Editor's note: Hal Lindsey is the host of "The Hal Lindsey Report," a weekly half-hour news and commentary series, and the author of "The Late Great Planet Earth," the best-selling book of the 1970s that popularized Bible prophecy for tens of millions around the world. You can learn more about Hal Lindsey and his TV show on his website.
Last week, 4,000 participants from 140 nations gathered in Dubai for the annual World Government Summit.
The 2019 Summit focused on "climate change." That's the refurbished name for "global warming." I suppose they felt they needed to refocus the name for the crisis when the winters started getting colder and the amount of arctic ice started increasing.
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One of the featured speakers was the actor Harrison Ford. I'm not certain whether it's his portrayal of Indiana Jones in the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" series or his turns as Han Solo in the "Star Wars" films that qualified him to speak to the world about global warming.
Ford did, however, deliver some eye-opening information in a video promoting the Summit. I suppose he would know this stuff since he pretended to be a guy from the future in some of his movies. He apparently feels he's seen the results of global warming firsthand. He said, "What does living in a 4-degrees-warmer world look like? Fresh water shortages. ... Unprecedented fires. Worldwide destruction."
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Then he hinted at how to fix it. He said, "It's up to you and me to act now to face the greatest moral crisis of our time."
I'm a little confused. For years, the global warming enthusiasts have been screaming that the "science is settled!" Former Vice-President Al Gore even created a slide show to convince us that all of the world's scientists were in complete agreement that we're on the verge of a global apocalypse.
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Aren't the scientists the ones who have been screaming, "The end is near!"? That's what Mr. Gore says. And now, Mr. Ford reveals to the world that it's not a scientific crisis, after all. It's a MORAL CRISIS! Well, now that we know that, surely we can fix it. Just get enough people with good morals together and we can beat global warming! Simple.
The problem is, "moral crisis" is a phrase borrowed from religion. That tells me that the proponents of man-made climate change are pushing it as a religion. They divide the world into two groups: believers and unbelievers. They call unbelievers "climate deniers." (Frankly, I don't understand the terminology. I don't know one unbeliever who denies that there is a climate! On top of that, most of us don't even deny that it's changing. We just don't believe that man is changing it and that raising taxes and putting more bureaucrats to work will fix it. Most probably, it's the sun that's doing it, anyway.)
But a few reputable publications, such as Scientific American, are beginning to get a little critical of the movement. A recent article in that magazine noted, "This is how we sometimes talk about climate change: we're doomed, the apocalypse is coming, the end of the world is nigh." Doesn't that sound like a stereotypical hellfire and brimstone preacher?
So how should the people of earth deal with this soon-to-arrive global apocalypse? Well, California's bureaubrains decided to ban plastic straws! At one point, the California Assembly considered sending waiters and waitresses to jail if they gave a straw to a customer who didn't ask for one.
Thankfully, restaurant owners now only face small fines if their wait staffs go rogue and break the law by giving a customer an unsolicited plastic sipping tube.
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The dubious logic that inspired the law was that by limiting the use of plastic straws in California, it would keep straws from clogging up the Pacific Ocean.
It seems to me the problem with this line of reasoning is that it's, well, stupid! In the United States, most plastic straws end up in landfills, not in the ocean. And of those straws that do wind up in the water, most come from fast food restaurants. And the California law doesn't actually address the problem of fast food straws.
To me, that's a little like arresting the bank teller instead of the bank robber.
On top of all of that, it turns out the statistic that was used to stir up the brouhaha – that Americans use more than 500 million straws per day – was based on the unscientific, unverified, but oft-repeated guess of a 9-year-old in 2011! If you don't believe me, just ask the New York Times. It finally decided to investigate the claim and discovered the embarrassing truth.
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But I suppose the whole point of the law is similar to the point of many of our senseless laws: to make it appear that our governments are doing something. Even if it's really "nothing" dressed up as "something."
But irrational fear of plastic straws is nothing compared to the fear of global warming. Back in 2008, media mogul (which qualifies him as a climate expert, I'm guessing) Ted Turner warned us, "We'll be eight degrees hotter in 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow. ... Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals."
Maybe those walking dead shows aren't so far-fetched, after all!
But it gets worse. USA Today reported last year that "Global warming could be twice as warm as current climate models predict." I guess that means we'll become cannibals in half the time Mr. Turner predicted!
The Club of Rome is an environmentalist think tank and advocacy group. It is one of the prime organizations that the United Nations depends on for its information about climate change.
Back in 1972, The Club of Rome published a book, "Limits to Growth," that outlined the dire predicament of the world. It popularized the fear of overpopulation and was extremely influential in bureaucratic circles.
Seventeen years later, in 1989, Ronald Bailey, the science editor of Forbes magazine, evaluated the accuracy of those predictions. He wrote that the book was "as wrong-headed as it is possible to be ... 'Limits to Growth' predicted that at 1972 rates of growth the world would run out of gold by 1981, mercury by 1985, tin by 1987, zinc by 1990, petroleum by 1992, copper lead, and natural gas by 1993."
