Truth, Understanding, Insight

This Generation 1967 - 2007

12th June 2007, seh, mgh


8) The era of great distress and fear

There is another class of people also mentioned in Luke 21. There are those who have great fear for what is coming upon the earth.

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

We can identify these people today. While there are those who are concerned only with life's cares, pleasures, a comfortable lifestyle and satisfying their desires, we can identify others who use research, graphs and statistics to explain their fears that our earth and way of life faces great problems.

There are fears about environmental issues such as global warming, pollution, greenhouse gas and dwindling resources. There are constant fears of natural disasters, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, cyclones, volcanic activity, increased weather violence, a melting ice-cap, a rising sea level, worldwide drought, famine, earthquake, bushfires and floods that seem to be increasing in frequency and intensity. Worldwide, natural disasters seem to be at the forefront of the news, and have been for many years. In 1974 on 3rd April an unprecedented 148 tornadoes caused devastation in the U.S on the one day. In December, on Christmas Day, of that same year, Cyclone Tracy devastated Darwin in Australia. The world has been increasingly subjected to large scale disasters resulting from storms affecting large numbers of people.

Many fear the growing prevalence of drugs and the drug trade that threaten lives and is increasingly difficult to control and stop.

Terrorism poses constant fears and threats to the nations worldwide with Muslim extremism. We need only to enumerate some of the horrors that have been perpetrated by Muslim extremists such as the Twin Towers and 911 in New York and Washington, train bombing in Spain, the railroad bombings in London, bombings in Indonesia and Bali, constant Palestinian terrorism in the Middle East, the chaos in Iraq and other trouble spots such as Afghanistan. Gatherings of international political leaders are now accompanied by unprecedented security precautions. Air travel now requires far more regulation and security procedures to guard against bomb attacks.

Nuclear weapons pose the threat of nuclear war and there's the constant fear that more nations, such as Iran and Korea, will acquire nuclear weapons that would increase the danger of nuclear attacks.

The ever increasing world population, which now exceeds six billion, produces the fear of intense competition for dwindling resources and increased pollution from growing industrialisation in China and India and other developing countries. Oil production has reached its peak (ABC TV 'Crude' , May, 2007) and this will present enormous problems if the western world and developing nations are to maintain a western lifestyle. Many countries are turning to nuclear power and this also is also feared by some as a threat to the environment as demonstrated by the Chernobyl disaster and the problem of nuclear waste disposal.

Many people fear Globalisation. A lot of manufacturing skills are being lost and transported to countries such as China. With rampart consumerism and huge borrowing of money, the economy of many nations is fragile and collapse could easily ensue. Countries such as the U.S.A and Australia are becoming more and more dependent on imported and inferior quality goods and correspondingly foreign debt increases. The self-sufficiency of many nations is thus put at stake.

Unsustainability. This is the word that sums up so much of the lifestyle of the world in 2007 and beyond. The fear of many scientists and researchers is that huge changes must be made if mankind is to survive on this planet.