolina…. Industrial Heat is expected to pursue the goal of making E-Cat technology widely available as a low-cost, green alternative to fossil fuels. China is reportedly looking into it as a solution to its mounting pollution problem and to gain leverage in the alternative energy sector.
“LENR Cars has filed a patent application for a “Low Energy Nuclear Thermoelectric System” to power land, sea, and air vehicles for long distances with zero emissions at very low cost.
“SpaceWorks Engineering, in partnership with NASA, is working on a LENR heat source to power space launch systems including reusable launch vehicles with water as the only propellant.
“Pure Energy Systems, an exotic-energy information aggregator and technology champion, is crowd-sourcing a heating device that can be assembled from standard components by anyone anywhere. The hope is that it can be proved successful and scaled to a wide range of applications from home heat and electricity to anything larger.”
Despite the article’s publication date, this does not appear to be an April Fool’s Joke, but rather a veritable explosion of innovative thought. “An energy advance that could save the planet and power unprecedented prosperity is virtually invisible to the public, in spite of heated activity around the world. Why do most reporters seem to be ignoring it? Possibly because they got burned for hyping cold fusion when it was first announced, back in 1989, before it was fully vetted and mainstream scientists saw fit to consider it….” And possibly (says the skeptic in me) because established energy producers have a vested interest in keeping a lid on new technologies as long as they can.
“Why is the shift to clean, safe, very low-cost energy so important? Dirty energy is like bad integrity; over time it doesn’t work. If we don’t find a way to power human activity without polluting the planet, we risk degrading the quality of life far beyond what we have known in the past, while ruining our children’s future. If, however, we transition to super-clean, super-cheap energy soon enough—with no one and nothing compromised or left out—then we may have a shot at survival and sustainable prosperity.” Thank you, Captain Obvious. But may I point out that the societal conditions of which you speak cannot and will not become a worldwide reality until Christ rules with a rod of iron. Until then, utopia, or even mere “survival and sustainable prosperity,” are as unlikely as Sasquatch running for president. There is more to achieving a perfect society than clean, cheap energy, as nice as that would be.
But don’t let me rain on your parade. This is good stuff. “The icing on the cake may be the new energy’s decentralized nature, which helps make individuals, families, and communities more independent. This speaks to our most passionate needs for freedom and fulfillment, allowing entrepreneurship and cultural contributions to flourish as never before….” Boy, is Mr. Sampson out of touch with the agenda of the New World Order, or what? Decentralization of resources, independence, freedom, fulfillment, and entrepreneurship are the last things the global elites would want.
The bottom line? “Energy has always been the core driver of civilization [a shaky premise at best], but most of today’s energy is dirty, expensive, and fraught with problems including climate change, threatening civilization itself. With the benign, abundant new energy, there’s an added return on investment, planetary survival, which is vital for any other bets to pay off. LENR’s proponents argue that their new technology is the cheapest, fastest and surest way to have a chance to reverse the catastrophic potential of climate change. Certainly for us to survive and thrive, we need energy that’s safe, clean, and dirt-cheap. And we need it very, very soon. Astute futurists and those with means, great or small, could tip the balance.” Don’t look now, sir, but CO2-caused climate change is a politically driven myth. “Planetary survival” is not at stake, nor does cold fusion have the potential to be the savior of mankind, as beneficial as it could be. I’m not against it, mind you; quite the contrary. I’m merely looking at the bigger picture—the spiritual picture.
“As has been true throughout history, the near-term opportunity may be for those with the means and moxie to see what’s happening before the general public does, and act on it.” Mr. Sampson, of course, is talking about investing money in the future of cold fusion technologies before the world catches on to its immense potential. I would instead suggest “investing” one’s life in the One Thing that will matter beyond the fourth decade of the twenty first century: the kingdom of Yahweh’s Messiah. Everything else will take care of itself.
By the way, there’s one new wrinkle on an old energy technology—nuclear fission—that bears mention, and this would seem an appropriate place to do it. From its inception, nuclear power has been generated primarily from two types of fuel in the fission process—uranium-235, purified (or “enriched”) by reducing the amount of uranium-238 in natural mined uranium; and plutonium-239, transmuted from uranium-238 obtained from natural mined uranium. The byproducts of further enrichment of both these isotopes are used to make nuclear weapons—which was the whole point, of course, of the original research, done as World War II was raging. But there is a third fuel source—far more plentiful than uranium, but not very useful in making weapons: thorium—a plentiful natural mined element from which can be made thorium-232, which in turn yields the uranium-233 used in nuclear power generation.
