Depending on who you listen to, the end of the world in the form of vast ecological devastation, massive societal upheaval after we run out of oil, or perhaps a new bird-flu variant that will wipe out a few billion people. Whichever flavor you prefer, many claim the outlook is dire and that such calamities are only a matter of (very brief) time. These predictions are used to push a variety of reforms or countermeasures, some of which I agree with and some of which seem to be little more than wishful thinking that will do more harm than good. For instance, the "hydrogen economy" is still going to leave us reliant on oil to provide said hydrogen. And while it may reduce pollution, I for one am not favorably disposed to riding around with a tank of highly explosive gas just to the rear of my rear. However, the evaluation of such proposals is not my point with this post.
No, I have a confession to make; when reading these various outlines of how the world will implode, I actually find myself looking forward to that time in some perverse way. I realize that these upheavals, should they come to pass, will cause untold deaths and suffering on a scale to make Katrina or the tsunami a bit of golden-hued nostalgia. I do not look forward to them with the expectation that such catastrophes will either prompt, accompany or immediately precede Christ's return. I look forward to them the same way I think I would have enjoyed witnessing the destruction of the Tower of Babel - the ultimate come-uppance, the proof of man's folly and self-worship. You might be properly aghast that I could positively anticipate such a time, but I ask you, what kind of human suffering did the fall of the Tower of Bable create? If we take the account seriously, and I do, then surely in the immediate aftermath of such a catclysmic event, many thousands of people died or were forced to live lives of deprivation and poverty. Looking at the impact of the event across time, we can see the millions upon millions of deaths that have resulted from the war & conflict this confusion of the human race has resulted in. But that was a necessary and unavoidable result of man's hubris and I think the collapse of civilization is similarly required. We have forgotten the lesson impressed upon humanity, and it is time for it to be written on our collective souls again. What is that lesson? Honestly, I'm not entirely certain. In part, it is the fatal folly of our own self-reliance, our worship of self, our putting politics before love, economics before the Cross. If we cannot be brought to repentance by so-called natural disasters, perhaps the disasters we are making for ourselves through our exorbinant and mindless consumption will do it for us.