Houston Officer’s Murder Blamed on Anti-Police Rhetoric

Houston Officer’s Murder Blamed on Anti-Police Rhetoric

©iStock.com/Avid Creative, Inc.

Sheriff David Clarke says the ultimate blame for the war on police falls on President Obama and the Justice Department.

Houston sheriff’s deputy, Darren Goforth, was shot in the back of the head on Friday night. The white, 10-year veteran was shot as he filled his car with gasoline. The black shooter, Shannon Miles, has been charged with murder. The Harris County sheriff blames Deputy Goforth’s murder on “anti-police rhetoric.”

The murder came several days after a caller on an Internet-based radio show in Texas called for white people to be lynched. The caller also declared that more officers should be killed in order to “turn the tide.”

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman believes an anti-police environment fostered the concept and execution of this killing. Anti-police rhetoric has “gotten out of control,” he said.

“I think [‘anti-police’ rhetoric is] something that we have to keep an eye on. The general climate of that kind of rhetoric can be influential on people to do things like this,” he stated.

Ever since Michael Brown’s shooting last year, America’s police officers have increasingly come under attack. This topic was the cover story of the August issue of the Trumpet magazine. As editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes:

It would be overstating it to say there is no racism among America’s law enforcement officers. But there are some few people who are scrutinizing and magnifying this issue for evil purposes. They are using it dishonestly to explain or excuse some terrifyingly dangerous behavior. They are stirring up emotion and anger—but none of it is truly intended to solve the problem.

Following the murder, Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, who is black, told Fox News: “I said last December that war had been declared on the American police officer, led by some high profile people, one of them coming out of the White House, one of them coming out of the United States Department of Justice. And it is open season right now, there is no doubt about it.”

Sheriff Clarke referred to the black activists shouting “black lives matter,” as “slime” who “need to be eradicated from American society.” He continued, “This whole movement, ‘black lies’ I’ve renamed it … because it’s based on a lie, the ‘hands up, don’t shoot.’”

Agreeing that only strong leadership can stop this dangerous situation, Clarke said, “that’s why I said the president of the United States started this war on police.”

As Gerald Flurry also points out, the police are being undermined in ways that will “prove devastating” to our cities in particular.

The perpetuation of anti-police rhetoric in America signals a dangerous stage in America’s history. Read “Police Under Attack” to gain a deeper understanding of what happens once the police are the ones wearing the handcuffs.

Trafficking Aborted Baby Body Parts

Trafficking Aborted Baby Body Parts

©iStock.com/Source: Opening Lines, A Division of Consultative & Diagnostic Pathology, INC (12/1999). Reported by ABC’s 20/20 and the Kansas City Star in March 2000.

The recent controversy swirling around Planned Parenthood reveals some disturbing truths about America today.
From the October 2015 Trumpet Print Edition

Planned Parenthood is caught in a life-threatening crossfire—but many people haven’t heard about it. The story is gruesome and gut-wrenching; it is not the kind of news we like to hear about or watch on our nightly news. But that isn’t why it hasn’t been a big story. It is because Planned Parenthood officials, liberal political leaders, and our media are exerting major effort to bury the story.

What is happening with Planned Parenthood is one of this year’s big stories. You should want to know about what is taking place inside Planned Parenthood’s medical facilities, because it reveals a lot about the tragically sad mental state of many people in America today.

Planned Parenthood’s recent controversy began in mid-July. On July 14 and 21, David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress (cmp) released two videos, taken undercover, of senior Planned Parenthood officials negotiating prices for harvested body parts—brains, livers, hearts—from aborted babies. In the first video, Dr. Deborah Nucatola casually and unemotionally discusses how forceps can be used to crush a baby in the womb to prevent damage to salable fetal organs. Her conversation takes place while she eats a salad and drinks some wine. In the second video, Dr. Mary Gatter discusses prices and an abortion technique that is “less crunchy” to facilitate harvest of fetal body parts, also over a lunch of salad and wine.

The casualness of these officials is chillingly ghoulish. When haggling over the price of an embryonic liver, Gatter even states jokingly: “If it’s still low, then we can bump it up. I want a Lamborghini.”

