A daily perusal of any respectable rag will find at least one story about how some study shows that we the people are raining down destruction on our fragile planet. A good round of hand-wringing will be followed by not-so-subtle suggestions that while a few short-term solutions could stem the tide for a while, any real solutions will involve sacrifice on all our parts. These impending disasters are never in the near future, for then the outcomes would be within the reach of post-prediction scrutiny and memory.
The latest story I found warns us that we are about to run out of underground water. It includes all the most important buzzwords: depletion, exploitation, growing population, threat, footprint, global, sustainable and the step grand-daddy of them all: climate change.*
Author Chris Wickham loses a lot of skin on his hands writing stories like this one and the one that connects using TV and computer screens at night with depression. (I get depressed just reading his story on my computer @ 4:00 am, but I think I’d be just as depressed if I read it during the day in a paper paper.)
But back to the water story: Tom Gleeson, the scientist author of the “study” finds the whole water situation “sobering.” (I wonder if he has been doing his lab work at night—just sayin’.) Per the usual, this story offers little in the way of practical solutions, but what solutions he does offer rely on the same approach as most of the others in the genre:
“Gleeson said limits on water extraction, more efficient irrigation and the promotion of different diets, with less or no meat, could make these water resources more sustainable.”
Of course, no one should be against efficiency, but the real questions raised are “Who sets the limits on water extraction?” and how does one “promote” vegetarianism without telling people what they must eat? This is the role of scientists today? These stories are geared toward the general populace, many who seem ready to embrace all of the “hard choices” these do-gooders would suggest.
Out of eighteen comments after the story, half tied the problem to too many people on the planet (None of the commenters volunteered to get off the planet or stop drinking water, however). One suggests we all follow China’s example and limit family size (tyrannies always justify the killing of millions of people and the enslavement of millions more on the basis of helping the “many.”) Another laments “There is not enough to go round yet we are breeding at a frightening rate.” A third is worried about “Birth-rates that are off the charts.”, and the one that is most typical and pointed: “few seem willing to point the finger toward the real underlying source of all our problem—over-population.” The solution to that problem seems simple to another fellow:
“We have to start telling people who are religiously opposed to birth control that they are criminals actively engaged in exterminating the planet.”
Their plans, however, will not come to full fruit. God has ordered our planet as He sees fit. It will not be destroyed until He is ready to melt it with a fervent heat. In the meantime, He has promised those who name the Name of Christ enough food, shelter, clothing and water. We should not fall prey to those who are worried, and whose every solution eventually points to population control, which is a euphemism for people control and mass murder.
*This used to be called “global warming” but the warning-meisters finally got tired of being mocked when they claimed that cold weather was a sign of global warming.
David is currently an adjunct instructor of Composition and Speech at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa. His wife and he have also owned a business selling antique and collectible postcards on eBay since 1999. David was an activist with Operation Rescue in the early 1990s. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Reformed Church in Johnston, Iowa.