The Tragedy of Our POLLUTED PLANET!... and what Bible prophecy reveals will be done to solve the problem.
Gene H Hogberg & Eugene M Walter
YOU ARE PROBABLY breathing polluted air this very minute! If you aren't, you ought to be very thankful. You are in a blessed, and rapidly shrinking minority. And when you took your first drink of water this morning, chances are, it, too, was far from fresh. To be sure, it had probably been "purified" and officially approved as "safe." But did its chemical, medicinal taste make you wonder where it came from? Did you have uneasy thoughts about who might have used it just a few hours before — and for what purpose?
Your Food, Too
When you sat down to your first meal today, what did you eat? It is almost certain that you ate at least some polluted food — and probably a lot more than you think. You may be the rare exception who lives in a place where there is fresh air and pure water, but you are very rare indeed if your diet consists entirely of unpolluted, wholesome food. Chances are, if you eliminated from your diet the sprayed, artificially colored and waxed fruits and vegetables — the chemically enriched, refined, colored and preserved breads and cereals — the pasteurized, homogenized, fortified and preserved dairy products — and the meat and eggs which came from animals polluted with stilbestrol, hormones, drugs and abnormal high-gain feeds, you would have almost nothing left! You may not have thought of some of these things as pollutants. But that is, nevertheless, what they are. But you don't just breathe the air, drink the water and eat the food which some other person has befouled, besmirched and contaminated. You — whoever you are — directly or indirectly contribute to pollution. Have you ridden in a car, bus or airplane today? Do you smoke? Do you work in a factory that belches noxious fumes into the air all day long? Or one that spews effluent into a stream? These are but a few of the common ways that the average person living in a civilized country today contributes to pollution every single day. Pollution is simply a built-in part of our modern, Twentieth Century way of life! Today's "B.C." methods of waste disposal are just not geared to modern congestion and modern industry. We are so used to living in today's polluted world that it is difficult for us to realize how bad it really is.
The Shocking Facts
In a dramatic message to both houses of Congress on January 30, President Johnson warned that the battle for clean air alone will be lost in TEN YEARS unless drastic measures are taken at once! "We are not even controlling today's level of pollution," the President reported. "Ten years from now, when industrial and waste disposal have increased and the number of automobiles in our streets and highways exceeds 110 million we shall have lost the battle for clean air unless we strengthen our regulatory and research efforts now. "There is much to be done," continued the President, and we are losing ground. The air and water grows heavier with the debris of our spectacular civilization. The domain of nature shrinks before the demands of commerce." The same kind of warning came recently from Vice President Humphrey. Mr. Humphrey stressed that air pollution alone has now become so enormous a problem in the United States that no one government agency and no single private interest group can possibly cope with it. At an air pollution conference attended by the Vice President, it was emphasized that 130 million tons of pollutants were spewed into the American air alone during 1966. If this airborne waste were to be put into cargo ships, it would require more than half of all the merchant vessels in the world to carry it! Of this vast amount approximately 85 million tons were attributable to automotive exhausts.
Survival at Stake
Other members of President Johnson's staff are also deeply concerned. "Our continued survival" depends upon solving the problem of environmental pollution, Secretary of the Interior Stewart L. Udall told the National Petroleum Council recently. "This is a strong statement," Udall said. But, he added: "... we must restore our air and our water resources to some tolerable state of purity or we shall as a nation surely suffocate in our own effluvia." The truth about the tragic pollution of our air, water and land is not pleasant to report. But you need to know what is really happening on our Polluted Planet — and what the future holds. Many articles have been written on the subject of pollution. But they all, it seems, conclude with dire warnings of gloom — or in unfounded optimism, which is even worse. The ultimate outcome has never been reported!