In a third video, released on July 28, Dr. Savita Ginde, medical director at the Denver, Colorado, Planned Parenthood facility, is secretly videotaped in a pathology lab where babies are taken after being aborted. Surrounded by staff and tissue buyers, she also talks about making money from aborted body parts: “We don’t want to do just a flat-fee (per baby) of like, $200. A per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.” She also laughed while looking at a plate of fetal kidneys that were “good to go” This most graphic of the three videos actually shows Dr. Ginde and her medical assistant looking over the already separated body parts of an aborted child.

Planned Parenthood is the single largest abortion provider in the United States. According to its website, Planned Parenthood conducts 40 percent of America’s abortions each year, which totals almost a third of a million. It receives half a billion tax dollars annually.

You would think the revelations in these videos would be big news, filling tv and radio airwaves. But they are not. Why not? Are mainstream media ignoring them in order to protect Planned Parenthood?

Disregard for Law

This is not to say there is no outrage over the videotapes. Twelve states and the United States Congress have launched investigations into Planned Parenthood practices. Pro-life organizations, Republican presidential candidates, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh all have been discussing the morbid practices.

However, most of the outrage over the videotapes is coming from Planned Parenthood and leftist liberal leaders. Why are they so upset? Not because of cut-up, aborted baby body parts. They are outraged over the legal threat to Planned Parenthood and the potential loss of government funding.

In response to the backlash over the first video released by cmp, Planned Parenthood ceo Cecile Richards released her own video on July 16 in an effort to quell the brewing storm.

“In the video, one of our staff members speaks in a way that does not reflect that compassion,” Richards states, referring to Dr. Nucatola’s luncheon conversation over the use of forceps. “This is unacceptable and I personally apologize for the staff member’s tone and statements.” Dr. Nucatola is more than just a staff member. She is the senior director of medical services for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Notice that Richards makes no admission of, or apology for, the sale of fetal organs.

“I want to be really clear: The allegation that Planned Parenthood profits in any way from tissue donation is not true,” Richards assures us. “Our donation program, like any other high-quality health care provider, follows all laws and ethical guidelines.”

This final statement will likely prove very problematic for her. Here’s why.

In the first video, Dr. Nucatola explains that her clinic’s harvest of fetal tissue has legal implications. “[T]he Federal Abortion Ban [on partial-birth abortions] is a law, and laws are up to interpretation. So if I say on day one, I do not intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn’t matter,” Nucatola says as a matter of fact on hidden camera. What she means is that, depending on the fetal body parts that buyers request, abortion providers in her clinic might opt to perform a partial-birth type of abortion to preserve the body parts. This does not square with what Richards said.

In a fourth video released on July 30, Dr. Ginde is taped in a long discussion about working with lawyers to be sure their harvest of fetal tissues is called “research” and not “business.” She specifically mentions that she needs to talk to Dr. Nucatola to make sure that the Denver clinic handles fetal-tissue sales the same way that other Planned Parenthood clinics do. Dr. Ginde also states, “We don’t want to get called on, you know, selling fetal parts across states.” These two videos make a strong case that Planned Parenthood is being deceitful in its practices and holds great disregard for federal law.

Buying or selling human body parts is a felony. The commercial trafficking of body parts from an aborted baby is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $500,000. In some cases, donation of fetal organs is not illegal, but regulations prohibit altering the timing or method of abortions for the purpose of later using the fetal organs in research. Republicans in Congress say Planned Parenthood’s apparent circumvention of these laws means federal funding for the program should be pulled until full investigations can be conducted on the organization’s handling of fetal body parts.

Time to Demonize CMP

In an interview with abc News, Richards blasted the cmp videos, calling them “highly selectively edited” videos released by “militant anti-abortion activists.” Richards also told host George Stephanopoulos that the videos “are part of the most militant anti-abortion movement that has been behind the bombing of clinics, the murder of doctors in their homes and in their churches, and that’s what actually needs to be looked at.”

