Carbon, the Miracle Element
by Hugh Ross
A lot of people today worry about the carbon footprints of nations, industries, technologies, and even individual human beings and animals. They worry that our activities are pumping too much carbon in the form of carbon dioxide and methane— both powerful greenhouse gases—into the atmosphere and too much carbon in the form of tiny particles of soot onto glaciers and snowfields. They worry that these activities are warming our planet and raising our sea levels.
However, the fact that carbon exists at all is nothing short of a miracle. And for Earth to have been blessed with neither too much carbon nor too little carbon for advanced life to exist is another miracle. And the fact that Earth has its stores of carbon distributed into the just right locations for human civilization to thrive ranks as yet another miracle of divine design.
Is There a Carbon Footprint Problem?
In the context of the latter miracle, the concerns about our carbon footprints are justified. In the last 250 years we humans have moved vast quantities of carbon in the form of fossil fuels, forests, farms, and farm animals into atmospheric carbon dioxide, methane, and particulates. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels before the industrial revolution were 280 parts per million by volume.1Today, they measure 408 parts per million.2 Carbon particles are black. When they fall on glaciers and snowfields they cause heat from the Sun to be absorbed by glaciers and snowfields rather than being reflected away…
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