The Breath of Death
America's air is sick. But the U.S. holds no corner on the pollution market. White-collar workers in West Germany's heavily industrialized Ruhr district are accustomed to carrying an extra shirt with them to work. They know the first one will be gray after half a day in the area's polluted air. A smog-aggravated respiratory ailment, "Tokyo-Yokohama asthma," affects thousands in that giant Japanese megalopolis. Oxygen tanks have been installed at ten busy Tokyo intersections for use of traffic policemen who must stand for hours in the swirl of auto exhaust fumes. Every half hour the men have to take an "oxygen break." Families have begun to move out of Johannesburg, South Africa, because of a gray smog blotting out the blood-red South African sun. But polluted air is not a threat just to living things. It even destroys metal and stone! Four ancient Greek bronze horses in Venice's St. Mark's Square are being eaten away by polluted air. So is the famed "Cleopatra's Needle" in New York City. This monument successfully withstood more than three thousand years of wind-driven desert sand in Egypt. But New York's air is simply more than it can take. In West Germany, workmen have been waging a battle since 1959 to save the historic Cologne Cathedral. Pollutants in the city's air have been crumbling the building's sandstone. In southern Germany, even the traditionally clear air of the Alps has occasionally been filled with gases from oil refineries located in the area. In Madrid, Spain, the pall of smoke and dust is sometimes so great it is difficult to see from one side of a thoroughfare to the other. The atmosphere over a number of South American cities is becoming increasingly contaminated. Major problems already exist in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Santiago,. Chile. A potential problem is also expected in Buenos Aires, Argentina. There is a touch of irony here. Buenos Aires means "good airs" in Spanish. But population and industrial growth threaten to overburden the cleansing action of the city's prevailing winds. This list could go on and on. Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt, Warsaw, Moscow, Kiev, Karachi, Calcutta, Bombay, Singapore, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Cairo, Tel Aviv, Caracas, Toronto, Vancouver — these and others are apprehensive over the black clouds gathering overhead.
Worst in U.S.
The United States, the most industrialized of all nations, has the worst problem of all. The Public Health Service (PHS) reports that 120 million people in some 7,300 communities are presently affected by air pollution. Fully 25 percent of the U.S. population now lives in areas described as suffering from "major" air pollution problems. The number of people affected has risen 50 percent in the past 15 years, according to the PHS. Until a few years ago, the sky over most of the nation was comparatively free of contaminants. Only a few scattered cities had serious pollution problems, mostly caused by smoke. Today a breath of really fresh air is a luxury denied most urban areas. On some days, it is not unusual for the eastern half of the United States — from Maine down to Florida and from Boston west extending all the way to Des Moines, Iowa in the upper region, and from Miami to New Orleans or even Dallas in the lower half — to be covered by a pollution blanket. So reports Norman Cousins, editor of the Saturday Review, and an expert on air pollution. Some scientists shudder at what could — and they say undoubtedly will — happen in the near future. If such a widespread smog blanket should ever lay in for several days, with little wind action, there will be untold thousands of deaths. "The raw materials of future pollution disasters are present. Daily production of nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and other poisons approaches and passes the 500-ton mark in most of our large cities. All that is needed is for the air to stop moving for a few days, and disaster will strike" (Poisons in the Air, by Edelson and Warshofsky). New York City had a foretaste of such a disaster during last fall's Thanksgiving weekend. Eighty deaths were directly attributed to this particular smog siege.
Cause of Death: Smog
No death certificates have ever cited smog as a cause of death. Yet U.S. Surgeon General William H. Stewart reported on April 19 there is "compelling evidence" that air pollution is killing and disabling Americans in every area of the nation. In testimony before a Senate subcommittee, Dr. Stewart revealed scientific studies have linked pollution to such diseases as cancer, the common cold, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. "That's the clearest statement of the connection between health and air pollution we've heard yet," commented Sen. Edmund Muskie of Maine. Other health hazards, too, are being found! According to Dr. C.C. Patterson, a geochemist, the average American is already close to the threshold of "classical lead poisoning." Most of this is attributable, he says, to the burning of lead tetraethyl in gasoline. Commuters on crowded freeways are sometimes subjected to dosages of lead poisoning many times higher than the rate in urban areas as a whole. No motorist would be foolish enough to run the motor of his car in a closed garage and expect to live very long. Yet millions daily drive stop-and-go in virtual smog tunnels, breathing in dangerous amounts of lead, carbon monoxide, and other poisons. The sulfur oxides are another growing peril. These are the combustible by-products of soft coal and oil. On some days in some of the major U.S. cities, the sulfur oxides in the air exceed "recommended levels" by from 300 to 400 percent! How dangerous are these substances? Sulfur dioxide combines with moisture in the air to produce sulfurous acid, a bleaching agent that attacks the upper respiratory tract. Sulfur trioxide combines with moisture to form sulfuric acid, a powerful chemical that can destroy tissues. Congress recently reported out of committee a bill to establish new federal guidelines for sulfur oxide control. However, the coal industry's lobby was successful in efforts to eliminate the bill's enforcement provisions, making it just another "recommendation." A senator from a coal-producing state appealed to the Administration that the future of the coal industry was at stake! But what about the health of the nation? Never mind the health of the nation: it is money that is important, it seems.