It's now 47 years since The Club of Rome made those dramatic predictions. We have yet to run out of any of those things! Have we even come close to running out of them? No. Yet today the United Nations still consults with The Club of Rome on environmental matters.
In 2015, the European Space Agency (ESA) revealed that in 2013 and 2014, arctic ice increased by as much as 33 percent. Did you hear that in the mainstream media? Or did you hear just the opposite, that arctic ice is melting at an alarming rate?
But none of that matters to true believers.
One of them, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., recently declared, "The world is gonna (sic) end in 12 years if we don't address climate change." (I'm not sure which calendar she's using. Maybe she's still consulting that old Mayan calendar!)
Presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., is ready to ban cows. He recently said, "This planet simply can't contain billions of people consuming meat the same way America does. …"
If you remember, Booker is famous for his "I am Spartacus" moment at the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. Perhaps he is now having his "I am Chicken Little" moment!
The point of all of this, and my obvious cynicism, is that this near-hysteria, much of which is completely unfounded and most of which is ill-informed, opens us up to hasty solutions that are drastic, draconian and, ultimately, dystopian.
If we are convinced that the earth is about to ignite into a fireball if we don't do something fast, then we grasp at convenient, ill-conceived "solutions" that are nothing more than disguised power grabs.
Take, for instance, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal." After warning us that the world is going to end in a dozen years, her proposed "solution," which has been essentially endorsed by the Democratic Party, implies that we can avoid this impending destruction if only the U.S. government will provide, free-of-charge, jobs, family and medical leave, vacations, retirement security, high-quality education, clean air and water and access to nature, high-quality health care, healthy food, affordable housing, an economic environment free of monopolies and economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work. (By the way, that's not a typo. She wants the government to provide economic security for those unwilling to work.)
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Now, I'm not an environmental scientist, but I don't see very many things on that list that actually address climate change problems.
To her credit, though, Ocasio-Cortez does offer some proposals to do that. She proposes to end fossil fuel use in 10 years. That means the end of the petroleum and coal industries. She suggests we rebuild or completely refurbish every building in the United States to make them greener. "Every building" includes your house. She wants to end air travel. Her solution is to "build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary." (I'm sure the cruise line industry loves that one. Maybe stock in the Greyhound bus company will soar now. But if you're going to travel to Hawaii, Europe, Asia, well, basically anywhere east, west, north, or south of the USA, then you need to ask your boss for a lot more vacation time!)
Since the Green New Deal was announced, California has decided to end its own highspeed rail boondoggle. It was building a highspeed train line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, but it just became too expensive. It was originally projected to cost at least $77 billion, but it was turning out to be a lot more. And when a California governor decides that something useless is too expensive, that tells you that it must be absolutely impossible to justify.
The bottom line on all of this is that almost all of the man-made climate change panic is a strategy devised to facilitate the rise of supra-national governing authorities. Pope Francis gave the game away when he called for "global regulatory norms ... to impose obligations and prevent unacceptable actions."
But he realized that the globalist elite could not depend on individual governments to do their bidding. That's why he called for a "higher agency." Pope Francis said, "Continuity is essential, because policies related to climate change and environmental protection cannot be altered with every change of government."
In democracies, a "change of government" usually means an election. But to globalists, elections can be dangerous. The people might not go along with their plans to subvert the nations and enslave their citizens.
He's joined in this plot by the United Nations, of course, which continues to push its infamous "2030 Agenda." It sets laudable goals, such as "End poverty in all its forms everywhere." But it proposes dubious remedies: "Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns." That means the government must control consumption, such as what we buy, eat, wear, drive, where we live, even the temperature at which we set our thermostats.
Attempting to end poverty by allowing government to control consumption is called "communism." And that is what much of the environmental movement seeks to achieve.
Simply put, the earth will not be saved from environmental destruction by the power of big government. In fact, the worst polluters on the planet have been and continue to be socialist and communist governments. Respect for private property and God's creation are essential elements to conservation. Those elements are missing in the environmental movement because of its integral partnership with socialists. Now it has become the latest excuse to seize property, redistribute wealth, and empower government.
Secular humanists promise utopias, but they only deliver dystopias. And all the while, they mock Christians for believing in "pie in the sky" promises.
And while it's true that some ministers and spiritual leaders have misused the promise of heaven, that does not diminish its reality. God's promise remains true.
In John 14:1, Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me." (NKJV) Almost 90 percent of Americans believe in God.
But Jesus said not to stop there. "You believe in God," He said, "believe also in Me."
If you know Jesus, and if you trust Him, think about the very next verse. He said, "In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you." (John 14:2 NKJV)
Here, Jesus assures us of heaven's reality. In fact, He gave us His personal guarantee: "If it were not so, I would have told you."
If you trust Jesus, then you can trust in heaven. If it weren't the glorious, fantastic place we've heard about, He says He would have told us. He wouldn't allow us to build our lives on a false hope.
On this week's program, I'm going to further discuss with you the "real heaven."