SEA LEVELS AND THE BIBLE
(Investigator 179, 2018 March)
first realization that ocean-levels will rise and threaten coastal
cities around the world came in 1970, and it came from the Bible.
news reports that I saw at that time and no acquaintance ever mentioned
ocean levels. No one considered the topic important.
30 per cent of the world's population experiences potentially deadly
temperatures for at least 20 days every year." (Pickrell 2018)
the whole world has heard of climate change and sea-level rise.
Scientific investigations and news reports about this topic by
thousands have been published. Climate conferences and summits attended
by crowds of politicians, entourages, scientists and journalists have
made worldwide headlines — Kyoto 1997; Bali 2007; Copenhagen 2009;
Durban (South Africa) 2011; Rio 2012; Warsaw (with negotiators from 190
countries) 2013; New York 2014; Brussels 2014; Lima 2014; Paris 2015;
politicians, climate scientists and scientific journals everywhere now
take seriously the threat of ocean levels rising. Weather records by
thousands have toppled and we've had countless reports like this one:
month marked the hottest March in modern history and the 11th
consecutive month in which a monthly global temperature record was
broken… (The Australian April 21, 2016, p. 9)
heatwave centred on France killed 70,000 in 2003. In the US "extreme
heat caused more fatalities between 1978 and 2003 than earthquakes,
hurricanes, floods and tornadoes combined". A heatwave in Britain in
2006 cost the country $400million per day. (McIntyre 2006) And Time
magazine's cover announced: "BE WORRIED. BE VERY WORRIED". (2006, April
At the Bonn (Germany) summit in 2017:
Angela Merkel, German chancellor, told the nations of the world,
"Climate change is an issue determining our destiny as mankind – it
will determine the wellbeing of all of us."
reports on storm damage in Sydney in 2016 showed seafront properties
undermined by the ocean and portions falling downwards. Higgins (2016)
reported that owners: "are now locked in a fierce legal and regulatory
battle with insurers and authorities."
The problem is who to blame and hold liable when insurers don't cover "acts of the sea":
António Guterres, UN secretary general, referred to hurricanes
in the Caribbean and said: "The catastrophic damage of climate change
is upon us... "
Emmanuel Macron, president of France, declared: "The fight against
climate change is by far the most significant struggle of our times."
1. Real-estate agents who fail to emphasize the risks?
Gold Coast beaches have seen costly efforts at beach-protection by
trucking in sand. Otherwise the beaches would vanish and tourism
decline, followed by coastal buildings getting undermined. In Darwin
the Council has started building sea walls.
Australia 250,000 homes are at risk if sea levels were to rise 1 metre.
(Roddan 2016) In the US in such a scenario about 20,000,000 people
would have to move inland.
2. Local government for not building sea-walls?
3. State government for zoning the area for houses?
4. Current owners for deciding to purchase at at-risk locations?
5. Previous owners for selling?
CO2 and Methane
The surface of planet Earth is getting warmer because rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels caused by industry and deforestation trap more heat. In coming decades the heating effect of CO2
could be augmented by the release of methane from Arctic permafrost and
Arctic sea floors as those regions warm up — and methane traps heat 30
times as effectively as CO2!
Higher average global surface temperatures in turn lead to rising ocean-surface levels because the higher temperatures:
1. Warm the oceans leading to thermal expansion of the water;
has so far been mitigated because the oceans absorb both CO2 and heat.
However, ocean warming has affected only the top 100 metres and whether
deeper water will also get warmer is unknown.
agreement in Paris (2015) to limit global surface temperature-increase
to under 2oC by capping carbon emissions looks likely to
fail. New Scientist reported:
2. Increase the melting of ice at the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.
July, the world's surface was the hottest it has been since records
began … probably at its hottest since the last interglacial period
125,000 years ago… (20 August, 2016, p. 7)
The Weekend Australian, quoting Robert Watson, former head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, reported:
is on track to sail past the 2C threshold for dangerous global warming
by 2050, seven of the world's top climate scientists say…
The title of Jeff Goodell's book (2017) states matters plainly — The Water Will Come Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World.
In Rolling Stone
magazine Goodell says: "For me, my oh-shit moment was Hurricane Sandy,
which spun into New York City in 2012." Goodell walked through sodden
streets and, "I understood ... the power of water to destroy – or at
least, deeply wound – a great American city..."
later visited Miami during a king tide and was "stunned" to find
himself wading through knee-deep water in the streets: "It became clear
to me ... that the city of Miami was doomed...."
Japan Times reported in February, 2018:
1990, devastating weather-related events such as floods, drought, more
intense storms, heatwaves and bushfires due to climate change have
doubled in number… (October 1-2, 2016, p. 3)
the current rate, the world’s oceans on average will be at least 2 feet
(61 cm) higher by the end of the century compared to today, according
to ... research, based on 25 years of satellite data...
However, it could thereafter get far worse. Huffington Post reported:
Australian National University climate change expert and Climate Council councillor Professor Will Steffen explained…
last warm period before this one about 125,000 years ago was somewhere
about one degree warmer, and sea level was six to nine metres higher.
"So we are already committed to at least 10 metres of sea level rise."
climate-change deniers are probably influenced by propaganda issued by
oil and coal companies whose owners fear loss of profits if industry
curtailed its use of fossil fuels. The deniers would do better if
instead they let Jesus influence them.