Crops Suffocating Too
Bad air is fast displacing bad weather as America's biggest plunderer of crops. Damage from air pollution in parts of New York, New Jersey, Florida, California, Oregon and Washington now costs farmers more than the combined havoc of wind, cold and ice. In the Garden State of New Jersey, pollution injury to vegetation has been observed in every single county. Damage has been reported to at least 36 commercial crops, including spinach, endive, romaine, table beets and chicory. In central and southern Florida orange trees have been severely damaged, causing some growers to relocate. At the opposite end of the country, peaches, apples and leafy vegetables grown in Washington and Oregon have been hit hard. Damage to crops in California now exceeds the $100,000,000 a year mark. "If the pollutants in the air go unchecked," says Dr. O.C. Taylor of the University of California, "it won't be many years before agriculture in certain parts of America ceases to exist." The third annual National Conference on Air Pollution was held in Washington, D.C., in December. A PLAIN TRUTH correspondent was present. He was shocked at the ominous warnings he heard. At this conference, John Gardner, Secretary for Health, Education and Welfare, warned that three alternatives face the American public unless drastic action is taken to halt air pollution. 1) Stay indoors and live like moles on smoggy days. 2) Give everybody gas masks. 3) Build domes over all our big cities and air-condition them. Mrs. Esther Peterson, former special assistant to the President for Consumer Affairs, warned that unless conditions soon improve, as many as 10,000 people may die prematurely from one smog siege in any one of America's large cities. Enlarging the issue, another participant at the "Smog Conference" warned: "Air pollution on a worldwide basis is comparable with [the problems] of nuclear war or the population explosion."
"Fresh" Water — Or Filthy Water?
Enough about air pollution for the moment. What about supplies of fresh water? By fresh water, we mean the opposite of salt water. Today, "fresh" water is anything but fresh in the true sense of the word. Take the Netherlands, for example. Holland is suffering from the pangs of European prosperity. For centuries the Dutch have successfully battled against both the North Sea and internal fresh water flooding. Now a new problem has arisen. The Rhine River flows out through Holland. The Dutch desperately need diversions from the Rhine's giant volume to flush salt out of reclaimed sea land areas. But the Rhine has become so polluted (from wastes picked up in France and West Germany) that its value for this cleansing purpose is seriously questioned. "Holland's twin problem," says a Dutch official, "is invasion by the salt sea and pollution from the dirty Rhine — Europe's filthiest and most contaminated river." In West Germany, polluted rivers and lakes are a growing menace. Only the Ruhr River has been successfully cleaned up. Even beautiful Lake Constance along the German-Swiss border is reported to be accumulating waste materials at a dangerous rate. The problem is much the same elsewhere. Traveling through Italy with our Dusseldorf office manager was eye-opening. As we stood on the bank of the much-polluted Arno River in Florence, he sardonically warned, "Don't fall in! You'll die of diphtheria before you hit bottom." Similar conditions exist on the other side of the globe. The beautiful natural harbor in Sydney, Australia, is now contaminated. "Name your disease," reports the Australian International News Review. "With very little effort you can catch it merely by going swimming anywhere inside the harbor itself or almost anywhere along the coast for 20 miles above and below the city." Reports of typhoid and paratyphoid organisms made headlines in Sydney newspapers as early as a year ago.
"Colon of Mid-America"
Almost every creek, river, lake and bay in the entire United States is now contaminated. Nothing reveals this ugly fact more than the state of the once-beautiful Mississippi River — now referred to by some as the colon of mid-America." Last fall a group of conservationists inspected the Mississippi by boat in the vicinity of St. Louis. The men were shocked to see more than 100 pipes pouring untreated sewage directly into the Mississippi. Water samples taken from the river below St. Louis were found to be so toxic that even when diluted ten times with clear water, fish placed in the mixture died in less than one minute! When the samples were diluted 100 times, the test fish still perished within 24 hours. Fortunately, the people living south of St. Louis have more rugged constitutions than do fish.
