By Doug Carter

Climate Change and Fossils

I’m fascinated by fossils and what they can tell us about our world. Two weeks ago I traveled to the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville to view the world’s largest fossilized stromatolite cap.

image inside Virginia Museum of Natural History showing a t-rex skeleton overlooking a large stromatolite
Stromatolite at the Virginia Museum of Natural History, Martinsville, Virginia

Stromatolites are masses of algae mixed with sediment and typically form in tidal areas of warm tropical seas. If climate change isn’t real, stromatolites like this one shouldn’t be found in a rock quarry at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

In 2018 I walked across a fossilized coral reef in the Ohio River at Falls of the Ohio State Park in Clarksville, Indiana.

Exposed Fossilized Coral Reef in the Ohio River, Falls of the Ohio State Park, Clarksville, Indiana

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume most people can agree coral reefs should not be found along the Indiana and Kentucky border. It’s too cold and there’s no ocean even imaginatively close by. The only logical explanation of these two fossilized sites is if climate change is real.

Coral Fossils, Falls of the Ohio State Park, Clarksville, Indiana

So how did they get there? Scientists believe the earth’s continents were once connected as a giant supercontinent called Pangaea. As some point, Pangaea was divided as rifts formed to separate what is now North America from Africa. The Atlantic Ocean now fills a giant rift between the two continents.

Does the Bible have anything to say about Pangaea? I believe it does. “In the days of Peleg, the son of Eber, the earth was divided.” (Genesis 10:25; 1 Chronicles 1:19) A second geneaolgical list in Genesis shows in that time period, over approximately 250 years, something catastrophic occurred on earth. The lifespans of Eber and the older generation were approximately 400 or more years, while the lifespans of Peleg and the younger generations was approximately 250 years or less. (Genesis 11:10-26) Could this mark the time of the splitting of Pangaea and be the cause of a mass extinction? Could this be what scientists call the Kellwasser or Hangenbeg events attributed to the demise of the Devonian period?

Devonian-era Tribolite fossil, Falls of the Ohio State Park, Clarksville, Indiana. Nickel for scale.

Climate Change and Government Intervention

Since the 1960’s, we’ve been told man-caused cause climate change is a threat to our existence. Richard Falk’s This Endangered Planet: Prospects and Proposals for Human Survival (1972), was the first time I heard about the devastating potential of man’s impact on our world.

As a seminary student, I encountered the topic again. While browsing the third-floor stacks of the campus library, a report published by the World Bank of the United Nations on how to deal with the environmental crisis caught my eye. Something about the report didn’t seem right. I recall the World Bank calling for government intervention and the creation of an environmental awareness campaign to educate the public about the dangers of man-caused climate change. I sneered with disgust as I re-shelved the report. “Did God create a world He can’t sustain?”

Within years, I recognized the first fruits of the World Bank’s environmental awareness campaign. Sustainable Development efforts popped up around the world. Many of those efforts were great: villages received clean water and power; children gained access to education; medical care expanded. I also heard more about man-caused climate change and how it would affect population. But what I didn’t hear much about until the last several months is the connection between climate change and population reduction.

Erected while the world’s population was approximately 4 billion, the Georgia Guidestones call for the world’s population to be maintained under 500 million people in order to be balanced with nature. We have nearly 7.6 billion people today.

Should We Multiply or Reduce World Population?

The idea of population control is organic to the idea preventing man-caused climate change. If mankind’s production and consumption habits are the source of climate change, it makes sense to limit the number of humans available to produce and consume. It’s simple: less people equals less impact on the environment. It’s one thing to suggest controlling population in areas limited by geography and resource availability, but population reduction involves unparalleled evil.

This is where man-cause climate change theory unravels. If man-caused climate change theory is right, God must be wrong.

From the beginning, God gave mankind the mandate to “fill the earth and have dominion over it.” (Genesis 1:28) Since Adam and Eve didn’t fill the earth, nor did their children, nor their grandchildren we can be certain God’s mandate was given to all humanity.

When sin entered the world, the world became cursed. Part of that curse involved the earth, and part of it involved the establishment of enmity between the serpent, Satan, and the seed of the woman, her children.

Since that time, evil set its heart on destroying children. Cain killed Abel; Pharaoh killed the Hebrew children during Moses’ infancy; Herod killed the male children two years old and younger; we know at least some pagan cultures sacrificed children to idols.

As history shows, the mark of an evil regime is to kill children. We now kill ours before and after they’ve been born, calling it a woman’s right. This is a gross evil that carries dire consequences for our entire nation. For the love of God, it must stop.

The Bible and Climate Change

Nothing ever catches God by surprise, not even this radical, progressive attempt to undermine God’s sovereignty over His creation.

3,000 years ago, the prophet Isaiah predicted man-caused climate change and population reduction. “The earth staggers like a drunken man; it sways like a hut,” he says, and it will be because of mankind. “The earth lies defiled under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and its inhabitants suffer their guilt; therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are scorched, and few men are left.” (Isaiah 24)

I’m confident mankind will be responsible for the demise of the planet and progressives will get their wish for drastic population reduction. Do I believe we need to eat our babies to prevent the world from ending in eight years? No. Do I believe research suggests rising seas may erase major coastal cities by 2050? Of course not. But I do believe a global catastrophe is inevitable.

The planet’s demise only happens because mankind rebels against God, not because we obey God.

Genuine repentance and a return to God is our only hope for a sustainable future.

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