How Ukraine crisis impacts fracking/environmental tug-of-war in the U.S.
The Ukraine/Crimea crisis and likely start of Cold War II dominates headlines - along with the mystery of the missing Malaysian jetliner.
Still, reflecting U.S. ethnocentrism, doubtless the Ukraine story is of limited interest to tens of millions of Americans -- especially younger Americans. Short of a shooting war which threatens to engulf Europe - and international financial markets - Ukraine indeed may seem very distant. And comparatively few Americans are of Ukrainian or Russian heritage. (In contrast, our neighbor to the north, Canada, has the world's third largest Ukrainian population, after the Ukraine and Russia. Self-identified Ukrainians represent a plurality in rural areas of western Canada.)
But, here's one way the Ukraine crisis becomes immediately relevant in the United States: How it upends the energy debate between environmentalists and those pressing for U.S. energy independence sooner rather than later, no matter the possible negative environmental effects.
Indeed, the great recession already put green folks on the defensive: Jobs trumped environmental concerns at nearly every turn. The Ukraine crisis and European dependency on Russia for energy dramatically raised the stakes.
Incidentally, when I asked students in one University of Delaware communications class (mostly freshmen & sophomores) WHICH national/international story they were following, the mystery of Malaysian jetliner topped the list, but Ukraine/Crimea came in second or third. When asked if any students had ethnic roots from that region, one student said she had Ukrainian roots and another said she had Russian roots.
(Incidentally, the proportion of Delawareans seemed to be much higher in these U.D. classes compared to just a few years ago... But many were New Yorkers or from north Jersey.)
Posted at 8:22am on March 20, 2014 by Allan Loudell
The class proportion was most likely a random factor depending upon who decided to show up, and who had majored in that category. I have not seen any U.D. data showing a huge swing between in-state and out-of-state enrollments...
My guess the Canadian Ukrainians all hail from the western part of Ukraine, which, except for the Tatars in Crimea, would have felt the Russian onslaught worse than those in the east more likely to be Russians themselves...
As for fracking, during war, environmental concerns get buried, as they should be. If humanity is all dead tomorrow, the environmental damage to the planet is "what" to us?
However, it appears we are not going to all-out war, and it now becomes an issue again of subsidizing Europe as we undergo a new Cold War instead. It appears now, that is Putin's aim. We carried Europe, post-WWII. We will have to do it again... However, cutting off Europe's gas during winter puts a new edge on the term... Cold War...
Thu, Mar 20, 2014 8:53am
The more one thinks over it, putting 20,000 American troops into Ukraine would be our best option. As a parent shuts down a rebellious child, by making him/her aware of the consequences if he/she continues his actions without portentous threats beforehand, the U.S. must now take on that responsibility.
Basically, one would want to instill in the Russian mindset, that, "wow, these guys (us Americans) are serious about their threats. Let us (Russians) not tempt them again."
It is not the first time we dared Russia to start a war with us. The Berlin airlift could have easily morphed into WWIII had just one anti-aircraft gun taken a lucky shot on an incoming cargo plane.
Thu, Mar 20, 2014 9:25am
kavips: So now you want U.S. troops used in yet another war? You are starting to sound like McCain, Graham, and Hillary. Our country is sick of playing the World's policeman with our armed forces...it's time to build up our own country and our own military.
Putin knows he has nothing to fear from pResident Obama or Kerry. Putin does fear our military but not our Commander-in-Chief.
No more troops!..and time to bring back all the others from Iraq and Afghanistan!
Rand Paul 2016. The R3VOLUTION has begun.
Mike from Delaware
Thu, Mar 20, 2014 10:37am
EarlGrey: Well said.
It's not our job to subsidize Europe. Let the Europeans build up their own military, spend their own money, and get their people killed in another senseless war.
The people of Crimea vote 95% in favor of this, so it seems to me the only thing we need to discuss with the Ruskies is some program to allow the 5% to migrate to another nation such as the Ukraine, since they'd prefer not go back under Russian rule.
How would we, the U.S., react if next week one of the Mexican states along the Mexican/U.S. border took a vote and 95% wanted the U.S. to annex them into the U.S.? Would we tolerate Russia having some say about this? We would tell the Russians it's none of their business, and we don't take orders from them.
