Coming Soon A GLOBAL SOLUTION TO OUR POLLUTED PLANET!
Donald D Schroeder
It will happen — the seemingly impossible task of halting pollution and cleansing life — sustaining air, water and land!
HOW IS IT possible that this magazine could be so audacious as to announce a solution to the earth's enormous pollution problems? Scientists and technologists admit they are baffled. Educators say there IS no simple technological fix. To the contrary, leaders lament that every modern technological "solution" to some environmental crisis generates one or more problems as serious as or more serious than the problem it was designed to cure. Today there isn't even a universal will, let alone the economic resources, to solve these complex environmental problems. How, then, can the curse of seriously polluted air, water and land be stopped? How can it happen that nuclear wastes and toxic chemicals can be neutralized or cleansed from the environment? The good news is, it will happen! It will happen, but only after a revolution occurs in our entire way of living. It will occur only after a revolution in our thinking, our values and our attitudes. It will happen because there will be one universal authority with power to FORCE it to happen! This is the only way global pollution can be stopped. Leading educators and environmentalists admit it. When they are asked, "Will we do it?" they invariably answer with a resounding NO! "We cannot bear the thought of a moratorium on business as usual," said one. But he's wrong. There will be a wonderful and total change in life-styles. A revolution in thinking, morality, ethics and applied technology is coming! There will be — again — c1ean and healthful air, pure water and unpolluted land — for everyone! There will be a solution to man's pollution problems because humanity, at last, will learn to deal with the causes of his pollution problems.
Why Man Jumped the Track
There is a reason why man is such a great polluter. Why human nature is filled with so much selfishness, narrow — mindedness, shortsightedness and greed. These are the attitudes that lead to pollution and degradation of the environment. Where did they come from? Isn't it time we found the causes? Humans could have possessed the knowledge needed to comprehend when tools, machines and technology would produce serious damage to themselves and the environment. We humans could have discerned in advance damaging inventions or technologies and stopped them before they became widely disseminated. But man has cut himself off from the source of this essential knowledge — the Creator. Humanity has chosen instead to follow the "get" way of life. "Success" under this "get" way is gaining as much power, riches, material wealth for self as quickly as possible. But who originated the "get" way?
First Environmental Destroyer
Before the creation of the material universe, God created spirit beings to assist him in all his great purpose. One of the most powerful, wise and beautiful beings God created was an archangel whom we call Lucifer. This is a Latin name meaning Light-bringer. He was later sent to bring God's laws to the angels under him and to administer God's government over the earth. When God originally created the earth and the heavenly bodies (Gen. 1:1), all the angels of God shouted for joy. The earth at its creation was immensely beautiful (Job 38:7). But Lucifer allowed a spirit or attitude of competition, which is contrary to God's way, to enter his mind. He chose to rebel against his Maker. He wanted to exalt his throne to supreme ruler over the universe. He and the host of angels swayed with his evil attitudes attempted to knock God off his throne. But they were flung back to earth. These events are revealed in Isaiah 14:12-15, in Ezekiel 28:12-15, in Luke 10:18 and Revelation 12:4. Lucifer's name was changed to Satan, meaning the Adversary. His fallen angels became demons, spirits with deceitful, twisted attitudes. The earth became a ruin. But God renewed the surface of the earth and made it habitable for man. He created flora and fauna suitable for the needs of man (Gen. 1 and 2). Man was created with awesome powers of intellect, reasoning and creativity no animal possessed. God had said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Gen. 1:26). When God created Adam and Eve he commanded them to multiply, to subdue and to rule over all on earth. He placed them in the choicest spot on earth, the Garden of Eden, "to dress it and to keep it" (Gen. 2:15). Note, God did not instruct the man to ravage and despoil the environment over which he ruled. Man was to have dominion, rulership and "dress" — maintain and beautify — the earth. God's purpose was to allow Adam and his progeny the opportunity to develop character like God has and to learn to rule and to be ruled through being a proper caretaker, or steward, over his immediate physical domain. God had set in motion physical and spiritual laws that would automatically bring every right and beautiful result man could want. God created wholesome and nutritious food, a beautiful and clean environment and revealed a way that would maintain contact and peace with God and peace with neighbor. But the first humans were also free moral agents. They could choose God's way or choose to go ways of their own devising. Genesis, chapter 3, reveals Satan, in the guise of a serpent, injected into the first man and woman rebellion and doubt about God's authority. They chose to experiment for themselves and to decide what was right and wrong. They became filled with Satan's attitude of "get" and rebellion. God drove them from the Garden of Eden and cut off human access to his Spirit, typified by the "tree of life." Cain, in the very first generations born, soon rose up and killed his brother Abel, because he — Cain — was "of that wicked one" (I John 3:12). Cain's attitude was, "Am 1 my brother's keeper?" (Gen. 4:9). That attitude that was in Cain has filled humanity ever since. It has led to every evil: competition, war, violence, greed, and environmental degradation. The apostle Paul explained to early New Testament Christians that Satan is the unseen "god of this world" (II Cor. 4:4). That all humans in one way or another have walked "according to the prince of the power of the air" — Satan (Eph. 2:2). Twentieth century humanity is repeating the same tragic attitudes and mistakes of past generations. Only today, misguided humanity in both developed and undeveloped nations — possesses vastly more powerful technology to rapidly destroy the earth's life-giving habitat — the narrow band of air, water and soil that sustains all physical life. Mankind as a whole still doesn't believe his ways are evil. Many people don't yet recognize, much more hate, the evil consequences of their selfish attitudes. These consequences will yet bring much greater environmental pollution. The book of Revelation in particular graphically depicts this awesome environmental crisis. Yet there is great hope for those who truly want to understand. Millions do not know that the true gospel — the good news Jesus Christ preached — included a message about saving the environment! It is summed up in the expression "the times of restitution of all things" (Acts 3:21). Jesus Christ is returning again to earth, this time as the all-powerful, King of kings. He will set up the government of God over the whole earth. Those who now overcome their selfishness and fulfill the law of God will share Christ's power and authority over the nations. Here, at last, is the only hope mankind has to solve horrendous global pollution problems. "Say to them that are of a fearful heart [and who doesn't get a little fearful when reading about today's pollution problems?], Be strong, fear not: behold your God will come... he will come and save you" (Isa. 35:4).
The First Step
What will be the first step Christ will take to halt destruction of the earth's environment? He will remove the primary source causing world problems, the wrong attitudes and ideas in humans that result in damaging ways of living. Christ will first dethrone and chain Satan and his evil host of demons. They will cease to deceive and sway the nations any more (Rev. 20:1-2). No one but the great God can bind and chain this evil "Destroyer." Without this step, stopping degradation of the environment is not possible. No human government even knows that. God will then put a stop to another great cause of human pollution and environmental degradation. The nations will be forced to stop warring and fighting. They will be forced to stop destroying and polluting the earth's environment with nuclear, chemical or other means of destruction. Mankind, at last, will be forced to stop the vast appropriation for war of limited economic and material resources. Instead resources will begin to go for constructive purposes. "And he [Christ] shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords [military hardware] into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isa. 2:4).
But how, you may ask, are all the vast quantities of pollution from nuclear and chemical warfare and other toxic wastes polluting air, land, water, even deep ocean beds, going to be gotten rid of or cleansed? The process will begin immediately after the return of Jesus Christ. Note this wonderful prophecy. "And his [Christ's] feet shall stand in that day [of Christ's return] upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem … and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof … and there shall be a very great valley … and it shall be in that day, that living [life-giving] waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea [Dead Sea] and half of them toward the hinder sea [Mediterranean]: in summer and in winter shall it be" (Zech. 14:4, 8). Note the miraculous healing power of this water from Christ's throne upon everything it touches.
"Too often In the process of creating some new technology or goods in competition for markets, more dangerous forms of pollution are generated."
Ezekiel, chapter 47, fills in details: "These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed [of the horrendous pollution wrought because of human warfare and sin]. "And it shall come to pass, that everything that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters come thither: for they shall be healed; and everything shall live whither the river cometh" (verses 8, 9). The whole world is going to realize that all true good, and all true healing — whether of body, mind, spirit or of the environment issues from God and from him alone! But there is much more!