The effort to demonize the cmp deflected people’s attention off Planned Parenthood’s fetal body parts distribution practices. On July 28, Planned Parenthood hired the high-profile Washington, d.c., public relations firm SKDKnickerbocker as it scrambled to deal with the ongoing scandal and cmp’s vow to release a total of 12 videos. SKDKnickerbocker immediately went to work to encourage journalists not to cover the story.

On July 29, the Washington Post printed an article written by Cecile Richards stating: “These extremists created a fake business, made apparently misleading corporate filings, and then used false government identifications to gain access to Planned Parenthood’s medical and research staff with the agenda of secretly filming without consent—then heavily edited footage to make false and absurd assertions about our standards and services. They spent three years doing everything they could—not to uncover wrongdoing, but rather to create it. They failed.”

Also on July 29, the White House said that President Barack Obama would oppose any attempts by Congress to defund Planned Parenthood.

By the end of August, cmp had released four more videos, each one ramping up the horror over the disturbing practices taking place in Planned Parenthood’s medical facilities.

The videos speak for themselves. Nowhere does it appear that the statements by Planned Parenthood officials have been edited. Evil is being covered up at Planned Parenthood.

This controversy reveals a much bigger issue that we all should be concerned about.

How did the Planned Parenthood officials featured in the videos—all of them women—arrive at the state of mind where they could be so casual about discussing the sale of aborted baby body parts? These women know they are talking about babies—not just tissue. On one of the videos, a medical assistant, picking through a dish full of body parts, exclaims, “Another boy!”

What Abortion Does to Us

“Abortion critics have long warned that the problem is not only the obvious—what abortion does to the fetus—but also what it does to us,” stated syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer (July 23).

He is talking about what performing or experiencing abortion does to the human mind.

“It’s the same kind of desensitization that has occurred in the Netherlands with another mass exercise in life termination: assisted suicide. It began as a way to prevent the suffering of the terminally ill. It has now become so widespread and wanton that one fifth of all Dutch assisted-suicide patients are euthanized without their explicit consent,” continued Krauthammer.

There is a human mental desensitization—or more accurately, a degeneration—induced by the practice of abortion.

Abortion has been a controversial subject in America for decades. The controversy around abortion seems complex, yet it really is not. Simply stated, the abortion controversy comes from human beings using human reason to make moral decisions beyond human ability. Man is not capable of making moral judgments without the higher law of God. That is what has made this issue so complicated.

For example, when Americans first decided to constitutionalize abortion—nullifying the abortion laws of all 50 states in 1973—judges, lawyers and proponents reasoned from a term they called “viability,” or the time when a fetus, which is a human baby, could live on its own outside its mother’s womb. In the famous legal cases heard by the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade—and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton—”viability” was established to be 14 weeks, or at the completion of the first trimester. At “viability,” a human fetus looks like a baby. However, what intellectual liberals and judges refused to recognize is that at conception the tiny ball of tissue is already a human baby!

Roe v. Wade gave women the right to choose to abort their baby after 14 weeks based on their “right to privacy” upheld by the 14th Amendment and on threat to their “life or health.” However, Doe v. Bolton created an unlimited definition of “maternal health” making abortion-on-demand available through all nine months of pregnancy.

Let’s look at this honestly. The Supreme Court gave a woman the right to choose to legally murder her baby.

As a result, the United States is currently one of only nine nations that allows abortion after 14 weeks of gestation. Essentially, the United States permits abortion after viability for any reason.

Can you begin to see how easy it is for medical professionals and others who promote abortion to reason that harvesting baby body parts is also OK?

Once the human mind starts down a slippery slope, the depths of evil it can accept are nearly endless.

Krauthammer speaks of this problem. In his commentary “The Price of Fetal Parts,” he wrote that assisted suicide in the Netherlands “began as a way to prevent the suffering of the terminally ill.” On the surface that may sound good to human beings, yet assisted suicide is still murder, even for a terminally ill patient. For the Dutch, thinking that assisted suicide is good was just the beginning of the euthanization of “one fifth of all Dutch assisted-suicide patients … without their explicit consent.”

The same is true of abortion. When doctors, judges, lawyers, men and women begin thinking that abortion is good in a few cases like the health of the mother, rape or incest, what’s to stop them from deciding abortion is good for other reasons—and while you’re at it, you might as well make some extra money on the side?

