"Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world." - Todd Littleton
"I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see." - Anon
"Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all." - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
"Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be." - Kurt Vonnegut
"Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals." - Jim Forest
"People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone." - Anon
"... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all." - R.E. Slater
"An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst." - R.E. Slater
"Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics." - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
"Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated." - Emil Brunner
"Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh" means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)

Friday, June 24, 2011

The World's Oceans - Should We Worry?


by rjs5
posted June 21, 2011

Scot put up a post last Saturday You Might be an Evangelical Reject if you … that received a fair bit of attention and comment. Much of the comment centered on the sentiment, rare but not unheard of, that connects Christian eschatology with resistance to environmentalism … the end is coming so we should concentrate on evangelism not environmentalism. Certainly there is a connection made, both within parts of evangelicalism and in the broader culture. Environmentalism or “creation care” is a rather abstract concept though – so I would like to put up a specific example from a recent article for consideration and comment. From the BBC: World’s oceans in ‘shocking’ decline:
The oceans are in a worse state than previously suspected, according to an expert panel of scientists.
In a new report, they warn that ocean life is “at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history”.
This is a pretty devastating report … accelerated melting of arctic and antarctic ice sheets, sea level rise, over fishing, pollution. A little later:
But more worrying than this, the team noted, are the ways in which different issues act synergistically to increase threats to marine life.

Some pollutants, for example, stick to the surfaces of tiny plastic particles that are now found in the ocean bed.

This increases the amounts of these pollutants that are consumed by bottom-feeding fish.

Plastic particles also assist the transport of algae from place to place, increasing the occurrence of toxic algal blooms – which are also caused by the influx of nutrient-rich pollution from agricultural land.

In a wider sense, ocean acidification, warming, local pollution and overfishing are acting together to increase the threat to coral reefs – so much so that three-quarters of the world’s reefs are at risk of severe decline.
The story is picked up as well in the Huffington Post State Of The Ocean: ‘Shocking’ Report Warns Of Mass Extinction From Current Rate Of Marine Distress. (see earlier article on this blog)

How do you evaluate claims such as this?
Assuming that it is true, how should we respond?

Among the recommendations arising from the report:
  1. Immediate reduction of CO2 emissions.
  2. Urgent actions to restore the structure and function of marine ecosystems.
  3. Proper and universal implementation of the precautionary principle so “activities proceed only if they are shown not to harm the ocean singly or in combination with other activities.”
  4. Urgent introduction by the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly of effective governance of the High Seas beyond the jurisdiction of any individual
    nations.
Do these recommendations seem reasonable?
Does your faith in God or your understanding of eschatology play any role in your position?
How should Christians respond?

This report comes from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), from a meeting that brought together experts from different disciplines, including coral reef ecologists, toxicologists, and fisheries scientists. You can find the preliminary reports here. IPSO was established by people, scientists and others, because they believe that there is a serious threat to the health of the world’s oceans.

Does the “bias” of IPSO cause you to question their report?
If so what kind of group would you believe? Why?

If you wish to contact me directly you may do so at rjs4mail[at]att.net
If interested you can subscribe to a full text feed of my posts at Musings on Science and Theology.
If you wish to contact me directly you may do so at rjs4mail[at]att.net
If you have comments please visit The World’s Oceans – Should We Worry? at Jesus Creed.

Mass Extinction in the Oceans

State Of The Ocean: 'Shocking' Report Warns Of Mass Extinction From Current Rate Of Marine Distress

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/20/ipso-2011-ocean-report-mass-extinction_n_880656.html


Travis Donovan
updated June 21, 2011
donovantravis.donovan@huffingonpost.com

If the current actions contributing to a multifaceted degradation of the world's oceans aren't curbed, a mass extinction unlike anything human history has ever seen is coming, an expert panel of scientists warns in an alarming new report.

The preliminary report from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) is the result of the first-ever interdisciplinary international workshop examining the combined impact of all of the stressors currently affecting the oceans, including pollution, warming, acidification, overfishing and hypoxia.
State Of The Ocean Report 2011 Ipso Mass Extinctio

“The findings are shocking," Dr. Alex Rogers, IPSO's scientific director, said in a statement released by the group. "This is a very serious situation demanding unequivocal action at every level. We are looking at consequences for humankind that will impact in our lifetime, and worse, our children's and generations beyond that."

The scientific panel concluded that degeneration in the oceans is happening much faster than has been predicted, and that the combination of factors currently distressing the marine environment is contributing to the precise conditions that have been associated with all major extinctions in the Earth's history.

According to the report, three major factors have been present in the handful of mass extinctions that have occurred in the past: an increase of both hypoxia (low oxygen) and anoxia (lack of oxygen that creates "dead zones") in the oceans, warming and acidification. The panel warns that the combination of these factors will inevitably cause a mass marine extinction if swift action isn't taken to improve conditions.

The report is the latest of several published in recent months examining the dire conditions of the oceans. A recent World Resources Institute report suggests that all coral reefs could be gone by 2050 if no action is taken to protect them, while a study published earlier this year in BioScience declares oysters as "functionally extinct", their populations decimated by over-harvesting and disease. Just last week scientists forecasted that this year's Gulf "dead zone" will be the largest in history due to increased runoff from the Mississippi River dragging in high levels of nitrates and phosphates from fertilizers.

A recent study in the journal Nature, meanwhile, suggests that not only will the next mass extinction be man-made, but that it could already be underway. Unless humans make significant changes to their behavior, that is.

The IPSO report calls for such changes, recommending actions in key areas: immediate reduction of CO2 emissions, coordinated efforts to restore marine ecosystems, and universal implementation of the precautionary principle so "activities proceed only if they are shown not to harm the ocean singly or in combination with other activities." The panel also calls for the UN to swiftly introduce an "effective governance of the High Seas."

"The challenges for the future of the ocean are vast, but unlike previous generations we know what now needs to happen," Dan Laffoley of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and co-author of the report said in a press release for the new report. "The time to protect the blue heart of our planet is now, today and urgent."

Rob Bell - First Love (Rev 2)


LETTERS TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES – REV 2: FIRST LOVE

  *This was one of my favorite sermons by Rob.  - skinhead  

Commencing the Season of Lent
on the way to Resurrection

http://marshill.org/teaching/2011/03/16/letters-to-the-seven-churches-rev-2/
(click here to hear sermon since Google's video link won't upload the .mp3 file)


Blessed are those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted

Blessed are the thirsty for they
shall find water

Blessed are those in darkness
for they shall find light

Blessed are the dying for they
shall know the gift of life.


...When your job is uncertain
...When you lose money!
...When your husband is distant
...When your wife is critical and closed down
...When your children say things that hurt you
...When your parents donʼt approve
...When youʼve just done something bad
...When the house is a mess
...When youʼre about to eat your next meal
...When youʼre on vacation
...When you wake up each morning


This is not a call to despair.
This is a call to appreciate, enjoy, and celebrate
every moment you have in this hevel life.