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Discovery Magazine 3/1/2003


“Pollution” refers to getting things dirty. Pollutionon Earth can happen in the air, in water, and on the land. People can pollute the environment by throwing their trash on the ground, pouring harmful chemicals into rivers, lakes, and oceans, or releasing smoke and gases into the air. One type of air pollution is “smog” that comes out of the exhaust pipes of cars. Another type is “acid rain.” Acid rain comes from power companies that burn fossil fuels (like coal)
for their energy. The gases that result when coal is burned (sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide) mix with the water, oxygen, and sunlight in the air to form acidic compounds (sulfuric and nitric acid). The compounds fall out of the sky and settle on soil, rivers, and lakes. Plants, animals, and humans can be harmed.Scientists are working to solve pollution problems.

It is true that humans can hurt the environment, and that we should do what we can, within reason, to take care of the wonderful resources that God put on the Earth for our use. But it is also true that many of the people today who are upset the most about pollution do not believe in God. They do not see the world as having been created by God for humans (Genesis 1:28-30; 9:2-3; 1 Timothy 4:4). They think humans could de-stroy the Earth by pollution. But this is not true. God designed the Earth for humans to survive and live as they prepare for their eternal home, until God,Himself, decides to destroy the Earth and the entire Uni-verse (read 2 Peter 3:7,10-13).Until then, humans may harm the environmenthere and there, but they do not have the power to do lasting damage. Earthquakes, volcanoes, tornados, hurricanes, and many other forces do far more damage to our planet than humans ever can.

God’s creation is durable, flexible, and tough. The world—which has been around for only a few thousand years now—will last until it has served its purpose. We should use care in our treatment of the environment. But rocks, trees, and animals do not have souls like people do. They will not live beyond this world.

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