Our nation has gotten into the habit of telling other nations what they should do, yet would never tolerate that from them. The only time we should do that is IF OUR national security is threatened. Then we wonder why so many folks hate the U.S.!
We've become arrogant bullies telling them that our way is the only way. We think we run the planet. Definitely not the way to win friends and influence people or nations.
We should leave folks alone as long as they're not a threat to our security.
Mike from Delaware
Thu, Mar 20, 2014 10:38am
The other point is Putin is trying to do to us what Reagan did to the former Soviet Union - destroy their economy - so let's not fall for it.
Thu, Mar 20, 2014 10:55am
Mike: I agree with you that the Europeans need to spend their own money and use their own troops to protect themselves and their neighbors from Putin. We need to be involved in fewer wars, not more...unless we (or an ally) are attacked.
I also agree that Putin/Russia wants to do to the U.S. exactly what we did to the U.S.S.R.
However, I am quite skeptical about the 95% voting for Russian rule... that sounds like the numbers Saddam Hussein used to get in his elections. The remaining 5% just need a little "re-education"...and soon Putin will have his 100% approval rating.
Mike from Delaware
Thu, Mar 20, 2014 1:28pm
I don't hear anyone disputing those numbers, but even so, it's not our problem.
Thu, Mar 20, 2014 6:34pm
MFD: Oh yes, it is our problem! Are you so blind to think that we can just ignore this and it'll go away? That's the same mindset America had on both December 6th and September 10th.
LEARN FROM HISTORY!!!
Mike from Delaware
Thu, Mar 20, 2014 11:01pm
Mrpizza: Dec 7th would have happened even if we had entered the war against Hitler. It was the Japanese who attacked us. A book you might want to read "Those Angry Days" by Lynne Olson.
September 11 too. The reason that one happened is our own intelligence agencies didn't share info which could have prevented 9/11.
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 9:39am
Exactly my point. We have the intelligence right in front of our faces, and Obama ain't gonna do squat about it because he's a typical liberal coward.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 9:56am
What intelligence? I haven't heard any? NPR, CBS, and WDEL aren't reporting any; Allan isn't interviewing any guests saying this. I've even looked at the Fox News on-line site and haven't seen any thing. I've listened to Glenn Beck and Hannity this week a few times [a new record for me] and haven't heard anything either.
We've got aircraft carriers over there nearby, so IF you're right and I'm wrong, we're in position to act, but let's not go off half-cocked as we did with Bush Jr. and pay the price in money and lives for nothing. Let the Europeans pay with their money and their lives. Sure, they're all about trying to get the U.S. to do their dirty work for them, with us paying the money and the lives. We're stupid enough to do this over and over. I say, let's wait and make totally sure before doing something that could be very difficult to stop once set in motion.
Don't be so fast to want to re-start the Cold War, or worse yet start WWIII. Let's not jump to conclusions; let's get the facts FIRST. So far, the Ruskies have had a vote, won the vote, and are annexing Crimea, all very peacefully. They said their troops will not cross the border into the Ukraine. So let's give them the benefit of the doubt until they prove us wrong, BEFORE we start a war needlessly. If they cross into the Ukraine, THEN you might have a point, but until then, this seems to me to be a bunch of impotent world leaders - [Obama] included - just wanting to try to prove they've still got clout. A bit less posturing would be helpful by Obama and the rest. Crying wolf too often, let's make sure the wolf really is entering the hen-house before we go in with guns a blazing.
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 5:16pm
MFD: Once again you're not spiritually tuned in to what's going on. You have salvation through the blood of Jesus, but on everything else you are what Paul called "natural man who doesn't understand the things of the spirit."
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 10:37pm
Mrpizza: It's not that I'm not spiritually tuned in to what's going on, on the contrary, it's just that you're looking through the prism of Dispensational Premillennialism [aka the Left Behind view]. Many Evangelical/Fundamentalist churches have that view thus it flavors their teachings and how you and they interpret the Bible.
As a Lutheran [along with United Methodists, Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and most Baptists] we're looking through a different prism called Amillennialism, which will flavor our teachings and how we interpret the Bible.
