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[This is part II of an extended post of observations gleaned during my current visit to Singapore. See part I here.]
We left off with this statement: “this [Singaporean] miracle is more fragile than it appears. It’s economic, ecological and political foundations are crumbling. It would be surprising, to say the least, if the Singapore of 50 or 100 years from now was the same miraculous place it is today.”
Let’s unpack that a bit. Continue reading
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My wife Susanna and I are in the middle of a two week visit to Singapore. This is an unusually long and delightfully leisurely visit compared with most of my overseas trips. Because our youngest daughter lives and works here, we’ve come to see and experience her world as well as to share the creation care message in two conferences this week – which is why I’ve been able to experience and explore the city in a more relaxed manner than is usually possible. These are some of my impressions after five days here – anecdotal, to be sure, but still valuable, I think. Continue reading
The Egyptian revolution now underway has a personal connection for me – my niece Annie is attempting to pursue graduate studies in the middle of the chaos. I had a conversation with her mother, my sister Marilyn this morning: “So what’s Annie doing? Trekking to the airport every day to try to get out?” “Not exactly – she’s trekking to demonstrations every day…” Anyone who knows Annie – heck, anyone who knows her mother – would not be at all surprised by that. Marilyn’s family lived in Egypt for a number of years, and she has been covering the crisis very competently on her blog here if you’d like a well-written day-to-day overview including occasional eye-witness reports from Annie.
There are so many dimensions to this uprising that it’s hard to know even where to start. There are plenty of obvious dimensions of this crisis: A hard-pressed population’s desire for freedom. The fear many have of the possibility – maybe remote, maybe not – of an Iran-style Islamic state taking the reins after Mubarak leaves. Continue reading
This won’t be a surprise to those who paid attention to some of the serious weather events of 2010: When Russia’s wildfires exploded, we heard that Russia would be banning wheat exports for the immediate future. Then Pakistan lost an entire rice harvest and a good deal of wheat due to the worst flooding in that nation’s history – requiring Pakistan to import more than it normally would have done. And now Australia’s floods are affecting not only coal but wheat and other commodities. Continue reading
Do we live in a world of limitations or one of potentially inexhaustible resources?
Wayne Grudem, writing in Politics According to the Bible, makes this rather astounding statement in an attempt to persuade his reader that there’s really nothing to worry about with regard to the global environmental crisis:
“Long term trends show that human beings will be able to live on the earth enjoying ever-increasing prosperity, and never exhausting its resources.” (p. 332)
I’ll be doing an in-depth review of Grudem’s book in the near future – let’s just say for now that it’s kind of hard to believe that he and I are living on the same planet. Case in point: two different news items over the last couple of days: Continue reading
In this blog we don’t spend a great deal of time on climate change/global warming. This is not because we do not believe it’s a problem – it is. But in the larger picture of what is happening in God’s creation, climate change is one of many problems, including loss of biodiversity (extinctions), water, deforestation, chemical pollution – the list could go on and on. The January issue of the Journal of the Royal Geographic Society, one of the most prestigious scientific organizations in the world, devotes itself to the question of whether and when the globe might reach a temperature increase of four degrees Celsius (7 degrees F) and what such a temperature rise might mean.
This is not good bedtime reading, but you need to at least take a look. Keep in mind that the 2070′s (see the first article below) are within the lifetime of today’s college students, and that this is not material from the radical edges of the blogosphere. These are some of the world’s most respected scientists, but – considering the scenarios they are describing – some of them are more optimistic than I would have expected.
Below are some of the articles in this issue with a quote or two from each. The content is free today – I’m not sure if it will remain so. I have copies if the links to the articles no longer work – drop a note in the comments or send me a message. Continue reading