I woke up early and cold this morning after losing a blanket battle to my wife and our 100 pound weimaraner. And after rolling out of bed, cold shoulder and all, I looked out the window at the cloudy sky and briefly thanked God for the awesome world we live in. Awesome…would we expect anything less from an awesome God?
Now warming and somewhat waking by hot coffee, I glance down at our new, Democratic Party improved, property tax bill and think about money growing on trees. I thank God for the coffee bean which does grow on trees, or shrubs.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
(Genesis 1:11 KJV)
Thoughts of trees and God’s creation tragically brought the thought of Joe Teehan into my head. Now starkly awake, I was reflecting on the 3 or 4 minutes I heard of Joe this week ranting about polar bears, seals and receding ice shelves. He ranted how, as sea ice melts, seals will have no place to live and breed; I remembered how many docks in the world are overrun with seals living and breeding.
We sometimes refer to our world as fragile, but I haven’t really seen evidence of that. In fact, I continually see evidence to the contrary. Take a look at plants popping up in an old dump or abandon strip mall; life continues. We may kill ourselves and murder each other, but God’s robust world keeps going. Can His world cope with the warming temps and the rising CO2 levels that many attribute to mankind?
Whether we did or didn’t cause, or are or aren’t still causing, the warming and raised CO2 levels is kind of irrelevant. No, I’m not advocating a pro-pollution lifestyle. Rather, I am advocating that we are good stewards, but also stewards who trust that God has a better idea of the workings of the world than we do. Every spring we are reminded of the self renewal built into our world. Snow melts, watering the land, sun shines and plants grow. (Sometimes I can hardly wait for some of the ice to melt from Greenland so alarmist will have to deal with hard physical evidence of Greenland’s previously warmer climate.)
Did the God who built summer, fall, winter, and spring into this world, also consider our current global climate condition? While keeping in mind how much treeless landscape will be exposed as ice melts; consider the message of this study.
What was learned
Davis et al. report that “under hot and dry conditions, elevated CO2 increased soil water levels in unweeded plots and enhanced oak establishment (survival and growth) in weeded plots,” so that “in 2006, after eight growing seasons, seedling survival was [an amazing] five times higher in the elevated than ambient CO2 plots.”
What it means
In the words of the six Minnesota researchers, “the results showed that under hot and dry conditions, elevated CO2 can act like a nurse plant for tree seedlings growing in bare and unshaded areas, increasing seedling survival and growth, and thereby expanding the establishment window for trees encroaching into a grassland environment.” In the specific situation investigated in their experiment, for example, they concluded that “increasing atmospheric levels of CO2 may be able to kick-start oak establishment into Cedar Creek’s old fields.”
So warm temps expose more land and raised CO2 levels accelerate the growth of trees. More trees scrub more CO2 from the atmosphere and provide shade for the earth resulting in moderated climate temperatures. Remember? Awesome God!