Those Frightening Chemical Wastes—Is There an Answer?
EVERY minute 152,700 pounds (69,260 kg) of deadly chemical wastes are produced by American industries alone. Less than one tenth is properly disposed of. So the chance that some of this flood of poison will enter your life is very real.
What Hinders Proper Disposal?
GREED. Safer methods are costly. Many companies use cheap illegal dumping instead. While it may cost from $20 to $155 (U.S.) a drum to dispose of waste properly, illegal dumpers, in some areas, reportedly do it for $1.50.
ECONOMIC SYSTEM. For some companies to dispose of their chemical wastes properly would mean raising prices, or even financial ruin. Millions of jobs could be lost. The economic system would be ruined. So governments and some of the working masses are reluctant to protest too strongly against waste pollution.
Is the Answer “Out of Men’s Hands”?
Deadly chemicals have been found in mother’s milk in Sweden, Germany, Japan, Canada and the United States. “When chemicals like dioxin, PCB’s and PBB’s can turn mother’s milk into a poison, something is wrong,” stated the book The Poison That Fell from the Sky.
However, when we examine the universe, or even our own planet where man has not ruined it, we see evidence of order, beauty and exceptional design. “To assert that a world as intricate as ours emerged from chaos by chance is about as sensible as to claim that Shakespeare’s dramas were composed by rioting monkeys in a print shop,” wrote author Merril C. Tenny. This “intricate” world came from God. It certainly does not seem reasonable that God would idly watch man destroy it.
The World’s Best-Seller Gives the Answer
Knowing that it is this world’s system that makes the problem, the earth’s Creator in his Word, the Bible, announces this system’s end. His kingdom under Christ will then reign over a cleansed earth filled with righteous people. (Matt. 24:3; Ps. 37:10, 11, 29) But when you consider the awful damage done to the earth and its peoples, especially during the past few decades, you may ask, Why has God allowed these calamities?
Pause and consider: With the dawn of the 20th century, technology made rapid progress. Modern chemistry made grandiose promises. One report published in 1939 was headlined: “Chemists Make a New World.” Now, 41 years later, look at the “new world” they made! One Italian writer, after the disaster at Seveso, admitted:
“Our unconditional faith in science and its ability to cure the world of its ills is ended. The anxiety Seveso has provoked . . . poses, to the conscience of those who have one, an embarrassing question: ‘Where are we going?’”
Does it not seem evident that a course that ignores God leads ultimately to disaster? We would not have had such convincing evidence had God stopped matters earlier, even a few decades ago. Certainly it has been forcefully demonstrated that it is not in man to direct his steps, independently of God. (Jer. 10:23) Many humble persons are recognizing this and are putting faith in God and in the Bible’s directions. They anticipate the time when God will remove those who ignore his laws.
What will that world be like? Free of pollution, for one thing! Then will be obeyed the directive: “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” Which means, among other things, “love does not work evil to one’s neighbor.” Toxic chemical dumps do. Love will banish them.—Rom. 13:9, 10.
Does this mean that all industry will stop and mankind will return to primitive times? The Bible does not say. Today it is not the manufacture itself of chemical products that pollute; it is the careless handling of the toxic wastes. Increased knowledge from God about his creation could easily open up new ways to avoid polluting air, water and soil. Even today, for instance, scientists have learned by their studies that water hyacinths can “eat” pollution, and already these are reportedly being used to treat raw sewage as well as some chemical wastes.
Regardless of what divinely approved activity persons may engage in then, we can be assured that “they will not do any harm or cause any ruin.”—Isa. 11:9.
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DISPOSAL METHODS BELIEVED SAFER
HIGH TEMPERATURE INCINERATION Some chemicals are rendered harmless by being burned at very high temperatures—up to 2,400° F (1,300° C).
CHEMICAL FIXATION Some wastes are made to react with another chemical and thus harden like cement, which reportedly can be safely buried.
SLUDGE FARMING Some organic waste compounds have been plowed into soil where certain bacteria can render them harmless.
MICROWAVE PLASMA DETOXIFICATION Microwaves at high intensity are directed toward a carrier gas, usually oxygen, creating a glowing mass. The waste is injected into this plasma and broken down.
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God’s kingdom will soon cleanse earth of all pollution and make possible a paradise with pure waters and land