Wikipedia notes, “Some believe thorium is key to developing a new generation of cleaner, safer nuclear power. According to an opinion piece (not peer-reviewed) by a group of scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology, considering its overall potential, thorium-based power ‘can mean a 1000+ year solution or a quality low-carbon bridge to truly sustainable energy sources solving a huge portion of mankind’s negative environmental impact.’” The history of the technology strongly suggests that thorium power generation has been purposely sidelined for one simple reason: its unsuitability as a source of nuclear weapons.
But the doomsday factor aside, the potential benefits of thorium power sound promising. Wikipedia again: “The thorium fuel cycle offers enormous energy security benefits in the long-term, due to its potential for being a self-sustaining fuel without the need for fast neutron reactors. It is therefore an important and potentially viable technology that seems able to contribute to building credible, long-term nuclear energy scenarios….
“Possible advantages of thorium include utilization of an abundant fuel, inaccessibility of that fuel to terrorists or for diversion to weapons use, together with good economics and safety features…. Science writer Richard Martin says, ‘Thorium is considered the most abundant, most readily available, cleanest, and safest energy source on Earth.’ Thorium is four times as abundant as uranium, which is as common as lead. It is ~ 570 times as common as uranium-235, the fissile isotope of uranium used for nuclear energy. The Thorium Energy Alliance (TEA) estimates ‘there is enough thorium in the United States alone to power the country at its current energy level for over 1,000 years….’”
Thorium’s very low plutonium production rate makes it a poor source of bomb materials. Consequently, “there is much less nuclear waste—up to two orders of magnitude less…eliminating the need for large-scale or long-term storage…. Chinese scientists claim that hazardous waste will be a thousand times less than with uranium. The radioactivity of the resulting waste also drops down to safe levels after just a few hundred years, compared to tens of thousands of years needed for current nuclear waste to cool off.”
Perhaps utilization of thorium nuclear power will turn out to be one unforeseen permutation of the Millennial promise of peace: “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people. They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:3-4)
Energy from Sea Water
What’s the most abundant resource on earth? It would have to be sea water. Oceans cover 71% of our planet’s surface, and their average depth is 3,795 meters (12,451 feet). To give you some idea of how much water that is, the average elevation of our land is only 840 meters (2,756 feet). That is, there is eleven times as much water in the oceans as there is land poking out above sea level.
So wouldn’t it be cool if we could create fuel out of seawater? Well what a coincidence: the title of a recent (April 11, 2014) article posted on the Department of Defense website is “Energy Independence: Creating Fuel from Seawater,” by Jessica L. Tozer. She writes, “The Naval Research Laboratory has announced that they have been able to successfully convert seawater into usable, legitimate fuel…. In a proof of concept test, using the molecularly restructured seawater, they successfully flew a radio-controlled aircraft with an unmodified internal combustion engine.
“‘This is pretty forward-thinking out there. This is present shock, not future shock,’ said Vice Adm. Phil Cullom, Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics deputy chief. He spoke with me during the Sea, Air and Space Expo last week to tell me a little about why this is so significant for the fleet, and how a technology ten years ahead of its time has been eight years in the making: ‘What is just absolutely revolutionary about [this technology] is that, if you no longer have to worry about where that oiler is, you remove so much of the vulnerability that we have at sea.’
“Especially when, operationally, fuel distribution is our Achilles heel. As a global force, Adm. Cullom says we deliver 1.25 billion gallons of fuel worldwide to operators annually, where the fuel trucks and resupply lines are soft targets….” It’s a little alarming to me that our military expends that much fuel every year and we have so little to show for it, either in terms of peace, security, or good will. But since that ship has already sailed (so to speak), removing these “soft targets” from the equation is a worthy goal, I suppose. “‘We need to reinvent how we create energy, how we value energy and how we consume energy.’”