The Deceitful Human Mind

God warned our first parents about such scenarios at the time He created human life on this planet. The very first instruction God gave Adam and Eve was about the two ways of life humans could choose to follow. This truth is encapsulated in God’s easy-to-understand teaching of the two trees in Genesis 2: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The tree of life represented Adam and Eve choosing to live a life in close contact with God, living by the Ten Commandments, and following God’s revealed instruction now found in the Bible. Living this way would lead them and their children into a wonderful relationship with God and a spectacular future.

However, if they chose to live by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would then choose to live life by their own rules as directed by their own minds and Satan the devil. They would decide for themselves, under Satan’s influence, what was good and what was evil. Adam chose to go his own way (Genesis 3). Adam and Eve rejected God, His law and revelation and chose to follow Satan. This is the only sound way to explain what is happening in our world today.

Abortion is murder! Cutting up aborted babies and selling their body parts has Satan’s thinking written all over it—it is inhuman to even consider doing such a thing. The Bible shows us that Satan hates God, and he most certainly hates human beings who have the potential to be born into the God Family. When you think about abortion, do you see that people have taken on Satan’s nature? It is a satanic-type hatred that leads to abortion.

The Apostle Paul gave us a clear prophetic look into our time. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come,” he wrote. “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection …” (2 Timothy 3:1-3). Our time is certainly perilous for millions of unborn children. How can a woman murder her own baby? She certainly must love her own life more—and she certainly has lost her “natural affection” for her baby.

The Prophet Jeremiah warned, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). This is the perfect description of what man has become because of Adam’s fateful decision to go his own way—without God’s guidance. We have become adept at deceiving ourselves that our decisions on life and death—whether through assisted suicide or abortion—are good, when they are just the opposite. Humanity must learn that it is tragic folly not to live God’s way.

There is positive hope even in all of this. When God cut Adam and Eve off from the tree of life (Genesis 3:22-24), He laid out a plan to rescue all mankind from that fateful decision. You can read about this plan in two of Herbert W. Armstrong’s most important works, Mystery of the Ages and The Incredible Human Potential. They are free upon request.

Cecil the Lion, Homosexuality, Transgenderism—and What Really Matters

Cecil the Lion, Homosexuality, Transgenderism—and What Really Matters

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Why our outrage is outrageous and dangerous
From the October 2015 Trumpet Print Edition

This past summer, the Western world was focused on the United States Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex “marriage.” Next, its attention was monopolized by a white woman who identifies as black. Then it was a male Olympic champion who sees himself as a woman. Focus then shifted to transgender rights—women’s rights—minority rights—immigrant rights—prisoner rights.

On July 29, they fixated on Cecil the lion and the man who killed him. Much of the world was outraged.

The American dentist who killed Cecil on safari received death threats. Protesters dressed as “dentist hunters” assembled outside his office and house. Celebrities piled on, including a late-night talk show host who actually wept over Cecil on live television. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (peta) tweeted that the dentist should be “extradited, charged and, preferably, hanged.”

Why is this the story we are outraged about?

Since July, nine videos (so far) have been released showing Planned Parenthood officials, personnel and doctors discussing the harvesting and selling of body parts of aborted babies (article, page 14). It simply cannot get any more sick than this—finding creative ways to kill unborn children so you can cash in on their dismembered body parts.

Yet there have been no protests. No international outcry. No one has been shamed into resigning. One source measured the percentage of major American news networks’ coverage devoted to playing those videos: 0.008.

An Islamist murdered five U.S. servicemen in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on July 16. On July 1, a stoned illegal immigrant fatally shot Kate Steinle in the back as she walked along scenic Pier 14 with her friend and her father.

Jews are fleeing Europe. Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and North Africa. Women and girls are literally enslaved sexually every day in Syria and Iraq. Muslim girls are being mutilated by the tens of thousands in Britain.

The Russian empire is on the march. China is building a navy to take down the U.S. Iran is building the bomb—with America’s help! The United States is being overrun by illegal aliens. The euro is in crisis. Europeans are calling for a United States of Europe.

