According To an episode of the PBS program NOVA, which aired a year ago, the world may be headed for a very difficult period ("Dimming the Sun," April 18, 2006). The program said the problems could come as the result of the possible convergence of global warming and global dimming. As jet contrails and particles from burning fossil fuels increase cloud cover, the earth's atmosphere retains more and more heat and reduces sunlight. It is calculated that these developments are apparently causing colossal climatic changes that have resulted in unprecedented droughts and human misery. If the loss of polar ice caps continues, rising world water levels could inundate important populated areas.

Some thoughtful folks feel that physical scientists can help by expressing the ingenuity and inventiveness needed to develop less polluting and more efficient systems for generating power, and less environmentally damaging food sources. They look to governments to help by developing laws and policies that realistically conserve energy, and express love for the environment. And they look to individuals to help by moderating consumption, by supporting efforts to develop realistic conservation laws, and by underwriting promising new concepts for energy sources and uses.

Those can be useful steps. But religion can help, too. Perhaps more than many of us realize. Through prayer, people of faith can support all that is good in human invention and policies, and free the human spirit to even higher development, which will help liberate humanity from its bondage to matter. Religions can also help moderate human behavior by continuing to emphasize the need to purge sin from human character. Many of the climate challenges facing the world are caused by greed, selfishness, insensitivity to the suffering of others, and unwillingness to embrace our individual responsibility as members of a global community. The honest practice of every God-derived religion on earth helps lessen sin and blesses the world, as well as individuals.

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'God's open secret'
April 16, 2007

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