The Sky is Falling

As technology and planning improves, death and destruction is mitigated by degrees, but the fact remains that we are still at the mercy of the Earth in all aspects.
on Sep 4, 2019 · 34 comments

Hurricane Dorian just finished thrashing the Bahama Islands and is crawling along the east coast, eroding beaches and ruining countless vacations. This storm is the latest incarnation of nature’s fury, which despite our best technology and planning, still manages to unleash death and destruction. As technology and planning improves, death and destruction is mitigated by degrees, but the fact remains that we are still at the mercy of the Earth in all aspects.

If you’ve been paying attention the 24-hour news cycle, you might get the idea that humanity is to blame for any natural upheavals, especially as it relates to the weather. The talking heads ponder how industrialization directly correlates to strong storms such as Dorian. The world’s average temperature has increased over the last several decades and the debate remains about the causes and effects. There is no question that we should take care of the world as its stewards (Gen. 1:28) but the ideological battle rages on about whether we are responsible for the turmoil we see around us.

This tension is reflected in our entertainment as well. One of the most famous weather-gone-wild movies is The Day After Tomorrow, which was made before the climate change debate really shifted into overdrive. In that movie, mankind is simply at the whims of Mother Nature who decides to freeze nearly every first-world country. The commentary is more socioeconomic than environmental, but Hollywood gave it another bumbling shot with the comedy I mean serious drama Geostorm, in which well-meaning scientists try to control the weather but end up creating…you guessed it…a global storm system. The moral of the story: leave nature alone.

Obviously this is impossible, since we live in the world and we are commanded to subdue it (not abuse it, but not to merely exist either). Yet the idea that humanity is a scourge upon this world is gaining traction, especially in the developed world. There is an entire movement devoted to the voluntary extinction of the human race which asks people to stop reproducing (though not to abstain from sex, because come on, don’t be a prude). Children and families are seen as burdens rather than blessings, and the people who would appear to be in the best positions to provide for families are choosing to forego that route entirely and focus their energies on themselves and their pets.

Numerous films have tackled the issues of overpopulation (Elysium) and global infertility (Children of Men) and neither possibility looks appealing. If you asked the average Joe on the street, they might tell you that this world is screwed no matter what and we should just start over on Mars or in another solar system. After all, it looked so easy in Interstellar, right?

Here is the bottom line: creation groans and yearns to be freed from its inherent corruption (Rom. 8:21-22). Regardless of whether or not our cars and factories and farting cows are heating up the atmosphere, this world will never be at peace. The very ground hates us and produces thorns and thistles. By all means, we should take care of what is in our charge, but we should also realize that the only thing that will make this world truly wonderful is the return of its Maker.

Mark Carver writes dark, edgy books that tackle tough spiritual issues. He is currently working on his ninth novel. Besides writing, Mark is passionate about art, tattoos, bluegrass music, and medieval architecture. After spending more than eight years in China, he now lives with his wife and three children in Atlanta, GA. You can find Mark online at and at Markcarverbooks on Facebook.
  1. I think a few farting cows breathed a sigh of relief after reading this.

  2. notleia says:

    Corporate regulations would be more effective than the efforts of individual people, but just now somewhere a Republican senator felt a disturbance in the force and made more legal loopholes for an oil company.

    But birthrate decline is pretty ordinary for urban areas, and most people even worldwide live in urban areas. I think stagnant wages and the crap job economy is the more direct cause for so many Millennials to not have or have fewer children, but it’s also now more socially acceptable for childless heathens like me to say in our out-loud voices that we do not want children, thanks. (((Stop saying we’re just immature or in “extended adolescence,” assorted busybody old preacher men who write on the Internet. Look at all these bills I pay. LOOK AT THEM.)))

    PS: Though I think it’s a valid debate as to whether the US is even a first-world country anymore, what with our crumbling middle class and crumbling/nonexistent infrastructure.

    • Since human populations are stable, it’s probably not a bad thing for the birthrate to decline a bit. The issues mainly come when the birthrate declines too suddenly/rapidly. Like, such a sudden decline could cause economic issues or at least not enough people to take care of the elderly.

      • Travis Perry says:

        Yeah, Japan is trying to fix this issue by building healthcare robots. Who knows, their idea just might work? (Except for who will pay the taxes to build all those robots provided for by the government…)

        • notleia says:

          I read an article that said that if they opened immigration further, there would be less of a problem.

          • Supposedly there’s also a lot of issues with their orphan/adoption/foster care system too, so if they could make sure those kids were being raised well and with better future job training that would reduce a lot of problems right there, though in many cases that’s easier said than done.