Yet what do we fixate on? What do we passionately react to? What are we outraged by?

Our selective outrage is outrageous. But here’s what makes our outrage truly incredible—and dangerous. The events we are so pointedly ignoring were prophesied. The Bible prophesied the rise of Asia and Europe—and the fall of America and Britain.

Bible prophecies are now being fulfilled almost by the week, and our peoples are soundly asleep!

This magazine has been trumpeting these prophecies for over two decades, after Herbert W. Armstrong prophesied them for more than 50 years. Now that these prophecies are being fulfilled, our mail bins should be buried; our phone lines should be lit up like Las Vegas; our Web traffic should crash our servers.

Instead, it’s more like a steady trickle of interest. God’s warning message of love is still going out, but to just one from a city and two from a family, as the Prophet Jeremiah said.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4).

Would you describe your media, your protesters, your politicians as heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God? Then you are in the last days. And these times are perilous.

The fact that most people are blind is, in itself, a prophetic sign that we are nearing the return of Jesus Christ!

“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2). This means that Jesus Christ will intervene at a time when most people least expect it! Phillips translates part of verse 3 as saying, “Catastrophe will sweep down upon them as suddenly and inescapably as birth pangs to a pregnant woman.” All this happens when most people are lulled to sleep by illusions of peace and security.

Verse 7 says, “For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.”

But God has a message for the rare individual whom He calls to reject this world drenched in sin and drunk on delusion. If you will turn to God in repentance, faith and obedience to His laws, He is waiting for you. He offers you a superabundant love and mercy, life-changing revelation and truth, and the only sure hope!

“[N]ow it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” (Romans 13:11).

Now is the time to let God strip away the delusion, to pour our hearts and energies into studying God’s Word, to fervently seek God and His direction in our daily prayers, and to abide by His commandments in our day-to-day living.

Now is the time to wake up, to see the world for what it really is, and to turn to God.

INFOGRAPHIC: For Sale: Aborted Fetal Parts

INFOGRAPHIC: For Sale: Aborted Fetal Parts

From the October 2015 Trumpet Print Edition

The Straight Life

The Straight Life

©iStock.com/kali9

Family requires sacrifice. Just ask the God who gave everything for family.
From the October 2015 Trumpet Print Edition

Some say family isn’t worth it. You’ve seen the wry comments on greeting cards and tacky coffee mugs: Marriage is not a word; it is a sentence. Marriages are made in heaven—but then again, so are thunder, lightning, tornadoes and hail. The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents, and the second half by our children.

Such ideas come from people who don’t understand God’s purpose for family. Knowing why family helps us see the so-called negatives for what they really are: noble sacrifices for an awesome purpose.

In Straight Talk to Men, James Dobson discusses something called “the straight life.” For a man in a family, he says, this is “pulling your tired frame out of bed, five days a week, 50 weeks out of the year. It is earning a two-week vacation in August, and choosing a trip that will please the children. The straight life is spending your money wisely when you’d rather indulge in a new whatever; it is taking your son bike riding … when you want so badly to watch the baseball game; it is cleaning out the garage on your day off after working 60 hours the prior week. The straight life is coping with head colds and engine tune-ups and crab grass and income-tax forms … it is giving a portion of your income to God’s work when you already wonder how ends will meet. The straight life for the ordinary, garden-variety husband and father is everything I have listed and more … much more.”

Yes, family involves sacrifice. Any man who is married with kids and is doing his job can identify with that to some degree. And the “straight life” for a wife is often even less glamorous. Viewed from a purely selfish perspective, it seems like a string of hassles.

Many who do not understand why family seek to achieve its benefits without its sacrifice. Get a load of these excerpts from “Personal Marriage Contract,” written by Dr. John F. Whitaker in 1976: “I understand that nothing is forever; that there are no absolute guarantees, and that now is the only real forever. … I will love, honor, respect (but not obey or subjugate myself to you) until either of us changes his mind and maintains a change of attitude for a period of one year or until the termination date of the contract. … Don’t expect me to accept you as you are when you fail to maintain physical attractiveness and fail to take care of your body. … I will put myself first. By keeping myself full, satisfied and not hungry, I will have an abundance of joy, love and caring to give you.”