A 2,464 Mile Sewer
If you think the Mississippi River situation is serious, however, just listen to what is being proposed for the Missouri River, the Mississippi's "northern half." In January, a group of water experts prepared a bold report urging that the second longest river in the U.S. be used for one purpose only — removing city wastes. Imagine — the Missouri to become a 2,464 mile sewer! But on second thought, why not? — considering the sad shape the river is in. What the frank report admitted is that the overburdened Missouri can no longer be expected to perform a dual role, that of removing sewage and providing a source of clean water at the same time.
"Typical River" Highlights National Crisis
Down South, the state of the vital, once-crystalline Chattahoochee River of Georgia and Alabama offers a graphic study of America's water crisis. The murky Chattahoochee enters Atlanta loaded with upstream pollution. There much of its coffee-with-cream colored water detours into Atlanta's filtration plant to supply the domestic and industrial needs of the city's half-million people. Doses of alum, chlorine, ammonia, carbon and lime are added to make the water as clear and potable as possible. After doing its work for Atlanta, an overloaded purification plant returns the water, some of it untreated, into the stream bed — considerably darker in color. For miles downstream, even industry cannot use it. The Public Health Service labels Atlanta's water and sewage problem "critical." It adds, however, that it is typical of conditions prevalent throughout the entire country. If you want more vivid examples read U.S. Congressman Jim Wright's new book, The Coming Water Famine. But don't read it before dinner unless you have a cast-iron stomach. Is it any wonder that one writer described the typical drinking water supply of many U.S. cities as "a brown, diluted soup of dead bacteria preserved in chlorine"?
It is difficult for the average citizen to grasp the enormity of the contamination crisis facing our rivers and lakes. But our scientists know. And they are alarmed at what they see. A recent National Academy of Sciences special report contained a shocking prediction. By 1980, even with efficient waste treatment, the discharge of sewage and other organic wastes will be absolutely enormous. The waste pileup will by then be capable of consuming all the oxygen of all the flow in dry weather of the 22 river basins in the United States. (The oxygen is removed by bacteria feeding on the waste products) Imagine! STERILE RIVERS, completely robbed of life! Chemical poisons, the report said, are being introduced in new forms so fast that the toxicologists simply cannot keep up with them. This, coupled with the relentless growth of population and industry, will soon make the situation entirely unmanageable.
America's Dead Sea
Who would believe North America's five fabulous Great Lakes — containing one fifth of the world's supply of fresh water — could become seriously polluted? They are. The situation is critical. Lake Erie is literally dying. Not only is its shoreline polluted but over one fourth of the lake is without oxygen. This vast reservoir of death in the middle of the lake is a virtual underwater desert. All useful water life has been smothered by the immense blooms of green and blue-green algae feeding on the nitrogen, phosphorus and other waste products flushed into the lake by polluted rivers and streams. Two other Great Lakes are showing ominous signs. Lake Michigan, a cul-de-sac body of water with little drain-off, is steadily accumulating dangerous amounts of waste. Lake Ontario, the last lake in the chain, is also the final deposition for the pollution of the four other lakes. Visitors to famed Niagara Falls are often offended by the stench of sewage and paper-mill waste flowing over the falls. Just to reverse the deterioration in the Great Lakes would now take at least ten years of hard effort at a minimum cost of 20 billion dollars!
Destruction Rate Unparalleled
"No country in the history of the world," says Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, "has destroyed its natural resources at a rate comparable to the destruction now going on in the United States. "In the last 100 years this country has destroyed more of its resources than the entire world has in the past 1,000 years. We destroyed the forests, the rivers — there is not one watershed in the United States that is now unpolluted — and we are rapidly destroying the lakes." Senator Nelson predicts that unless corrective measures are taken, our useable water reserves "will be used up in ten years!" (Newark, New Jersey, Star-Ledger, August 23, 1966)
The most insidious of all contaminants today are the hydrocarbon pesticides — of which DDT is the most famous. Drained off sprayed farmlands into creeks, rivers and the oceans, these high-powered poisons are entering the world food-chain. They pose a grave threat to all forms of life! There is apparently no area on earth untouched by DDT and its related family of pesticides. The Antarctic continent is the most remote area of the earth, the most isolated from man and his actions. Yet, trace amounts of DDT which has never been used there have been detected in the tissues of four Antarctic animal species. Tissue analyses of Adelie penguins, crab-eater seals, Weddell seals and fish species of the eelpout family have all revealed traces of DDT. The heaviest concentration was found in the eel-pouts, captured in bottom traps at depths of more than 1500 feet in McMurdo Sound. At the opposite end of the earth, the same amazing result has been found. During the summer of 1965, a husband-and-wife team of amateur ornithologists explored the remote, nearly inaccessible interior of Alaska. All around their campsite area in the Brooks Range were numerous nests and eggs — all contaminated. Varying amounts of chlorinated hydrocarbons were discovered in every specimen they checked. The highest amount was found in a rough-legged hawk and in a larvae which lived under a rock in a cold mountain stream. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service believes the source of the contamination to be "pesticide fallout" — probably the result of aerial spray which never reached the ground at its intended target.