“The brain power behind this revolutionary science comes from research chemist Dr. Heather Willauer and her team at the Naval Research Lab. The science behind the incredible conversion is all about utilizing resource. Molecularly. ‘We’ve developed a technology at the Naval Research Laboratory that does indeed process seawater,’ she says. ‘It pulls the components, carbon dioxide and hydrogen, from the seawater. Then we take those components and we recombine them over a NRL-developed catalyst to make, essentially, designer fuel.’ Fueled by a liquid hydrocarbon—a component of NRL’s novel gas-to-liquid process that uses CO2 and H2 as feedstock—the research team demonstrated sustained flight of a radio-controlled P-51 replica…powered by an off-the-shelf and unmodified two-stroke internal combustion engine.
Long story short, the technology uses metal catalyst (e.g. iron, cobalt, nickel or copper) to “process” seawater, making designer fuels like methanol, olefins that can be converted to jet fuel, natural gas, or a variety of other fuels based on long-chain hydrocarbons. CO2 is extracted from the seawater (whose concentration is 140 times as great as in the air that our politicians are so worried about). Hydrogen (a component of seawater) is produced simultaneously. Admiral Cullom says, “It looks, smells and acts just like petroleum fuel. It has all the right components.” Granted, it takes about 23,000 gallons of seawater to make one gallon of fuel, but the whole process is carbon-neutral—hence politically correct. As we’ve heard before, this technology is just now on the cusp of becoming a practical reality—but it’s one more thing that promises to make the fourth decade of the twenty-first century really interesting.
Just as the world seems in so many different ways to be starting to fall apart around our ears, we are beginning to hear whispers of long-term environmentally sound energy strategies that promise the ability to inexpensively power our world for millennia to come. I’ve rambled on for pages describing promising new developments that lie just over the horizon, but I haven’t even scratched the surface. If you’d like to explore the concept of cheap (or even free) energy further, take a look at this website: Collective-Evolution.com/?s=free+energy. Along with lots of lunatic-fringe new-age weirdness, it catalogs dozens of articles describing ideas people have come up with, all of which claim to spell the end of our energy woes. The Quantum Energy Generator; The Casimir Effect; The Searl Effect Generator; Tesla’s Zero Point Energy; Hydrogen from plants; Compressed air powered cars; A Thorium-powered car; Cold fusion; The Rodin Coil; The IBM Solar Magnifier—and more, including my personal favorite: the “Urine-Powered Generator: 6 Hours of Power on 1 liter of Pee.”
I’m not guaranteeing that all (or even some) of these ideas are sound, proven, or practical. I’m merely stating that man—made in the image of Yahweh—is creative by nature: he will find solutions to problems that confront him, given the chance. But in addition to being a creative race, we are also fallen, sinful, and in rebellion against our God (for the most part). This in turn means that our godly propensities—like creative problem solving—are as likely as not to fall prey to greed, envy, hatred, and sloth (whether our own, or somebody else’s).
For the past half a dozen chapters, I have been droning on about the myriad of ways the world is telling us that we are in for a paradigm shift of “Biblical proportions” by the fourth decade of the twenty-first century—and not only because of what the Bible had to say. But our exploration of energy issues (unlike so many other factors) has left us with a bit of light at the end of the tunnel of despair. Could it be that I was premature in my pronouncement of woe upon the earth? No. The evidence speaks for itself. You don’t have to be a prophet to see what’s coming—which is a good thing, because I’m no prophet, and chances are, you aren’t either. All you have to do is pay attention to the data.
So why do the data offer us a glimmer of hope in this case? I believe it has something to do with the nature of the Millennial Reign of Christ. Somehow, I can’t picture God ordaining that we all go back to a pre-industrial economy—though doing so would certainly be His prerogative. No, when “the government is on His shoulders” (as it’s described in Isaiah 9:6), I envision a world that is at last able to fully enjoy the fruits of the creativity of mankind—things that are routinely wasted on wars and squandered on prideful ambition today. And that is going to require energy—electricity for communications and fuel for transportation, at the very least.
This would presumably not be necessary if we were all going to be enjoying the immortal state (see I Corinthians 15:50-54), as some of us will. But the Millennial Kingdom will be populated as well with mortal human beings—the gentile “sheep” of Matthew 25:34, their Israelite counterparts, and all of their mortal descendants—billions of them, before the Millennium has run its course.
Building the infrastructure of the Kingdom age will be the job of these Millennial mortals. Under Christ’s guidance (communicated by the immortals, I’m guessing) they will rebuild Yahweh’s perfect world upon the ashes of our generation’s failures. And unless I’m totally misled, that will include developing energy sources to bless mankind—based on gifts that Yahweh showered upon the earth long before human history began.