Doesn’t exactly make you swoon with feelings of romance, does it?

We may not take it as far as this man did, but we do naturally tend to approach marriage selfishly: As long as you’re taking care of my needs, I’ll take care of yours. If you uphold your end, then I’ll uphold my end. But will that kind of marriage work? Would even that kind of friendship work?

God’s love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things—it never ends
1 Corinthians 13:7-8
Imagine if God’s love was so conditional. Instead of, I’ll never leave you, never forsake you (Hebrews 13:5), imagine Him saying, Don’t expect me to hang around if I don’t like what I see. If you’re not fulfilling my needs, this really isn’t going to work. That is not God’s love! God’s love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things—it never ends (1 Corinthians 13:7-8).

Human love centers on the self. God’s love centers on the other person. And living your life for someone else isn’t always comfortable or glamorous.

Jesus Christ truly lived the straight life. His whole life was about serving, being faithful and obedient. Never once did He say, I’m just going to do this for me. I’ve earned this. I deserve some indulgence here. No—He said, I do always those things that please My Father (John 8:29). He truly sacrificed—He died in order to have a family. But He did it willingly, because He had God’s love.

Many couples want a “50-50 marriage.” But for a marriage to be as great as it can be, it must be 100-100. Each spouse has a role, and each must give it all he or she can. That is the way God’s love works. And that is irrespective of the other person. Christ, our role model, died for us while we were yet sinners.

What are you really giving up by living the straight life? Selfishness. Yes, you have to forgo some personal desires that aren’t inherently bad. But we’re not here for ourselves.

And, on the other hand, what do you gain by living the straight life? Love. Family. Security. Stability. A peace that someone who’s out chasing after his own desires simply cannot understand. And, meanwhile, you’re learning about God and living the family life He designed, and growing and maturing in the process. Quite a trade-off!

Evaluate the quality of your love. Measure your patience, your loyalty, your constancy, against that of Jesus Christ. Live for your family. Ask God to help you think like Him. Thank God for showing you that straight and narrow way that leads to life!

And embrace the straight life.

Will We Ever Master Clean Energy?

Will We Ever Master Clean Energy?

©iStock.com/chinaface

Or are we just grasping at the wind?
From the October 2015 Trumpet Print Edition

During a blustery time this past July, wind turbines in Denmark produced 140 percent of the country’s national energy needs. The Danes pumped the surplus into the power grids of Germany, Norway and Sweden.

“It shows that a world powered 100 percent by renewable energy is no fantasy,” said Oliver Joy, a spokesman for the European Wind Energy Association. “Wind energy and renewables can be a solution to decarbonization.”

The world has made electrifying progress recently in edging away from fossil fuels and learning to harness the power of clean, renewable energy sources.

Over the past 20 years, global wind-generated power soared more than 9,000 percent, from 5.6 billion kilowatt hours per year all the way up to 520 billion. That equates to the annual energy consumption of 47 million United States households.

We have also made radiant advances in capturing solar power. Germany continues to lead the charge in solar-energy generation, and in 2014 it attained 35.5 gigawatts of installed photovoltaic solar energy capacity. That was enough to generate 6.2 percent of the nation’s total power for the year. Also in 2014, Australian scientists achieved a record in solar efficiency, converting over 40 percent of sunlight that hit test panels into electricity. The average solar panel in use today converts only 15 percent.

We are also advancing in our abilities and efficiencies in tidal power, radiant energy, geothermal power, biomass energy, wave power and hydroelectricity.

Several less-conventional approaches are also showing promise: A team of Swedish researchers is close to making “biological fuel cells” by extracting fluorescent protein from a glow-in-the-dark jellyfish. A French company is developing a system to capture body heat from commuters traveling through the Pompidou train station and pump it through the vents of a nearby apartment complex for heating. Scientists at Melbourne’s Monash University have invented an “artificial leaf,” which they say could one day power the world by using photosynthesis. A dance club in the Netherlands called “Club Watt” powers its light shows by using revolutionary “piezoelectric” material to capture vibration energy from people walking and dancing on its floors. In 2012, a group of Nigerian teenagers developed a generator that can provide up to six hours of power on one liter of urine, a potentially invaluable resource for off-the-grid homes in rural Africa.