DDT in the Pacific
One year ago, a three-man research team made a startling discovery. The researchers collected more than 400 samples of fish, shellfish and other invertebrates in the Pacific Ocean off America's West Coast. Do you know how many were free of pesticide residue? FOUR! That's right, four! A measly four out of over 400 samples — only one percent — collected in a broad area from Seattle to the Galapagos Islands and from San Francisco to Hawaii. It seems that animals without a trace of DDT or some other pesticide have become freaks. The researchers were also startled to find that the DDT concentration in the reproductive organs of certain species was 10 times that found in other body tissues. Is it any wonder the fertility rate of man and wildlife is dropping? In addition, the researchers said the widespread occurrence of DDT residues in marine bays and estuaries was particularly significant. Such bodies of water are the "nurseries" of many species of commercial fish. "The distribution of pesticides in areas for which they were never intended is no longer a nightmare but a reality," the research team concluded. (New York Times, February 9, 1966)
Pesticides washing off sprayed lands enter rivers and streams in very dilute quantities. But marine organisms ingesting the chemical often concentrate the poison many times. Studies have shown that oysters can accumulate DDT residues 70,000 times the amount of DDT in the surrounding water. And many people eat oysters. Small fish also concentrate pesticides and pass them on to larger fish which eat them. When the larger fish are eaten by fish-eating birds such as the osprey or bald eagle, the birds get extremely concentrated doses of poison. The osprey and eagle stand at the top of this marine food chain. And both of these birds are now in biological trouble and are threatened with extinction. The osprey, which used to breed by the hundreds on the East Coast, is now down to a few dozen. In 1963, of 56 specimens of bald eagle found dead or incapacitated in 20 states and two Canadian provinces, all but one contained DDT. Of five infertile eagle eggs tested, all contained DDT. "We know that pesticides are responsible for the bald eagle's plight," noted ornithologist Roger Tory Peterson testified before Congress in 1964.
Not only is our air, water and land contaminated, but we ourselves are polluted. There are 20 tons of DDT residue in the U.S. "walking" around stored within the bodies of nearly 200 million Americans. This amounts to one tenth of a gram per person. A small but definite amount. And it is growing. Recent studies and examinations also show that DDT can even be transferred from a mother to her unborn child through the placenta. Once DDT finds its way into the fat of any creature, its persistence permits it to stay unchanged for a long period of time. And as the creature — each one of us — eats more food contaminated with DDT, the amount of DDT in our fat increases. This stored DDT accumulates until it is much more concentrated than that being daily ingested. Contaminated animals are known to have died during drought conditions when their stored fatty tissue was called upon for energy. What happens to a human in a time of stress or a period of weight loss when fat is burned, releasing stored, concentrated DDT into the individual's system? Newer dangers are continually being reported. Some scientists are warning that many of the pesticides stored in the body's fatty tissues can act as inhibitors of the oxygen supply to the cells. Experiments with animals have shown that interference with the oxidative enzyme system of a fetus will cause structural changes in the tissue and organs, and a marked increase in congenital deformities. The pesticide peril is increasing every day. "The more you spray today, the more you will have to spray tomorrow," is a known axiom.
"Fool's Paradise" Warns Udall
Interior Secretary Stewart Udall says that it is wrong to call many of these products pesticides. "BIOCIDES" — life killers — would be a more appropriate term, he says. On another occasion, Udall told a Pest Control conference: "Blithely we carry on our multibillion dollar programs in the pesticides field with wholly inadequate research... We could be building our own fool's paradise. The day of reckoning may not be tomorrow, but who knows about the day after? "Every organism tested, in the farthest stretches of the open oceans and from pole to pole, bears traces of the chemicals that man is using to control pests. How much of these poisons can be tolerated? No one really knows the answer now," Udall concluded.
