Summary: Every day is a new opportunity to revel in the marvel of God, the Creator and the miracle of God’s creation.
Title: Pith Helmets Are Optional
Text: Psalm 104
Thesis: Every day is a new chance for God to surprise us.
Human discovery¡K On February 7, 2006, National Geographic News reported a team of conservationists had spent nearly a month in the Foja Mountains on the western side of New Guinea, the part belonging to Indonesia. They found a lost world¡K a world of nearly 2 million acres of old growth tropical forest. There was not a single trail, no sign of civilization, no sign of any local communities ever having been there. One scientist is quoted by MSNBC to have said, ¡§It¡¦s as close to the Garden of Eden as you¡¦re going to find on Earth.¡¨ Bruce Beeler said, ¡§It really was like crossing some sort of time warp into a place where people haven¡¦t been¡Kwe were like kids in a candy store. Everywhere we looked we saw amazing things we had never seen before.¡¨ They saw a trove of animals never before documented, from a new species of honeyeater bird to more than 20 new species of frogs. One of the most amazing discoveries was the Golden-mantled Tree Kangaroo, which was previously thought hunted to extinction.
It is a place described as virgin territory. It is a place that has not been impacted by humans, so plant and animal species are at natural population levels. The implication is that when humans leave a footprint¡K all of that changes.
Transition: ¡K all of that changes.
Human discovery is not necessarily a good thing¡K
¡¨God blessed Adam and Eve and told them, ¡¥Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it¡K¡¨ Genesis 1:28
The first question is, have we multiplied and filled the earth?
There are now 6 billion people inhabiting earth. 1.2 billion live in China, 960 million people live in India¡K we learned last week that there are now 300 million people living in the United States.
Illustration: The population of the United States of America had grown from 200 million to 300 million people in the last 39 years. We are now the third country in the world to top 300 million people, joining China and India. Steven Turner, professor of agricultural economics from Mississippi State University cites that as a good thing because retiring Americans need more people to support the workforce and to sustain the Social Security System.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported this week that no other country is expected to reach 300,000 people in the next 30 years; however, they estimate that the United States will reach 400 million by 2043.
The driving force of the population is the birth of a baby every 14 seconds and surging immigration.
However¡K at the other end of the spectrum, The Christian Science Monitor reported on April 18, 2002, that Russia¡¦s population of 144 million is expected to shrink by one half in the next 50 years. The average Russian male can expect to live to the ripe old age of 59 years. This pending crisis is purportedly due to a combination of factors including infertility, poverty, substance abuse, disease, stress and a zero immigration policy.
Non-the-less¡K worldwide population census numbers continue to escalate.
The second question is, have we subdued the earth?
There is much good news. We enjoy some of it every day. Here on the Front Range we get to enjoy the best of the best in agricultural production. We enjoy cantaloupe from Rocky Ford and peaches from the western slope and import Olathe sweet corn from Kansas.
After a rather rocky time in the 30s we finally learned the lessons of conservation and land management, we are capable of producing more than we can consume and enough to feed much of the world.
We have learned that if we do not protect and manage the land, the water, and the air¡K we humans have a way of abusing our God-given trust..
Illustration: ABC News reported on October 20, 2006 that scientists were surprised when they measured the size of the hole in the ozone layer, which filters the ultra-violet rays of the sun and slows global warming. They had estimated it would be 8.9 million square miles but it was in fact, the area of the hole in the ozone layer was 10.6 million square miles.
Illustration: Denver Post staff writer, Kim McGuire reported on October 19, 2006 that an estimated 118,000 new oil and gas wells will be drilled on public lands in Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado and Montana by 2026. 22,830 of those wells will be drilled in Colorado.
The United States currently produces 8 million barrels of oil each day but we consume 19,993 million barrels of oil every day¡K Japan follows consuming 5.4 million barrels a day and China consumes 4.8 million barrels each day. The rest of the countries in the world consumes between 1 and 2 million barrels a day.