A faith perspective makes life better now, and there is the hope of then.
Jim Ferguson MD
Have you noticed the golden glow? My home is surrounded by trees, so the quickly changing fall foliage of gold, juxtaposed against an azure sky, is magical.
We see by reflected light. One of the four fundamental forces of the universe is electromagnetism. You hear much these days about electric vehicles and the power grid being restored in the aftermath of hurricane Ian. This computer upon which I write and much of the modern world are powered by electricity. However, only a small fraction of the electricity we use comes directly from the sun through solar panels. Most of our energy comes from fossil fuels, some from nuclear and some from geologic (water), geothermal and wind sources.
We see the world by capturing a small segment of the electromagnetic spectrum reflected by the objects around us. As grade schoolers, we learned the acronym ROY G BIV which defines the visible spectrum of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. I’m seeing golden leaves now because the chemical chlorophyll, which normally reflects green wavelengths of light, has degenerated and now reflects wavelengths of a golden hue.
As a science-fiction writer, I have often wondered what other creatures “see” with eyes that capture different segments of the light spectrum. For example, what does my dog see when she looks into the forest? Science suggests dogs see colors comparable to a human with red-green color blindness. I imagine that an alien living on a planet circling a hotter bluish star, instead of our “warm” yellow sun, would see more in the ultraviolet range of the spectrum with shades of blue and violet.
Last week Becky called me to the rescue. The farm’s electric golf cart had run out of “juice,” and she was stranded on the other side of the pasture. I rescued the damsel in distress with my gasoline powered Chevy truck, pushing her back to the barn for recharging, which is relatively quick. However, recharging a large vehicle takes a lot longer than filling up at the gas station and depends on the maximum charge rate of the electric source/charger (level 1,2 or 3), your electric vehicle (EV) battery size and charge level, as well as the weather. Electricity flows slower in cold weather. In other words, it’s complicated and best you not run out of juice on a snowy day. Thankfully, it’s not winter and the horde of repair trucks and equipment necessary to reestablish the power grid in South Florida are gasoline and diesel powered.
Some years ago I wrote a column about energy and a new concept for me, energy density (October 14, 2019). If you’re interested, The Focus has a great online archive for previous columns. Whereas the Roman Empire was powered by human labor (slaves), our world is powered by fossil fuels because “green energy” is not ready for prime time despite what AOC and the Democrats say.
Despite the beauty around me, I struggle with the destruction of our country and the lies of the election season which both threaten to sour my soul. Rational people see everything Biden and the Democrats have done has been a disaster. In less than two years inflation has become the highest in 40 years and gas prices have more than doubled affecting all aspects of the economy and everyone’s pocketbook. Since Democrats can’t run on successful policies, they are returning to their playbook of ad hominem (personal) attacks.
I am not an economist, but I wondered why gas prices recently decreased – only to begin rising again. Biden’s talking parrot, Karine Jean-Pierre, blamed rising gas prices on Covid, although Joe has declared the pandemic over. And she blamed “Putin’s war” rather than Joe’s war on fossil fuels. Then the regime took credit for the decline in gas prices, accomplished by releasing oil from the nation’s strategic reserves. I beg to differ. I believe the gas prices declined because Biden and the Democrats have driven the country into a recession. Less demand lowers prices. And the reason for last week’s spike? Saudi Arabia and OPEC+ which includes Russia just reduced supply by 2 million barrels of oil every day. Resume pumping our own oil Joe and we won’t have to bow to Saudi princes and communists.
I understand that hatred caused many people to vote against Trump and for Biden. But the consequences of this hatred are now obvious. And a vote for any Democrat, at least in this election cycle, is a support of their destructive policies and leadership. We must correct the mistake and change course. I have no illusions of a perfect candidate, but we must remove Democrats from power or the country is finished.
Despite the beautiful gold of fall, I am also saddened by terrible illnesses in friends. I’m getting older and so are my friends, so it’s understandable that illness and death occur more often in my cohort. But it doesn’t make it any easier. My mother-in-law lived to an advanced age and observed that nearly all of her friends had died. She said, “No one should live this long.” We all want a long and good life. But, if you had to choose, I would choose the latter over the former.
As a Christian, I’ve often wondered how someone could exist without a sense of the sacred. I am a scientist, but I am also a theist. Why must I be either/or? Actually, I embrace both perspectives as did Albert Einstein. And the Church finally came to the startling conclusion that Jesus Christ had a dual nature.
No one knows what happens when we die. Socrates once said that when he dies he will either blink into oblivion or awaken in paradise, where he will get to meet Homer, his idol. The great Russian writer Dostoevsky said, “If someone were to show me that Christ was outside the truth, I would choose Christ over the truth.” I trust the promises of Jesus Christ far more than the “wisdom” or promises of man.
Without getting preachy, I challenge you to watch the 1983 movie, “Brainstorm,” and focus on the imagery of the last 20 minutes. Your spirit will experience a golden luminosity that transcends this “mortal coil.”