Space simply does not permit more shocking case histories of what man is doing to completely befoul and besmirch the beautiful, perfect environment a loving God originally gave him. Before us are many more articles from top news sources, scientific journals and thoroughly documented books. We haven't even touched on the subject of food additives — the artificial sweeteners, the preservatives, the stabilizers, emulsifiers and so on. Suffice it to say that some 2,400 food additives are in commercial use today! About 400,000,000 pounds are used each year in the U.S. alone. That's about three pounds of chemicals per person, per year. Many of these substances are admittedly of unknown or questionable nature. And radioactive fallout? A recent report states that fallout from past nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere will continue to increase each year until 1975. This rate is based upon the assumption there will be no more nuclear explosions. A risky assumption, indeed.
Can Mankind Halt the Slide?
Will mankind be able to stop before it's too late? Remember, President Johnson says Americans have no more than ten years left to clean up the air over the United States. Remember, too, Senator Nelson warns that the nation has ten years left to clean up the U.S. water supplies — or it will be too late! Remember, too, that polluting agents are destined to increase. Secretary Gardner says: "What little progress we have made today will have been wiped out by 1980 when our population, number of automobiles and need for heat and power generation will have doubled." Industry, as a whole, has written a dismal record regarding pollution. Will it suddenly change? Will it begin to comply 100 percent with regulations laid down by governmental bodies, instead of waiting to be practically bludgeoned into action on nearly every single issue? Will municipal and state governments begin to cooperate wholeheartedly with federal agencies in waging a do-or-die attack on every facet of pollution? Will they give up jealously guarded sovereignty in order to do so? Will states begin wholeheartedly to cooperate among themselves on solving common problems? One poignant example might serve to illustrate this problem. A mutual control pact between Illinois and Indiana was signed in May, 1964 to create an interstate pollution control board. But, being an interstate agreement, this pact must be cleared through Federal channels. The bill has been pigeonholed in the U.S. Congress ever since. Yet this nonexistent pact has been labeled a "milestone" in interstate air pollution control. What about those in agriculture? Will farmers finally realize what they are doing to the soil and water and stop using such powerful poisons — "biocides," as Secretary Udall calls them? Even in California, which has several vocal health organizations warning of the pesticide hazard, only five percent of the agricultural land is farmed without pesticides.
Where Does This Leave Us?
Even if — which isn't possible — the United States were able to turn back the tide within its own borders, the world's air supply and the oceans of the earth would still become polluted beyond repair, and that's a fact! Indeed, it may already be too late! Barry Commoner of the Washington University Department of Botany told the Natural Industrial Conference Board: "If we choose to allow this huge and growing debt to accumulate further, the environment may eventually be damaged beyond its capacity for self-repair." Did you catch the significance of that last statement? The earth's environment damaged beyond the ability of either man or nature itself to rectify it! Will the American public be willing to underwrite the fantastic multibillion dollar cost to clean up the environment it continues to pollute? All this in TEN YEARS? Looking at what little results have been so far achieved, any rationally minded person will have to answer these questions with a resounding "No!"
The Only Answer
It's high time our peoples got off the fence of doubt and smug skepticism and realized that all the absolutely monstrous problems facing mankind today are beyond human ability to solve. No body of men is going to put a stop to the runaway population explosion! No group of scientists is going to prevent the proliferation of atomic weapons — now threatening to spread to many small nations. No government, no board of top industrialists is going to be able to clean up our polluted planet in time! Too many commercial interests are involved — and their well-paid lobbyists are on the job day and night. But Almighty God will change all that. The soon-coming Government of God will solve these pollution problems. A desperately needed WORLD GOVERNMENT is coming. But it will be the government of God, not of selfish, competitive, lobbying, carnally minded human beings.