Livelihoods on Track
Christ can start totally afresh in rebuilding communities and nations with environmentally sound ways of living. Note the new economic focus in the world tomorrow. It will be based on agriculture, on the right care of the soil and on producing abundant food and building materials, not on machines for war and conquest (Isa. 2:4). What is a major cause of today's rush into pollution? It is nations rushing headlong into industrial production — in fierce competition for survival with other industrial nations. That means more and more production is geared to making more, making it faster and making it cheap. It means relatively few people growing a limited variety of grain crops for masses in urban areas. Those who do produce food are encouraged to plunder the soil to force it to produce by any means! More and more, industrial and farming competitiveness means cutting corners and ignoring proper measures to protect workers, the soil, the environment and one another's health. Some modern cost-cutting measures are good and helpful. But too often in the process of creating some new technology or goods in competition for markets, more dangerous forms of pollution are generated. Modern economic competition does not allow — either industries or farmers to apply the essential antipollution equipment or conservation methods they should. If one person does and others do not, the one seldom can compete and survive economically. In God's kingdom there will be a proper place for certain kinds of industry and right technology. Note first, however, God's plan of putting priorities aright.
Remember, God's paramount purpose is building godly character in human beings. To do that God ordained the family unit to teach God's way to each generation. That means fathers and mothers will teach sons, daughters and grandchildren by example and by instruction, with discipline. Families — fathers and mothers — will not be forced to engage in separate jobs to earn a decent livelihood as often is true today. Families will be given inheritances in property, in productive land. This is land — that a person or family can live upon, or always fall back upon, to provide the basic essentials of life. Humans under God's government will not be the slaves to a taxing state or to some industry or job that totally divorces them from the productivity of their own land. Notice the prophecy of Zechariah 3:10. "In that day [after God's government is established on earth], says the Lord... every one of you will invite" his neighbor under his vine and under his fig tree" (RSV). Pollution will automatically be cut way down because of this focus on right agriculture. Unlike today, there will be enough good and fertile land for all. How? It will be produced by the power of the great God. "The wilderness and the solitary place... and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose ….in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water …" (Isa. 35:1, 6-7). Nations will reap the blessings of resting their land every seventh year (Lev. 25:1-7). They will be guaranteed right amounts of precious rainfall (Deut. 28:2, 12). Notice the bountiful results that right agricultural practices will reap. "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed …" (Amos 9:13-14). There won't be vast corporations (agribusinesses) or a few selfish landowners with all the good land and hordes of landless peasants wondering if they'll have food or jobs tomorrow. Crops won't be planted in vast acreages of monoculture — single crops over hundreds or thousands of acres — year after year. That type of farming encourages depletion of the soil. It demands vast quantities of powerful fertilizers, and deadly pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. In the world tomorrow, families will be working together on their own smaller yet sizable acreages. They will be able to build up, improve and conserve their precious heritage with proper conservation methods. They will recycle natural fertilizers and composts to build up the soil — obeying the law of return — "giving" back to the soil what they take out. Cattle will not be fed on giant feedlots, which create huge mounds of wastes that run off with rains and pollute land and water supplies. Farm animals will live on fields or pasturage rotated with crop production. Humans will learn to cultivate disease-resistant seeds. They will produce quality foods with optimum nutrients for good health. They will not, as is so often true today, feel forced to produce great quantities of food as cheaply as possible as their first priority. And yet there will be an abundance of wholesome food. You may wonder, how will farmers be able to avoid using poisonous pesticides to rid their crops of destructive insects and diseases? By obeying natural and spiritual laws! First, they will plant proper crops for their area. They will use crop rotation to maintain soil fertility. They will practice soil conservation. They will design their acreage for the encouragement of balanced bird, insect and plant life. These practices will not only fill the air with pleasing songs and sights but will go a long way to naturally controlling pests. But there will be another wonderful way to protect crops. How many today know that whole nations are cursed (Mal. 3:8-9) with agricultural woes because they are robbing God? Note this promise from God: "Bring ye all the tithes [of crop or monetary increase] into the storehouse... and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. "And I will rebuke the devourer [animal plague, disease or infestation] for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts" (see Malachi 3:10-11). God is Lord over all his creation. That is something most people forget today.
