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Return to July/August 2015 articles.

The title of the article is God's Solution for Human Ecological Abuse

Unless one has been isolated from television, newspapers, and movies for the past 25 years, he is certainly aware of the enormous amount of publicity that has been given to environmental concerns. We are constantly being told that the resources we depend on are in danger of running out, being contaminated, or being useless in the face of an environmental, planetary catastrophe. We have all heard about global warming, and we are all aware of the limited supply of fossil fuels. None of us is immune from concerns about the effects humans have on climate, pollution, and the shortage of water. When I am stuck in a traffic jam in one of our large cities, it amazes me that there has been enough gasoline available to run all of those vehicles in all these cities for so long.

One of God’s first instructions to the man and woman is revealed in Genesis 2:15, and it was given before man sinned. The Bible says, “The Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and keep it” (KJV). God gave the man everything he needed to “dress and keep.” If we will look around, we will find that today’s problems have solutions that God has left for us to use. One of the most carefully designed tools that God has given us is a species of single-celled algae that inhabits oceans, lakes, and other bodies of water. Like other phytoplankton, these algae convert carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight into food, and they release oxygen. This particular phytoplankton, called the diatom, is encased in porous, intricately structured shells which, because they are made of silica, are extremely sharp and resilient.

A mass of these shells is called diatomaceous earth, and the uses of this material have been known for a very long time. It is used to filter liquids, polish surfaces, and serve as a filler in concrete, plastic, and paper. It is used in paint to reduce sheen. It is used in gardening to resist insects that will not cross the sharp shell fragments and to aerate the soil. Because diatoms take in carbon dioxide and sink deep into the ocean, they remove massive amounts of greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere — perhaps as much as 50%. Recent studies show that diatoms remove as much greenhouse gas as all the trees, grasses, and other land plants combined.

God has given us an excellent tool to use in combating a twenty-first-century plague. The diatom only lives about six days and yet a diatom doubling itself once a day would produce 100 million descendants. Learning how to stimulate the reproduction of diatoms is an area of research that may provide a solution to the greenhouse effect on our environment. Some promising areas are coming to the front, including the fact that iron concentrations can increase the reproduction rate.

Diatomaceous earthSo, before we get too hysterical about the future and the resources that we have available to face it, let us look around at what God has provided for us. The design of the earth includes providing tools and resources for us to use to “take care” of the garden. We must be wise in finding all of God’s resources and using them effectively, which will allow us to concentrate on our spiritual future, not just physical existence. Source: Smithsonian, February 2004.

— John N. Clayton

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