Remember the alarm over the hole in the ozone layer? People were concerned, and with good reason. Without ozone in the atmosphere, the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays would cook us ’till we’re medium rare. In 1987 the international community got on board with banning manmade substances deleterious to the ozone such as chlorofluorocarbons used in coolant systems and aerosol spray propellants. Reports have shown that our efforts have had a positive effect. By and large the ozone layer has been recovering.

What about the latest environmental scare - global warming? I don’t deny that the earth has been warming, although I am undecided on what is driving the warming. What, if anything, should be done about the warming?

I am totally onboard with judicious efforts to reduce emissions and take care of our environment. I recycle, plant trees in my yard, conserve energy, and furrow my brow at the sight of thick black smoke billowing out of some dude’s diesel-powered pickup truck. But sometimes doing something for the right reason can create more problems than it solves; this is especially true where environmentalism is concerned. Here are a few examples.

Governments are banning incandescent light bulbs in favor of more eco-friendly, energy friendly compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. Yet CFL bulbs contain mercury and must be disposed of in the proper manner. Prediction: If the US government bans the incandescent light bulb, our landfills will become toxic from the mercury contained in these bulbs.

When volcanoes erupt the sulfur they spew into the atmosphere has a slight cooling effect on the earth. The sulfur deflects solar radiation back into space. Some global warming “scholars” think we could put sulfur into the atmosphere to counteract global warming. Prediction: If governments start throwing sulfur into the atmosphere we will see acid rain falling from the sky.

The US EPA recently listed carbon dioxide as an environmental pollutant subject to regulation. Prediction: The EPA will set up a carbon credit (tax) program for the number of times you exhale in a day. Perhaps in retribution trees and vegetation will start limiting the amount of oxygen they ‘exhale’ in defiance of mankind’s efforts to cut off their supply of CO2.

Plastic bags
There’s a movement afoot to ban those thin plastic bags we get from the store. (Actually, I recycle mine and reuse them as garbage bags in the bathroom, but this is not enough for environmentalists.) Prediction: Thin plastic bags will be replaced with “environmentally friendly” lead-laden, reusable bags from China! Oh. Wait a minute. This prediction has already come true.

While heeding the Lord’s counsel to be wise stewards of our world. I believe this includes avoiding “fixes” that have the potential to create larger problems. 

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