So it's not a lack of spiritual awareness, but how we understand what the Bible is teaching, how we are viewing the world stage, and how we believe the end times will come. So while we both worship the same Risen Christ, we interpret many other aspects of the teachings in the Scriptures differently. Read the two definitions below and you'll better understand why we don't see some things the same.
An article from the website Blueletter Bible offers some definitions of these two main views of the end times [there actually are four, but these two seem to be the most popular].
The amillennialist believes that the Kingdom of God was inaugurated at Christ's resurrection (hence the term "inaugurated millennialism") at which point he gained victory over both Satan and the Curse. Christ is even now reigning (hence the term "nunc-millennialism" — nunc means "now") at the right hand of the Father over His church. After this present age has ended, Christ will return and immediately usher the church into their eternal state after judging the wicked. The term "amillennialism" is actually a misnomer for it implies that Revelation 20:1-6 is ignored; in fact, the amillennialist's hermeneutic interprets it (and in fact, much of apocalyptic literature) non-literally.
Features and Distinctions:
Favored method of interpretation: redemptive-historical.
Israel and the church: The church is the eschatological fulfillment of Israel.
Kingdom of God: a spiritual reality that all Christians partake in and that is seen presently by faith, but will be grasped by sight at the consummation.
The Rapture: The saints, living and dead, shall meet the Lord in the clouds and immediately proceed to judge the nations with Christ and then follow Him into their eternal state.
The Millennium: inaugurated with Christ's resurrection. In an "already/not yet" sense, Christ already reigns over all and is already victorious over Satan.
Higher degrees of interpreting prophecy in light of Christ's advent, death, resurrection, and glorification.
Relies heavily on a two-age theology.
Major proponents: Meredith Kline, Richard Gaffin, Robert B. Strimple, Gregory K. Beale, and John Murray.
View the visual interpretation
Eschatology is the study of the eschaton; the eschaton is equated with "last things." While other views focus on the final days of humankind on earth, amillennialism sees "the last things" as having been initiated at Christ's resurrection and so, being applicable from the earliest days of the Christian church (cf. Acts 2:16-21; 1 Corinthians 10:11; Hebrews 1:1-2; and 1 Peter 1:20). The amillennialist perspective sees the whole of God's redemptive revelation as twofold - promise and fulfillment; it also emphasizes that a strict-literal interpretation of Old Testament is not necessarily the most accurate way of determining what the text means.
The amillennial perspective emphasizes that the coming of the Kingdom of God is a two-part event. The first portion dawned at Christ's first advent (John the Baptist proclaimed at this time, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand" — Matthew 3:2). At the cross, Christ won final victory over death and Satan. And then He ascended to reign upon the throne of David forever (Luke 1:32-33; Acts 2:30-31). Now because we "look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18) — because of this, the amillennialist sees the final things already accomplished, though not yet seen by sight, but by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7).
An important note is the amilleniallist's view of the church in this world: a role of suffering. The Christian will be hated by all, just as was Christ (Matthew 10:22), for a servant is not greater than his master. Seeing this as the church's role on earth — to suffer as did Christ — the amillenialist can hold no hope for an earthly exaltation and longs for the fulfillment of the second stage of the coming of the Kingdom.
This second stage of the amillennial perspective is the final consummation of all the heavenly promises. The Christian will no longer see by faith alone, but by sight. All the shadowy things will pass away and our eternal reign with Christ will begin. The amillennialist, expecting no earthly glory for the church, places all his hope on this heavenly glory.
Hoekema, Anthony. The Bible and the Future. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1994. (ISBN: 0802808514)
Hendrikson, William. More Than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation. Grand Rapids: Baker Books-, 1939. (ISBN: 0801057922)
Beale, G.K. The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999. (ISBN: 0-8028-2174-X)
Strimple, Robert B. "Amillennialism." Three Views of the Millennium and Beyond. Ed. Darrell L. Bock. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House,1999. (ISBN 0-310-20143-8)
Vos, Geerhardus. The Pauline Eschatology. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1953.
Vos, Geerhardus. Biblical Theology. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1953.