These ventures represent some astounding progress in the quest to harness the power of renewable, clean energy sources. But when we take an honest look at the big picture, we realize all too well that it’s still too soon to seal off all the coal mines and power down the oil rigs.

Low Voltage, High Buckage

Even after the massive advances of recent years, wind power still supplies only 2.5 percent of total global electricity consumption. Solar energy provides about 1 percent.

And in nations where wind, sun and other renewables provide higher percentages of power, energy bills are significantly higher.

Germany is viewed as a case study for success. From Brandenburg to Rhineland-Palatinate, solar panels top the roofs, and wind turbines stud the horizons. Altogether, Germany’s wind, solar and other renewable energy sources combine to generate a remarkable 27.8 percent of the country’s total power consumption.

But rewiring the fourth-largest economy on the globe has not come inexpensively. Massive government subsidies have financed Germany’s historic shift, and Berlin passes the costs along to taxpayers and consumers. Over the past five years, average electricity prices for German companies have jumped 60 percent. Residential prices more than doubled from 18 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2000 to more than 37 cents in 2013. By comparison, the average price in the U.S. is 12 cents per kilowatt-hour.

At the end of 2013, the people and companies of Germany had already paid some $468 billion to finance the country’s drive toward renewables. A government estimate says that by the end of 2030, total costs will exceed $1.34 trillion.

In a global economic system built on selfish competition, this is a serious concern. The trend has already prompted several major firms—such as Basi Schöberl GmbH, basf se and sgl Carbon—to relocate some operations out of Germany and into Asia or the U.S. where power is cheaper. Others are poised to follow suit.

Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of the ihs research company, warned that Berlin’s trend toward renewables is not economically sustainable. “Germany’s current path of increasingly high-cost energy will make the country less competitive in the world economy, penalize Germany in terms of jobs and industrial investment, and impose a significant cost on the overall economy and household income,” he said.

Kurt Bock of chemical manufacturer basf se said, “German industry is going to gradually lose its competitiveness if this course isn’t reversed soon.”

A 2014 survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Federation of German Industry said almost 75 percent of Germany’s small- and medium-size industrial businesses view rising energy costs as a major risk to their ability to remain competitive.

For this reason, U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, who served as ambassador to Germany, blasted Berlin’s move toward clean energy as a “misguided executive branch overreach and regulatory attack on energy industries.”

Watt Can Store It?

The quest to harness renewable energy runs into another headwind when we try to store the power we collect for later use. In the heat of the day, many solar-powered homes and businesses produce more electricity than they need. But current-generation battery systems are not affordable enough or efficient enough to reliably store the excess for use at night. That means in the evenings, they have to use expensive batteries or buy electricity to keep the lights on and the fridges cold. The same is true for wind-powered electrical systems that starve for power on calm days.

Utilities with wind or solar farms face the same lack of reliability on a large scale. And coal is the typical go-to when wind and solar systems fail.

Volatile Volts

Renewable energies also destabilize Germany’s power grid. That is because volumes of both wind and sunlight fluctuate wildly. One German grid operator recently told the Institute for Energy Research that the large-scale adoption of renewables has caused a fivefold increase in disruptions to the nation’s power supply.

“[T]he power supply in Germany is no longer secure enough,” said Dr. Klaus Peter Krause of the European Institute for Climate and Energy. “It is even highly vulnerable. A blackout could occur on any given day. Up to now, they have been successful at averting grid collapses by taking lightning speed action, but the number of emergencies has increased massively and is still rising.”

Krause says the problem will have ramifications beyond German borders: “This stability is being sacrificed for no urgent reason and irresponsibly for the sake of the transition to renewable energy, whereby the damage will impact even all of Europe” (Sept. 22, 2014).