Pollution the Penalty of Sin
The natural, carnal mind of man is hostile to God and His holy, just and righteous law (Rom. 8:7). It wants to go the way of unrighteousness, of uncleanness, of pollution — of SIN. We have all sinned and been filled with spiritual corruption and filth. We have all broken God's law. And every time a physical penalty has been exacted. The penalty may not have been immediate and obvious but it was there nevertheless. In our greedy effort to GRASP and SEIZE everything we could get our grimy hands on, we have broken God's law with reckless abandon. We didn't care about the welfare of our fellowman — or our children of future generations. All we cared about was getting the almighty dollar or pound NOW. We broke God's law, which says, "Thou shalt not covet." We broke God's law which says, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." And all the while the penalties kept piling up. Miserable, empty lives. A wretched society. A physical environment so contaminated that scientists are now talking about extinction by pollution! Christ told the scribes and Pharisees of His day: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess... Cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also" (Matt. 23:25-26). Yes, the only way to get rid of physical pollution is to first get rid of the spiritual pollution in man's heart and mind. God knew mankind would paint himself into a blind corner if he persisted in following the way of his human nature — the way of lust, greed, and total unconcern for the welfare of his fellowman and society at large. The prophet Isaiah graphically foretold of our day: "The earth is drooping, withering... and the sky wanes with the earth, FOR EARTH HAS BEEN POLLUTED BY THE DWELLERS ON ITS FACE... Therefore a curse is crushing the earth, alighting on its guilty fold; mortals are dying off, till few are left" (Isaiah 24:4-6, Moffat translation). The prophet Hosea, who was a contemporary of Isaiah, gave a detailed prophetic warning. It is found in Hosea 4:1-3 (Moffat): "Israel, hear the word of the Eternal, for the Eternal has a charge to bring against the dwellers of the land; "No fidelity, no kindness, no knowledge of God in the land, nothing but perjury, lying, and murder, stealing, debauchery, burglary..." What better description of life in the English-speaking world! We and related Europeans are the modern-day descendants of the people of Israel. The prophecy is directed to our nations today. And now the last half of verse 3: "... even the beasts and birds AND THE VERY FISH WITHIN THE SEA ARE PERISHING." Nothing could more aptly describe what we are doing both to ourselves and to nature, to the abundant physical blessings a benevolent God bestowed upon us because of the righteousness of one man, Abraham. Just as humanity is about to perish, God Almighty will step in with a strong hand. He will send Jesus Christ back to the earth to rescue the last remnant of mankind from nuclear insanity, pollution and all the other crises threatening human survival. "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake, those days shall be shortened" (Matt. 24:22).
Utopia At Last!
Then will begin the most fantastic "mop-up" operation in the entire history of this world. An entirely new age will dawn. "And he [God the Father] shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: "Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:20-21). The message of all the inspired prophets who have ever spoken is that of the coming Kingdom of God, the restitution of the rule of God upon this earth. Adam rejected that rule. He and his wife were cast out of the Garden of Eden, the most beautiful spot on a fabulous earth. All mankind has followed in the footsteps of Adam ever since. But the "times of restitution" are nearly here. An amazing prophecy in Ezekiel 47:1-12 tells how the waters and the land surface of the earth are going to be purified. Cleansed not only of manmade pollution, but from the effects of the terrifying end-time plagues by symbolic "living waters" (Rev. 8:7-11; 16:3-4).
The Perfect Society
Once purified, the earth under Christ's rule is going to stay that way. Of the resettling of the nations of Israel, God prophesies: "This land that was desolate is become LIKE THE GARDEN OF EDEN, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited" (Ezekiel 36:35). This same glorious way of right living will spread over the entire earth. In the final analysis, the problem of pollution boils down to PEOPLE POLLUTION — too many irresponsible, crowded people, too many industries, too many cars in tightly confined areas. And too few willing to do their part in properly disposing of wastes. But in the World Tomorrow people will no longer be jammed into ugly, slum-infested cities. Tomorrow's cities will be spread out. There will be a lot of greenery (Amos 9:14). Livestock will be with man — in the suburbs of cities (Zech. 2:4; Ps. 144:13). Strange as it sounds to "modern" ears! The oxygen-carbon-dioxide balance — now seriously threatened because of the burning of fossil fuels — will be restored. The internal combustion engine will be greatly improved, if not totally replaced by other motive power. Tomorrow's world will be a QUALITY SOCIETY. Manufactured items will be built to last, not to be discarded after short use. (Such a practice today greatly compounds our refuse and pollution problem) People will once again enjoy a deep breath of dean, fresh air, taste the sparkle of pure, clear water, enjoy the mouth-watering succulence of nonpoisoned foods, rub their hands in rich, fertile, nonsprayed soil. To find out more what this New Age will bring, read our free booklet. It's entitled, The Wonderful World Tomorrow - What It Will Be Like! No other booklet we've ever published explains in such intriguing detail what is in store for all men everywhere once we learn that God's ways, not ours, bring happiness!