Friday, March 7, 2014

Frozen Deep

Relentless cold describes the winter of 2013-2014 in the central and eastern United States. Accompanying the cold have come frequent snows. In our region this winter has gifted us with over two dozen snowfalls and 43 daily below zero readings so far. Snowfall approaches highest seasonal totals in our area since climate records commenced in 1850. Statistics for record lows and record “low highs” in February augment the recent record low high for March which surpassed the low high for any day in March in meteorological history by three degrees.

Tiring statistics may overshadow knowledge of how God created and oversees Earth’s dynamic climate system for the welfare of man. What sort of weather do most people prefer? How have we become conditioned to welcome pleasant, predictably comfortable weather events and look unfavorably or complainingly at weather events which cause discomfort or inconvenience? The answer lies in failure to understand that warring air masses with their active interactions on a planet blessed with a dynamic atmosphere results more often in beneficial than harmful events. Attendant wind, rain, lightning, and thunderstorms, and even occasional harsh droughts, floods, snows, and frozen deeps are included.

The benefits of our climate system far outweigh the detriments. Our planet’s population has increased from one billion to over seven billion since 1810. Some people struggle for survival, but food and medical scientists have allayed the recent fear of a population explosion with accompanying famine and pestilence. Our world, in fact, can support many more.

What of the Midwest winter of 2013-2014? There are literary, scientific, and spiritual lessons to be gained from a study of weather imagery in the Book of Job. Even though our modern media commentators denigrate winter with its intense inconvenience, the view of winter’s frozen glory is placed in a different light by the writer of Job. God’s breath produces ice, declares author Elihu: “The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen” (Job 37:10). God himself continues in chapter 38: “From whom comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen?” (Job 38:29) God himself places frozen water, hard as stone, in a favorable light and receives credit for producing it.

The Great Lakes are almost completely frozen over. Hydrologists claim ice cover slows evaporation. Below normal lake levels of recent years will be restored, a welcome scenario for shippers who have endured problems from shallower water. Increased snow depths this winter will melt and add to water volume. Ice caves may be visited for the first time in years on Apostle Island in Lake Superior. Some fish will benefit from improved spawning beds.

Meanwhile, climate change alarmists state extreme weather events result from the increase in man-made carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Each time there is a weather “disaster” such as the harsh winter plaguing our country this year, these events are laid to the fossil fuel consumption activities of modern man. Exceptional, undesirable weather is laid to man-caused climate change. We must heed counsel to study the evidence and judge accordingly. The evidence points to dozens of causes for each observed effect. Our climate system has been designed by the Creator to function for the benefit of man.

Is Earth cooling or warming? We encourage readers to give attention to the commonly acknowledged fact that there has been no warming for over 17 years. The climate change alarmists have stridently avowed that long term warming is still occurring. They say we have merely slowed down for a “speed bump.” The anthropogenic global warming believers (aka climate changers) will not relent in their insistence that developed nations must commit trillions of dollars to slow down or halt disastrous computer projected warming for the long term. Expensive “remedies” are to be paid for by our citizens.

Christopher Booker in The Real Global Warming Disaster ends his lengthy volume by colorfully calling the global warming panic a “nyktomorph,” from the Greek words for ‘night shape’: that which provokes the mind into wild imaginings because it hasn’t been given enough data to identify the source of our panic correctly. Shakespeare wrote, “In the night, imagining some fear, how easy is a bush supposed a bear.” If the runaway global warming hysteria turns out to be Booker’s “nyktomorph,” then “it will turn out to be one of the most expensive, destructive, and foolish mistakes the human race has ever made.”