By Joe Rector
The end of August and the beginning of September haven’t been the kindest of months to many folks in the country. Hurricanes in the east and infernos in the west displace families and destroy business. Our feelings go out to all who have suffered such losses, and in the American spirit, volunteers, supplies, and money are pouring into those areas. Still, folks wonder what the world is going on.
I don’t have a special line of communications to the good lord that is different from all others, but I’m pretty sure that these events aren’t His doings. He created things and now lets the world spin and “do its things.” I don’t believe for one minute that these storms and fires are sent by His hand to punish people for their misdeeds. As I see it, His doing so would negate the loving character that is evident in the New Testament.
The more likely cause of these events is nature itself. A system glides over the ocean, and fueled by warm air and water, it begins to spin and churn and grow. At some point, it produces enough force to be labeled a hurricane. The fierceness of a hurricane depends upon the route it takes over time. Traveling over more and more warm water adds to its fury. That’s the way nature works.
The fires in the west sometimes result from careless campers or arsonists. However, nature is also the culprit of many of these fires. Lightning strikes spark fires that in ages past cleared the undergrowth of forests. I compare it to a dentist cleaning teeth. He digs out the trapped particles and built-up plague to ensure healthy teeth. A fire can also bring about healthier forests.
Another reason exists for the fires. Folks have moved out from the cities, and their homes sit in those very areas where underbrush is thick. When nature does her thing, man’s abodes are no more important than other things in the paths of fires. The effects of global warming causes droughts that fry lands that historically have received much more rainfall than at present. When a fire does break out, the dry conditions exacerbate the tender box forests and grasslands.
Hurricanes are also affected by the conditions of the planet. Warming has caused polar caps to melt, something that raises sea levels. That same warming increases the temperatures of waters which feed those storms. Those environmental problems create monster tornadoes and widen the paths of tornado alleys.
Arguments over global warming in no way helps solve the immediate problems that folks of Texas, Florida, and California face. As Americans and humans, we have a responsibility to help them in multiple ways. However, we also might be wise to study man’s effects on the environment and to understand how they negatively contribute to the disasters that will come in the future. Nature is the boss. Her power can somewhat tamed with a change in the way we go about our existence.