        • Yeah. I think it would take a long time for robots to be fully autonomous machines that can serve people’s medical and physical needs by themselves(though AI is improving by leaps an bounds, so it’s still closer than we might like to think). But one notion that’s been rattling around my head lately is the idea of androids that nurses and medics could log into and steer remotely. Things like that could reduce some strain on human resources (such as travel time).

    • Travis Perry says:

      I think the infrastructure is somewhat better overall than it was ten years ago in the USA (mostly due to Obama Administration spending, lets be clear, but certain private companies have invested in infrastructure as well). But to say US infrastructure is “nonexistent” is rather naive–clearly you haven’t spent much time in the Third World (if you want to see a place with virtually nonexistent infrastructure, visit anywhere in Afghanistan outside of Kabul…).

      Though the collapse of the middle class is a real thing. It’s also happening in other industrialized nations to a degree. Its primary causes are globalization (i.e. getting stuff cheaper from other countries) and increased automation (i.e. robots don’t ask for pay raises).

      President Trump thinks raising tariffs will solve this issue. It won’t, but what will? I have ideas on that, but the truth is that nobody knows for sure how to fix the problems the USA has. Certainly not the political Left in the USA, who can’t even run Chicago decently…

      • notleia says:

        Bruh, I grew up in the armpit of nowhere. We barely had infrastructure and were in sightlines of “no infrastructure.”

      • Sadly I think part of the issue is that the average person doesn’t put the needed work in, as far as looking at future trends and adjusting their life accordingly. Obviously that won’t take care of everything, but the tides are constantly changing and one reason things are hard to fix is because it’s difficult to know which potentiality will actually come true.

        But…I don’t know. Some people seem to think that they should be able to just have one career their whole life, or that they can just settle into their daily existence and not pay attention to things that could rock the boat(whether in their personal lives or the economy). A lot of people don’t think ahead enough as far as building solid contingencies in case their preferred industries start failing.

        But your question of ‘but what will?’ is partially why I get frustrated at people who look at government policy to solve everything. Policies aren’t silver bullets. They help, and they influence, and we need to make sure they’re good, but what they are (trying) to influence are the daily actions and behavior of people. Instead of waiting around for the government to fix everything, people should look at what they themselves can do (which can be a lot, if people play their cards right). Basically, influencing behavior themselves, rather than waiting around for other people to magically make it better.

    • …….Have you ever been outside of the country? I’ll just trust that was hyperbole. (the PS:)

      • notleia says:

        In rural areas, not that much of an exaggeration. For example, the family farm is 2 miles on dirt roads from the paved highway. 5-ish miles from the nearest town. 30 minute drive from the nearest Wally world. 40-45 minutes from the nearest hospital. Unless you grow your own stuff, you are in a food desert. A vehicle is an absolute necessity. There aren’t even any neighbors within a mile. There are vanishingly few jobs.
        That’s why I left.

        • You can leave. With no problem. You always had access to clean water. You had roads. I lived in the country for most of my life with zero complaints because we had electricity, satellite television, internet, etc. (although internet was more difficult–it was completely possible)

          Jobs are freaking everywhere. Go to Haiti and try to get a job.

          Honestly… it seems like you would complain about a gold faucet that was slightly wiggly.

          • notleia says:

            I’m a homebody, but the extent of the isolation was getting to me. I could have stayed and taken over the farmland, but farming is basically gambling, which is why my dad quit when we were pretty young.
            I support some kind of Medicare extension partially because of poor, small-time farming families like we were. There are no benefits, no 401K’s, and it’s work that can break your body. Maybe not third-world, but deffo worse on the aggregate than in the 50’s, before we reached this level of costs increase combined with wage stagnation.
            Maybe second-world rather than third, but distinctly unregenerate. (But then, I don’t consider libertarianism to be terribly civilized.)

            • My brother-in-law is still a small farmer. I get the culture and difficulties. I live in rural WI. It’s hard and competitive because of big farming, Monsanto (aka the Devil), etc. The microcosm of the small farm industry has virtually no impact on whether a country is first-world (which isn’t even really seriously used as a term anymore). It’s about GDP, GNP, life expectancy, average living standards, etc. Part of a country becoming more developed means that farming becomes more competitive, larger-scale, etc. Soooo…. ???

              • notleia says:

                Access to medical care definitely affects life expectancy and quality.

                But to snoop on other people, does he do corn/soybeans or dairy? There’s some dumb scheiss going on with both soybeans and corn, but I think the wheat market is still pretty okay.