Ridderbos, Herman. The Coming of the Kingdom. Philadelphia: Presbyterian &Reformed Publishing Company, 1962. (ISBN: 0-87552-408-7)
Dispensational premillennialists hold that Christ will come before a seven-year period of intense tribulation to take His church (living and dead) into heaven. After this period of fulfillment of divine wrath, He shall then return to rule from a holy city (i.e., the New Jerusalem) over the earthly nations for one thousand years. After these thousand years, Satan, who was bound up during Christ's earthly reign, will be loosed to deceive the nations, gather an army of the deceived, and take up to battle against the Lord. This battle will end in both the judgment of the wicked and Satan and the entrance into the eternal state of glory by the righteous. This view is called premillenialism because it places the return of Christ before the millennium and it is called dispensational because it is founded in the doctrines of dispensationalism.
Features and Distinctions:
Favored method of interpretation: strict literal.
Israel and the church: views church and Israel as two distinct identities with two individual redemptive plans.
The rapture of the Church: The church is raptured before a seven-year tribulation (the seventieth week of Daniel - Daniel 9:24-27). This tribulational period contains the reign of the AntiChrist.
Millennium: Christ will return at the end of the great tribulation to institute a thousand-year rule from a holy city (the New Jerusalem). Those who come to believe in Christ during the seventieth week of Daniel (including the 144,000 Jews) and survive will go on to populate the earth during this time. Those who were raptured or raised previous to the tribulational period will reign with Christ over the millennial population.
Higher degrees of interpreting present-day events in the light of end-times prophecy.
The Millennium will see the re-establishment of temple worship and sacrifice as a remembrance of Christ's sacrifice.
From the millennium-ending "white throne" judgment (by which Satan and all unbelievers will be thrown into the lake of fire) Christ and all saints will proceed into eternal glory.
Major proponents: John Walvoord, Charles Ryrie, Louis Sperry Chafer, J. Dwight Pentecost, Norman Geisler, Charles Stanley, Chuck Smith, and Chuck Missler.
View the visual interpretation
A strictly literal hermaneutic is foundational to the dispensational premillenialist viewpoint. Interpreting Scripture in this manner will in fact demand such perspectives unique to dispensationalism as:
an earthly kingdom of God from which Christ will reign
a future redemptive plan for national Israel
a seven year period of great tribulation
the rejection of prophetic idiom
Dispensational premillennialism holds that a seven-year tribulation (forseen in Daniel 9:27) will precede a thousand-year period (Revelation 20:1-6) during which time, Christ will reign on the throne of David (Luke 1:32).
Immediately previous to the time of great tribulation, all the dead saints will rise from their graves and all the living members of the church shall be caught up with them to meet Christ in the clouds (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17); this is known as "the rapture." During this time of tribulation, there will be three-and-a-half years of world peace under an AntiChrist figure (Daniel 7:8; Revelation 13:1-8) who will establish a world-church (Revelation 17:1-15), followed by three-and-a-half years of greater suffering (/help.htmlRevelation 6-18). At the end of this period, Christ will return (Matthew 24:27-31; Revelation 19:11-21), judge the world (Ezekiel 20:33-38; Matthew 25:31; Jude 14-15), bind Satan for one thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3), and raise the Old Testament and tribulation saints from the dead (Daniel 12:2; Revelation 20:4).
At this time, the millennial reign will begin and Christ will reign politically over the earth at this time from His capital in Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3). Throughout His reign, there will be no war (Isaiah 2:4) and even the natures of animals will dwell in harmony (Isaiah 11:6-9). At the end of this era of peace, Satan will be released and instigate a colossal (but futile) rebellion against God (Revelation 20:7-9). After this fated battle, Satan and the wicked are cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10), while the righteous proceed into their eternal state in the realm of the new heaven and the new earth Revelation 21:1ff).