[T]he power supply in Germany is no longer secure enough,
Dr. Klaus Peter Krause
Germany’s efforts are admirable in many ways, and its drive to quit carbon is not a total failure. Thanks in large part to Germany’s costly and risky investments in developing renewables, the price of those technologies is becoming affordable, both in Germany and among many less-affluent nations. But the huge cost to Germany disadvantages it in a global system based on vicious economic competition.

And for all our innovation in the science and industry of renewable energy, even the best solar, wind, tidal and biomass installations still consume huge amounts of resources, many of them non-renewable: thousands of acres of land (some of it necessarily deforested), millions of yards of concrete, thousands of miles of steel rebar, thousands of pounds of rare earth metals, millions of tons of batteries, millions of pounds of fiberglass, millions of gallons of paint, millions of gallons of diesel, and thousands of acre-feet of groundwater.

Other environmentally ambitious nations face the same set of problems in their quest to switch to renewable energy sources. Some have ratcheted down their original goals after realizing how economically damaging the pursuit is.

The 5,000- kilowatt question is: Do the clouds hovering over renewable energy mean that it has no economically viable future?

These economic setbacks and technological limitations do not doom the future for renewable power. In fact, the future of clean energy is radiant.

Forecast: Sunny Skies

Imagine a family that owns and operates a large agricultural estate. But this family is different. In each generation, the family members’ overarching goal is not to consume everything they can to increase the comfort of their own lives. Instead, their goal is to improve the estate as much as possible for the benefit of their children. Imagine each generation building upon the labor of the previous one—beautifying that same plot of land, and basing every decision on what will be best in the long term. Imagine this family approaching each project with uncompromising devotion to both function and form.

Now imagine a world in which every family owns such an estate and operates it in that same spirit. These families constitute nations—very unlike the nations of today. Instead of selfishly maneuvering to gain an economic edge over other countries, their goal is to contribute and even sacrifice for the safety, health and prosperity of all countries on Earth. Each family in each country views all others as an extension of its own family, and values the well-being of families in other nations as much as or more than its own.

[T]hey shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Isaiah 2:4
That sounds imaginary. It sounds like an ethereal, impossible utopia. But the truth is, such a world is on the horizon!

You might not associate clean energy with the Holy Bible, but this ancient book has a lot to say about this modern issue. In fact, it forecasts what the future of clean energy will be. That may seem unbelievable, but the Bible has been exactly right about its other prophecies: the existence of the United States and Britain, the formation of a united Europe, the creation of a Jewish state, increases in environmental disasters, and the list goes on.

Numerous Bible scriptures foretell of a time in the near future when the kind of family, estate and nation discussed above will populate all the Earth. It says that our most violent form of selfishness—war—will disappear: “[T]hey shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:4).

Isaiah 60 says that reports of violence and destruction will disappear; material wealth will spread. Isaiah 51 says that the “waste places” will be comforted.

It also specifies that every family will own its own piece of land. “[T]hey shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid” (Micah 4:4).

Isaiah 35 shows that communities will have infrastructure, possibly quite advanced, but that it will not come at the expense of environmental beauty and health. The effect of this peaceful, beautiful world on the people living in it will be “quietness and assurance” (Isaiah 32:17).

At that future time, the idea of harming the global environment will be unthinkable. There will be no more wasteful plundering of the planet’s natural resources (see Revelation 11:18). All people will work to “dress and keep” and “replenish” the land, as God commanded the earliest humans to do (Genesis 1 and 2). Clean energy sources—possibly including wind, sun, tide, nuclear fusion, Helium 3 and no doubt others not yet even theorized—will replace all sources that pollute. People in the cities of India and China will no longer see the air they breathe.

Perhaps power generation will often be accomplished more at the local level rather than in massive, interconnected grids. Flowing beside every man’s vine and fig tree, maybe there will be streams that turn the blades of efficient turbines. Since droughts and floods will no longer destabilize water systems, such setups could be perfectly reliable.

We don’t know the details, but we know that a spirit of giving will dominate that age. We can be sure that families and nations will work to forsake polluting God’s creation and to generate clean energy. We can be sure that every solution used at that time will make the world better off. Each generation will improve upon the present and leave the planet in better shape for its children. Environmentally—as in every other way—it will be a radiant, clean and wonderful age.