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Discovery Magazine 3/1/2010

Man Can’t “Save the Planet”!

A person who is concerned about protecting our planet from pollution and damage is called an environmentalist. While it is true that humans need to be good stewards of the Earth, many extreme environmentalists today believe that humans have the power to destroy the environment. You’ve heard their hype. They say our planet is warming up. They say that this “global warming” is dangerous and could cause animals, plants, and even humans to die. They say we all have to work hard to stop those things that are causing this warming. They say it’s up to humans to “save the planet.”

How do they say we can save the planet? Well, they say we need to get rid of some of the cows, since cows and their manure leak methane gas. That’s right, they claim that gaseous expulsions by cows damage the planet more than fumes from cars. To offset cow belching, some environmentalists are trying to develop new kinds of plants that cows can digest easier. Others say we need to get rid of some moose since they emit carbon dioxide. Australian scientists say that kangaroos produce almost no greenhouse gas methane due to their unique digestive bacteria. So the scientists want to transplant the kangaroo bacteria into cows and sheep to prevent them from adding to global warming. How crazy is that! And that’s not all. Some believe that even having children is bad—since humans pollute the planet and emit carbon dioxide.

But wait! We know that God created Earth, along with plants, animals, and humans (Genesis 1-2). We know that He put humans on Earth so they can decide to serve Him and live their lives in such a way that they can be with Him forever in heaven. So we know that the Earth will last just as long as God intended. After all, it is Jesus Who is “upholding all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). It is in Jesus that “all things hold together” in the entire Universe (Colossians 1:17). Peter said that “the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by the same word” (2 Peter 3:7). Paul announced to the Greek philosophers: “[F]or in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). So we can be assured that the environment will keep working and stay suitable for life for as long as God intends. He is the great Sustainer.

We also know that the carbon dioxide that comes out of animals and humans is necessary for green plants to produce oxygen. Humans do not need to “regulate” the release of carbon dioxide! God has already done that—and continues to do so! The exchange between plants, animals, and humans is due to divine design. That’s why Christians don’t have to worry about whether the environment is going to survive. God is taking care of that! It’s far more important to remember that humans possess inherent value and worth that surpasses the value of either animals or the environment (Matthew 10:31; Luke 12:24).

On the other hand, if God does not exist (as many environmentalists and evolutionists believe), then the physical environment must be protected and preserved by humans in order for life to continue. So those who think that the future of the Earth is dependent on human efforts to save the planet either do not believe in God, or they have not studied His Word to see that He is taking care of Earth.

God never intended for the planet to last forever. God intended the Earth to be temporary. It will last only until God burns it all up (2 Peter 3) and places all humans who have ever lived in either heaven or hell—depending on how they lived on Earth (Hebrews 9:27; Matthew 25:31-46; 2 Corinthians 5:10). The material, physical realm was intended to be temporary—by divine design. Quoting the psalmist, the writer of Hebrews explained:

You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will fold them up (1:10-12).

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*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

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