Right Industry, Travel Too
In the wonderful age to come, there will be a need for various kinds of industrial goods. Man will need machines and engines for power and transport to assist him in constructive activities. In tomorrow's world, machines using predominantly nonpolluting energy and engines will be required. Humans have already conceived and designed certain basic nonpolluting energy technology-solar power, steam and biogas for instance. Some industrial activities — such as steel — making and critical metals — require the use of high heat energy sources. Coal will probably be used for this purpose in many areas. But that will mean great care must be taken to control pollutants that arise. If potentially environmentally dangerous agents are produced by any industry, that industry will have to install maximum antipollution devices to capture, neutralize or recycle such wastes — or such industries won't be permitted to exist. Scriptures reveal there will be major highways for transportation and travel (Isa. 11:16; 35:8; 40:3). Whatever modes of transportation will exist won't be allowed to pollute or endanger the health of man as happens today. Much pollution from transportation vehicles could already have been cut down with properly designed systems. The field of inventions is wide open for new developments in a world that is not devoted to greed, selfishness and gain!
Home — Where the Action Begins
In tomorrow's world, one won't have to travel great distances to do exciting or necessary things. One won't want to "get away from it all." It will be exciting where you are! There will be towns and cities in the world tomorrow, bustling with creative activity. But they will be vastly different from today's towering canyons of steel, glass and concrete that blot out sun and inspiring natural beauty. Communities will be related to supporting food and livestock production. Agricultural areas will not be cultural wastelands. There will be beautiful cultural centers, magnets to draw families and communities together to enjoy the best in music and other human achievements. Of today's world, where city and field are more and more often separated, God says, "Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place..." (Isa. 5:8). Families and relatives will tend to live close by and support one another. That's where the fun will really begin — with families, friends and neighbors helping each other to grow and develop. And it will be safe to let children enjoy their environment (Isa. 11:6). "Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, [nor] wasting nor destruction within thy borders..." (Isa. 60:18). But you may ask, what if someone comes up with some idea or plan to produce something actually dangerous to human life or the environment? Or to be corrupt or deceitful in his dealings? Note the way such thoughts and actions will be dealt with before they come to fruition: "... yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers [spirit members of the God family, born of God, now manifested in human form]: and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left" (Isa. 30:20-21). What will humans do when they run into some technological snag, or have some difficulty or uncertainty about whether to proceed on a new development, whether it will be environmentally safe in the long run? Here's unbelievable news! They can go to members of the God family, even to Jesus Christ himself if necessary, who is the creator of all law and matter and ask! "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you," promised Christ (Matt. 7:7). What an age to come!
Home Conservation and Recycling
What about nonpolluting home utilities and heating? Today, so much energy is wasted from cheaply or improperly designed homes and inefficient heating equipment. Homes in the world
"Modern economic competition does not allow either tomorrow will be designed from the start to industries or farmers to apply the essential antipollution equipment or conservation methods they should."
take advantage of nonpolluting and renewable sources of energy. Again, this energy may be solar power, efficiently burned wood, biomass gases, natural gases or other fuel. Home builders will be encouraged to use efficient home, tree and shrubbery placement to maximize heating and cooling during the various seasons. Homes will be solidly built from the foundations up. And well insulated where necessary. That saves energy. Quality homes that meet the needs of the environment may cost more initially. But they will be cheaper, longer lasting and more satisfying in the long run. Today's vast sewer systems, overwhelmed with human, animal and toxic chemical wastes that dump into rivers, lakes, waterways and oceans, won't be permitted. Such technology spreads disease and ugly stench. The Bible reveals the proper means of human waste disposal turned back into the soil for proper sanitary breakdown (Deut. 23:13). Proper waste disposal systems will return biodegradable waste back into the soil through proper septic or composting systems. Some nations are already learning how. Communities and villages will be smaller. Individual home or community waste disposal systems can be designed to recycle water and wastes safely. Great quantities of water will not be necessary to flush them away. Recycling of metals, glass and paper products will be encouraged. That also will conserve resources and energy.
Time to Be Creative
As well as being burdened down with lack of critical necessities of life, much of humanity also feels deprived of sufficient time to develop and improve themselves, or to travel. But when humanity gets its priorities right, there will be time to enjoy other activities. Here is a wonderful way humans will find such time. Every seventh year the land will be rested (Lev. 25:1-7) and debts due will be released (Deut. 15). Here's a whole year humans can devote to special creativity, innovation, special education and travel. It will be a time to improve technology to assist others around the world. But don't misunderstand. Pollution will not be conquered — even under Christ's reign — all over the earth at once. It will take time and education. God's government will gradually permeate the hearts of human beings like leaven in dough (Matt. 13:33). But the marvelous thing is that humanity, at last, will have the divine help and power needed to overcome every obstacle to a wholesome environment.