              • He does primarily corn. (feed corn for cows) Our area got hit really hard with bad flooding last year. Destroyed many people’s farm crops, which usually means bankruptcy (40-50% of some of the fields were just washed away). The township and the local people really helped rebuild everything fast, but it was pretty rough.

              • It actually is possible to make a living on 5 acres or less. Grow expensive, specialty, pesticide free crops and sell to a niche. Farmer’s market and/or CSA shares.

                Offer what the Big Farmers can’t. Roll with the punches.

                I may try growing organic herbs if my health improves. Right now I’m designing items for Zazzle.

                Creativity and flexibility can help you thrive in this economy. Materially we “poor” Americans have nothing to complain about.

                (BTW, I’m living on my retired folks’ homestead under odd conditions while struggling to get two autoimmune diseases under control. No car either. Thankful though. My life used to be much, much worse.)

        • That can be frustrating, but you can’t expect a place way out in the boonies to have everything a city does. And just because your hometown didn’t have much doesn’t mean the rest of the nation is in horrible shape. Different parts are in different conditions, and all for different reasons. But plenty of things are getting better. Quite a few of my cousins live out in the boonies, and when we were young kids, they had to be content with slow dial up internet. Now their internet is pretty good.

          I live in a city of around 50k people, and growing up I heard many complain that there wasn’t enough to do there and other such things. There’s tons of room for improvement, but people really exaggerate a lot of problems like boredom. It’s like…I don’t know. People would complain that there’s not amusement parks and casinos without stopping to think about the fact that they wouldn’t visit those things often anyway. As far as infrastructure goes, we have enough. It could be better, but it meets our needs ok. I think my biggest complaint is the roads they choose to repair. Like, paving the main ones when they don’t need it and neglecting the less used(but still used often enough) roads.

          • notleia says:

            Yeah, that is why I left for the city. I have mixed feels about the fate of rural society. Part of me is schadenfreude about it dying when it takes no steps to change to something sustainable. I should know better than to romanticize rural life, but I do harbor sentiments.
            And my mom told me that suicides among young people are on the uptick around here, and I know it’s for much the same reasons as why suicide is high on American Indian reservations.

            • That’s sad 🙁 I think one thing about rural society being in trouble that bothers me (aside from the fact that some people in rural society just aren’t doing well) is that we have to grow food somehow, but it seems to be a state of so many diminishing returns. There needs to be a lot of changes in how farming is done. Or maybe we need to bring back the commonality of people having small personal gardens and then selling/trading produce they don’t want at local farmers markets. I don’t know.

              • Farmers markets and smaller organic (and non-organic) farming have exploded lately across the US and been a boon to many economically, socially (vibrancy of small-town communities), and physically (better-quality food). In fact, farmers markets have been the core of the regrowth and recovering health of the downtowns of at least four of the neighboring small towns. So many new stores have opened up and started doing legitimately well because of general community support (which started around good local food at prices only slightly higher than conventional produce at grocery stores while tasting a thousand times better). My wife and I just went to a local tomato festival (literally invented by a small local tomato farm) that had roughly 1,000 people at it over the course of the entire day. Tacos, live music, etc. Literally out in the middle of nowhere Amish country with no big towns nearby.

              • notleia says:

                Farmers markets are iffy. The ones local to me seem fine, but I know a family dairy farm, down south, drives three hours one way for one of their more reliably earning markets. Depends on your local population of foodies and hippies.

              • notleia says:

                One of my castle-in-the-sky business ideas would be to get into urban farming with aquaponics and suchlike, but that would take a load of money for upfront costs.

              • We’re about as Midwestern farmer as you can get here, but it’s still workin’ well.

              • Same here. Lots of Amish neighbors.

  3. Travis Perry says:

    We (the collective human race) really should work to develop a system to disrupt major harmful storms. And work to control the ratio of gasses in the atmosphere and a wide variety of other things. Trying to shut down all industry on the one hand to let “nature” rule or going gangbusters for private enterprise with few restrictions both seem like goofy ideas to me. Yet almost everyone is either for death (of the human race) on the left hand side–or destruction (of the environment leading to destruction of our race) on the right.

    Thanks for giving a balanced view of things.

    • The only thing with trying to control the environment to that extent is that there’s a lot of cause and effect things we don’t see. If we were controlling things to that extent, people could mess things up and make the world even worse off. So whatever they do, they need to be careful about it and monitor the current and future effects very closely. Along with being willing to change tactics if need be.

  4. Jes Drew says:

    Even the cows and cars have nothing on ozone killing volcanoes. So obviously we need to start sacrificing virgins to the volcano gods again and fix that problem.

  5. Amen. Well said, Mark.


What do you think?