Pentecost, J. Dwight. Things to Come. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1978. (ISBN 0310308909)
Ryrie, Charles. The Basis for Premillennial Faith. New York: The Loizeaux Brothers, 1953. (ISBN 0872137414)
Walvoord, John. Every Prophecy of the Bible. Colorado Springs: Chariot Victor Publishing, 1999. (ISBN 1-56476-758-2)
Walvoord, John. The Revelation of Jesus Christ. Chicago: Moody Press, 1966. (ISBN 0-8024-7310-5)
Blaising, Craig A. "Premillennialism." Three Views of the Millennium and Beyond. Ed. Darrell L. Bock. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House,1999. (ISBN 0-310-20143-8)
Another link you might find of interest tells how 2 Thessalonians supports Amillennialism.
Finally a video you might enjoy from Lutheran Men's Ministry helps folks understand how to unscramble the Book of Revelation.
You may not change what prism you're looking through, but these resources may help you better understand where fellow followers of Christ are coming from. Enjoy.
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 6:50pm
Thanks Mike. You're right about pre vs. a-millenial, and I think I've always been somewhere in between. You may remember back in the 70's that the 1980's would usher in Armageddon. Never happened. We were going to be raptured before we lost our hair or it turned grey. Never happened. In the midst of all that controversy, the church forgot to "occupy before I come". So I think we're both on the same page with that.
What I'm seeing with the current Ukraine situation is in relation to Israel. Of course, Russia, or more exactly, the Soviet Union was supposed to invade Israel in '82. Again, never happened. But when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989 I believe it was Oral Roberts who prophesied that Eastern Europe would be open to the gospel for a season, then it would close again. The current crisis is a step in the direction of that closing. The doors closed in Belarus some time ago. But anyway, I do believe, whether a or pre millenial, that at some point Russia (described in scripture as the "bear from the north") will invade Israel, and it would appear at least to my thinking that they would need to gobble up all the territory in between before they could do that, and Ukraine is a pretty big chunk of that territory.
Of course, I do concede that it could also be another false alarm just like all the other ones I cited.
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 8:23pm
Mrpizza: good post. My concern with the pre-trib crowd is two fold: (1) this view didn't come around until around 1830's by John Nelson Darby who started the Plymouth Bretheren movement. Interestingly this was around the same time that the Catholic Church came out with their ruling about the infallibility of the Pope, if I remember correctly ( Seems to me around the mid 1800's). What brought this view of the end times much visibility, especially in the US was that Scofield promoted it in his famous Scofield Reference Bible that was hugely popular in the late 1800's & early part of the 1900's. (2) is the Pre-Trib folks obsession with trying to figure when it's going to happen. Jesus told us that even He doesn't know, only his Father in heaven knows when this will happen. Bottom line is God will end the world when he decides the time has come. We aren't supposed to try to bring it around or do stuff to make it happen in our life times. We are to continue on living for him, making disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit. The rest is in his hands.
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 8:36pm
To continue that thought: what books sell the best in a Christian book store? The end times stuff, while the books about the grace & love of God, his Son Jesus & the work of the cross or taking up our cross & following Jesus sit unsold on the book shelves. Too much pre-occupation with the end times & not enough on living for Christ now & reaching the lost for Christ before he does come back. It is rather selfish, if you think about it, we've got Christ, we're his so Christ coming back is Graduation Day for us, but how can we really want the rapture to happen tonight thus leaving millions of folks lost & condemned to Hell. Seems to me our hearts should ache to somehow reach the lost while there is still time, but it seems to me the attitude of many Christians is, I got mine too bad so sad for you. That surly doesn't reflect the heart of the Risen Christ.
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 9:09pm
Yep. Can't argue with that.
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 9:20pm
MFD: I think the one single factor that indicates we're probably down to hundreds of years at the most before the great apocalypse is the advancement of technology. Of course, there was no technology to speak of in the 1800's, but that started to change beginning around 1900. From 1900 to about 1970, we saw technology steadily advance, but then from 1970 to today, the rate of advancement has been many times over the original 70-year period. Now we're at the point where things are outdated before they hit the market.
So the acceleration of technology and events in the middle east are our best indicators of where history is going. Of course, I sure ain't gonna try to figure out when.
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 9:46pm
We aren't guaranteed the next hour, so we are to have our lamps filled ready to go for when the bride groom comes for his bride the church. We are to live as if we'd been meeting Jesus face to face later that day, because we just might.
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