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Feb 16 2011

The Waters Here Are Rising

Long, long ago, Man’s primal sins
Were washed out in The Flood
Our modern sins are washed away
In Jesus’ precious blood.
The rainbow was God’s Promise
That He would not let us drown—
The waters here are rising…
But I’m sure He’ll bring them down.
The wisest words of science
May be changed from day to day
From one year to another,
No one knows what they might say
But the bible is consistent,
So we know it must be true—
The waters here are rising…
But I’m sure that He’ll come through.
The predictions of the scientists
Are coming true in droves;
Where we once had sandy beaches
There are inundated coves
I have faith in my Creator;
This must only be a test—
The waters here are rising…
But I’m sure He knows what’s best.
When the night is looking darkest,
That’s the time for faith and trust
I’ll surrender unto Jesus
As the Good Book says I must.
I could face annihilation
If the choice I make is wrong—
The waters here are rising…
From NPR, a story from the island nation of Kiribati.  This country is uniquely positioned to be concerned about the possibility of rising ocean waters due to global warming: 

The average height of the islands is approximately 6.5 feet. Already, land is scarce and drinking water can be in short supply. There’s nowhere to retreat.

So concerns about climate change are felt very acutely here. Though estimates are rough, scientists predict average sea levels could rise as much as 3 feet by the end of the century due to global warming.

Science, of course, tends to be conservative, moving forward only as it can supply strong evidence for each step.  As such, people looking for direct, solid links between global warming and the loss of land that is already happening in Kiribati are likely to find enough play in the evidence that they can deny it altogether if they have sufficient reason (paging Leon Festinger…).

And they have sufficient reason, in religious belief.

Tito says he believes in the Biblical account of Noah’s ark. In that story, after God devastates the world with a flood, he makes a covenant with Noah that he will never send another.

So while Tito does acknowledge that global warming is affecting the planet and that he has noticed some impacts, he says rising sea levels are not as serious a threat as Tong and others are making them out to be.


“Saying we’re going to be under the water, that I don’t believe,” Tito says. “Because people belong to God, and God is not so silly to allow people to perish just like that.”

Indeed, the current president’s religious faith has come under question, simply because he has (quite understandably, given their precarious position) chosen to draw attention to climate change problems!


The NPR story is part one of a two-part series.  I’m really looking forward to part two!

5 comments

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  1. 1
    warren

    "I'm really looking forward to part two!"Is that where the president goes, "Blub blub blub"?

  2. 2
    Melissa

    I need to listen to NPR more often. I just don't think about it sometimes. I do remember hearing about the plight of island nations a few months ago due to global warming. I think most people have a tendency not to care because it's not in their backyards or it's not going to cause too much damage in their lifetimes. I have a brother that has actually said he doesn't care about what happens in fifty years because he's not gonna be here. Such a wonderful mentality.

  3. 3
    Cuttlefish

    It's strange, Melissa–I do listen to NPR, but (perhaps like you) my life is too scattershot to know I can listen regularly. But npr.org is my first or second stop every day (depending on whether XKCD is new), which is how I saw this one, and frankly most of what I get from NPR. Too bad, really–they do a remarkable job with their audio.

  4. 4
    The Ridger, FCD

    A couple of years ago the Post had a story about Chesapeake Bay fishermen claiming that God would take care of them and they didn't need to cut back the harvest."He said such stories help assure him that only God — not scientists or state regulators — can save watermen from their predicament…" Of course, I'm sure the Atlantic cod fishermen thought the same, too.

  5. 5
    The Ridger, FCD

    And Melissa – I think a lot of people don't really believe in the future. They're unconsciously solipsistic, and what happens after they're dead is pretty much … unreal.

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