Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Biofuels - I Wish We'd All Been Ready

In the late Larry Norman's song, "I Wish We'd All Been Ready", he sings "a piece of bread could buy a bag of gold". I see at least three important references in that. First, to the famine described in 2 Kings, where mothers were eating their children, and bread was going for an insufferably high price. Second, there's the prophecy about famine to come in these end-times. And third, there's the commentary on how our priorities are getting screwed-around as the Prince of the Air continues to take hold of our earth.

Friday morning newspaper headlines screamed about a food shortage, and The Province, which never lets rational thinking get in the way of a good grabber, out-did them all with "$50 a loaf?" on the front page.

But while the papers generally blamed hoarding for the shortage, there was an item from the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday, April 22, which suggested governments and industry would have to re-think their plans about using biofuel because of the shortage. Biofuel is made from grains in many cases -- soy and canola, e.g. -- and so that means the major component of food is being diverted so we can power vehicles.

The depletion of supply will mean higher prices all around. A great time to have money in the Winnipeg and Chicago Mercantile Exchanges, but lousy if you're trying to feed a family.

(Another newspaper item recently suggested that food waste would soon be composted not for fertilizing more food production but for producing more biofuels. The hits just keep on coming!)

Of course, governments like British Columbia are starting to require the petroleum industry to blend in biofuel. That means it's no longer an option, and while the whole thing is cloaked in "reducing carbon emissions" and "caring for the environment", we've now begun to put human lives in jeopardy as a result.

I still need to research this further, but there are predictions of this in the Bible. One that leaps out at me is this:

Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it:
-- Eze. 14:13
As the book, A Very Convenient Truth, points out, the problems with the environment are not to do with greenhouse gases or carbon monoxide or toxic waste per se, but the result of our falling-away from God. Those problems are only the symptoms. Now, here is God warning us that, when the land (that's us) sins against Him, He stretches out His hand (a scary thought for anyone who knows what it means to "stretch forth the hand"). Could it be that He's using humans to "break the staff of the bread" -- i.e., through their own greed and their haste to find worldly solutions to the environmental situation -- in order to make His point?
Not a nice thought, but remember: He did that with Judas Iscariot.
Since this minor revelation came on Earth Day, I shared this with my friend, Thor Tolo at AM820 KGNW Seattle, and he asked me to come on the show that afternoon. I was on with a very interesting guest, Paul Guppy from the Washington Policy Center, who has done a great deal of research into past doomsday predictions that have not panned out -- predictions of rising ocean levels, fatal consequences of air pollution, and the like.
Some might jump on this as an excuse to attack the environmental movement as a whole, but there's another way of looking at it. "Getting it wrong" doesn't diminish the seriousness of the situation any more than inaccurate predictions by doomsday cultists diminish the truth of the Book of Revelation and other end-times prophecies. Instead, we can look at Paul's research as an example of how our own predictions -- leaning on our own understanding -- can be sorely inaccurate, and that we need to look for a different paradigm.
Unfortunately for many, that "different paradigm" is something even less politically correct these days than suggesting we should go back to throwing empty tins in the garbage: the Word of God.

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