Speaking of the time before his return Jesus said:
will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth
distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the
waves. People will faint with fear and foreboding of what is coming
upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they
will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
previously argued that Jesus' prophecy in Luke 21, Matthew 24 and Mark
13 is all literal. Jesus avoided figures of speech and symbolic
language to make his prophecy as plain as possible. The prophecy had to
guide Christians for a long time — until "this good news of the kingdom
[is] proclaimed throughout the world". (Matthew 24:14) The caring,
loving, useful, helpful way to present the prophecy was therefore with
the simplicity of literal language.
what I assumed in 1970 and concluded that "distress among nations
confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves" is literal and could
occur if rising oceans flooded lowlands and coastal cities.
Old Testament "sea" and "waves" sometimes refer to people and armies
(e.g. Psalm 65:7; Isaiah 57:20; Jeremiah 51:54-56). But more often both
words are used literally (e.g. Psalm 89:9; 107:25, 29; Jeremiah 5:22; 31:35). However, Jesus does not refer to these Old
Testament passages in his prophecy. In the Gospels "sea" is always
literal and occurs almost 50 times in reference to the Sea of Galilee.
Luke 21:25, however, is a prophecy for the whole world and so refers to
much more than the Sea of Galilee.
In 1971 I obtained the book Wilderness and Plenty and read:
It happens that a higher carbon dioxide content of the air creates a greenhouse effect…
warming oceans and atmosphere would mean a recession of the polar caps
… the level of the oceans would rise considerably. Our ports would go
under quite literally, and with them vast tracts of fertile soil.
supported my newly-acquired view that Jesus' prophecy makes sense taken
literally. After 1971 I awaited events, submitted an essay on
climate-change for university science in 1984, and purchased a property
situated well-above sea level as a testimony to my expectation.
further explanation of Jesus' prophecy which takes all the words
literally, and another passage (in Job) which bears on the prophecy,
• Investigator 44: The Great Tribulation And This Generation
• Investigator 60: Making Sense Of Jesus' Prophecy An interpretation which takes Matthew 24:1-35 literally
• Investigator 68: The Bible On Oceanography: Scientific Discoveries Anticipated
• Investigator 117: Bible Guide to Climate
Climatic chaos and delinquency linked
The main problem with preventing climate-change is cost. No one wants to pay.
However, the cost of military spending worldwide including war and defence is currently $1600billion ($1.6trillion) annually. Wikipedia lists over 290 wars since 1945!
Even greater than military spending, several times as great, is the
cost of crime, including prevention, law enforcement, courts, prisons
and damage to victims! Still greater is the combined cost of all
violence and conflict, in 2015 estimated at $13.6trillion! (Schippa
if delinquent nations and individuals converted to peaceful,
do-nothing-to-harm-other-people conduct, the costs imposed by crime and
war would plummet and climate-change prevention could be afforded many
times over. Do-nothing-to-harm-other-people is part of what the Bible
means by "love your neighbour". (Romans 13:9-10) Furthermore, Genesis
11:6 explains that if humans acted in unity then, "nothing that they
propose to do will be impossible for them."
course an end to conflict won't happen. Current wars, insurrections and
potential crises include Afghanistan, Congo Democratic Republic, Gaza,
Iran, Iraq, Islamic State, Lebanon, Mexico, Myanmar, North Africa,
North Korea, Philippines, Somalia, South and East China Sea, Syria,
Turkey, Ukraine, and Yemen. A recent headline said: "Russian military
behind global cyber attack". The damage caused cost $billions and the
British Defence Secretary said: "We have entered a new era of warfare,
witnessing a destructive and deadly mix of conventional military might
and malicious cyber attacks." Apparently Russia wants confrontation
with America again.
nations have squandered vast wealth in trying to deprive Jews of
Israel. Spending on war instead of on preventing climate-change could
see those nations deprived of their own land by rising temperatures:
of the Middle East, including the Muslim holy places around Mecca,
could become uninhabitable … before the century is out, according to
the latest climate modelling. (New Scientist 31 October, 2015, p.
The word "failure" sums up the many climate conferences. New Scientist magazine says: "The chance to prevent the world warming by 2oC has gone…" (3 December, 2011, pp 6-7)
Climate change is happening and future "distress among nations" will become terrifying.
rainfall and flood events will become common because warmer air holds
more water. Hurricanes of unprecedented ferocity will ravage coasts and
sea-water flood cities. Parts of the Middle East and Africa may
experience opposite extremes — perpetual drought and increasing heat
rendering some areas uninhabitable. Wars will increase as nations blame
each other and whole populations flee across national borders. Syria's
seven-year civil war with millions of refugees began after Syria's
worst drought in centuries and could be the modern world's first
global temperatures were to increase by 6oC huge clouds of methane
could rise from Arctic regions and drift about until ignition by
lightning or fire explodes them with the power of nuclear bombs! (Lynax
Carrington, Damian 2017
Darling, Sir Frank Fraser 1971 Wilderness and Plenty, Ballantine Books, pp 62-63
Goodell, J. Hurricane Irma, Rising Seas and Our Endangered Cities, Rolling Stone, September 11, 2017
Goodell, J. 2017 The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities and the Remaking of the Civilised World, Little, Brown & Co.
Higgins,E. More storms brew for oceanfront owners, The Weekend Australian, June 11-12, 2016, p. 17
Lynax, M. 2007 Six Degrees Our Future on a Hotter Planet, Fourth Estate, 249-251
McIntyre, S. Heatwave costs UK $400m a day, The Advertiser, July 22, 2006, p.49
Pickrell, J. Too hot to handle? New Scientist, 20 January 2018, 36-39
Roddan, M. Insurers will enjoy good cover in crisis, The Australian, June 8, 2016, p. 5
argues that the Bible is up-to-date in the third millennium and
regularly triumphs over its critics — on this website: