Link between Fossil Fuels, Climate change, and the Genesis Flood

Note my plan with this question isnt a loaded gun …im not exactly trying to play YEC games. I was reading about a seemingly unrelated topic this morning (fossil fuels and climate change) and this thought popped into my head. So i wish to make it clear, my aim in this topic isnt to generate a YEC vs TEism debate, however, i do recognise its going to be difficult for it to not descend into that arena.

I find it interesting that Moses wrote in Genesis 6:

5Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great upon the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was altogether evil all the time. 6And the LORD regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7So the LORD said, “I will blot out man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—every man and beast and crawling creature and bird of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.”

11Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and full of violence. 12And God looked upon the earth and saw that it was corrupt; for all living creaturesb on the earth had corrupted their ways.

Moses writes that God destroyed that which he had made in Genesis 7:

and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living thing I have made.”

Now we know that basically God was greived with all of the corruption of mankind at the time and he sort to destroy it.

Moving forward to our modern times, i notice that in the media, a lot is said about Fossil fuels (oil in particular) being somewhat a catalyst for Wars, and indeed climate change is being accelerated by the impact of fossil fuel usage. Countries around the world are changing their automotive compliance policies for example such that car manufacturers must reduce carbon footprint of the vehicles they build.
We are in Australia at least, on this pathway of clean renewable energy sources…particularly, hydro, wind, and solar.

When considering the negative impact fossil fuels seem to have globally both socially (due to war and impacts on health) and environmentally (climate change), i wonder, are we digging up the “sins of the past” in mining for fossil fuels? Is climate change acceleration due to the use of fossil fuels the result of us meddling in a curse?

food for thought.

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Proverbs 26:11. Like a dog that returns to its vomit Is a fool who repeats his folly.


Not going with it being a curse, but perhaps it is an ongoing sin.

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We would not have modern technology and improved living standards and medicine without fossil fuels. Those are all things we can be thankful for and thankful to God, but that in no way suggests that there hasn’t been sin involved at every step by some or many and continuing, and we can include ourselves.

A story about John Wesley:


Another interesting thing…vegetable oil from living plants is suitable in moderation for usage in foods, however mineral oil is rather toxic for most living things.

There seems to be a lot of irony in that considering mineral oil comes from what was once living things and its usage is also bad for the environment!

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Coating the ark with pitch was using fossil fuels, though not for fuel. Using petroleum is not inherently bad, but human sinfulness leads to problems, and all the money involved leads to greater temptations and opportunities for harm. There’s a lot of greed, carelessness, etc. involved in fossil fuel use, and the environmental change due to our burning stuff especially affects the most vulnerable people, who we ought to be looking out for. While there are practical uses for petroleum products, we need to do a better job of prioritizing justice and mercy rather than making as much money as possible.

There’s a curious rhetorical association in the US between young earth or ID advocates and denying the problems of climate change. I don’t know what’s at the root of the association, but many ID or YEC sources promote bad stewardship of creation, which seems rather contrary to their claimed priorities. In reality, if climate has changed in the past as fast as YEC implies, we should be much more worried, not less.


As fossil fuel has facilitated industrial scale production and agriculture, which has in turn allowed for the steep increase in global population, the present challenges are as due to fulfilling the divine imperative of being fruitful and multiplying, as much as unleashing the Balrogs of ancient wickedness. I really do not see any flood related anathema attached to fossil fuels, so their utilization should be guided by wider ethical and scientifically informed considerations.

In any event, AiG does not really acknowledge climate change as a challenge, as that violates their notion of God’s providence.

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Not trying to be a naysayer, however, I am a former Design and Technology High Schol Teacher and wood technology was one of my major areas of study.

The traditional way to make pitch is not limited to the use of fossil fuel resources.

In fact, its made from sap taken from trees and also from the burning of the remaining wood after tree was “bled of its sap”, in order to form charcoal.

Contrary to what ive heard some claim (those who actually have no expertise in wood technology), its not a difficult process to bleed tree sap… Of course for us today, it would seem arduous because we can cheat and simply use fossil fuel resources (bitumen), however, like the use of Whale oil in lamps for street lamps and indeed lighthouses, its not a big deal for ancient cultures to resort to bleeding tree sap where there was no access to these kinds of resources we take for today.

Anyway, it was mixed and applied to the hulls of boats.

Also interesting, God told Noah to coat the INSIDE and OUTSIDE of the Ark.

Gen 6:14Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood;c make rooms in the ark and coat it with pitch inside and out.

Hebrews 11: 7By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in godly fear built an ark to save his family. By faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

The point is, one does not need fossil fuel to make pitch for waterproofing boats.

It’s just part of how technology works. We often see impacts down the road, and try to correct it with changes. New problems arise and we try to keep on correcting it. Fossil fuels are helping to accelerate climate change. Dams are helping to mess up freshwater fish migration habitats which affect land mammals like bears and so on. Solar farms help to kill rare birds. They are working on ways to help combat the negative consequences of dams and windmills. Creating batteries for electric vehicles have their own range of negative consequences. We just keep learning from mistakes and trying to push forward.

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Pitch can be made from tree sap if you have suitable trees. But the Mesopotamian region has oil seeps used as a source of pitch since ancient times and not a huge supply of resinous trees.

  • So I was wondering (a) how much pitch and, by necessity, sap would a person need “to pitch” the total area of the inside and outside of a structure the size of the ark?; and (b) about how many sap-yielding trees would that person need “to tap”?

The question is, in light of the dangers of lithium batteries ie thermal runaway producing toxic fires that are impossible to extinquish, are we actually learning from our mistakes?

You know Lebanon is known for its Cedar trees right? Im sorry but your argument is a bit ridiculous.

I am not arguing that Oils seeps did notnexist in Persia for example, however, it should not be assumed thst thousands of years ago one could google it cLl an Uber, or even phone a friend and get oil for boat building given the story of Noah appears to suggest what he built was unique. It may very well be oil existed nearby, or that he sent scouts out all over tye region trying to find tar, however given the amount of lumber used to build tye ark, it wouldnt be a stretch for him to also use it for making resins etc. We know from traditional methods researched today tuat often materials were sourced onsite for most things we made even just a hundred years ago.

Anyway, in referencing directly to your statment:

Cedar wood is prized for its fine grain, attractive yellow color, and fragrance. It is exceptionally durable and immune to insect ravages. Wood from C. libani has a density of 560 kg/m3; it is used for furniture, construction, and handicrafts. In Turkey, shelterwood cutting and clearcutting techniques are used to harvest timber and promote uniform forest regeneration. Cedar resin (cedria) and cedar essential oil (cedrum) are prized extracts from the timber and cones of the cedar tree.[31][32] Cedrus libani - Wikipedia

I know that Lebanon is not in Mesopotamia. Also, coating your boat with essential oils may make it smell better, but isn’t what you need for coating with pitch. The resin might be more suitable, but pines rather than cedars are the standard historical source of materials for shipbuilding - it was a major industry from colonial times to the mid-1900’s in the eastern part of North Carolina, for example. .


David, i think we both know that there are levels of distillation in oils… This will be the last thing i say on your post as its timewasting and unintellectual for the both of us.

Essential oils are the liquids that are isolated from plants when introduced to solvents – they are liquefied versions of the plants! Popular extraction methods include: Steam Distillation, Solvent Extraction, CO2 Extraction, Maceration, Enfleurage, Cold Press Extraction, and Water Distillation . A Comprehensive Guide to Essential Oil Extraction Methods.

High tech and time consuming. Got it.

My mind went straight to a man I met who was proud of “tithing double” yet lived in a house that cost well over a million dollars and had several highway-legal vehicles, a couple of off-road vehicles, a boat and several jet-skis.

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I’ve noticed that fairly often.

Something I noticed when sharing a house with three other university students was that on our street it tended to be the ‘liberals’ who faithfully recycled.

Some of it has to do with a (deliberate?) misunderstanding of what “have dominion . . . and subdue” mean in Genesis – I have met a disturbing number of YEC Christians who maintain that that means humans can use the Earth any way they please, and who wave away pollution and other ecological damage saying "It’s all gonna burn soon anyway!

And an accompanying increase in global trash. That’s a fact that drives me crazy since four-fifths of household and commercial trash can be turned into oil plus fertilizers and all the bits of metal fall out to be re-used. We could be supplying something like 5-10% of all our oil needs just from turning trash into oil!

I think we’d fulfilled that divine imperative somewhere shortly after World War I.

IMO their view of God’s providence is equivalent to Jesus throwing Himself off the Temple and expecting God to let Him land lightly.


Not only that but dams also destroy estuaries by trapping all the sediment that would normally get carried to river mouths.

Yes – that’s one reason there is so much research into better battery tech.
I remember reading about research into using silver nanotubes (!) for batteries, a technology that promised the capability of cutting the volume of batteries for an electric car by 80% if it could be done commercially. I think that stopped when it was discovered that low-quality graphene sheets could hold more than silver nanotubes and do it in half the volume and a third of the weight. I don’t know what these others are made of, but there are batteries being made for lab testing that can function as a cross between a battery and a capacitor; I recall they’re using graphene “doped” with some kind of metallic salts.


Supercapacitors hold some promise, but an accident with a vehicle powered by one could be especially nasty. Charging time is much less of an issue though!

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