Humans & Climate Change / Encounters with Angels

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Date Host George Noory
Guests Brian Fagan, Michael Lichens

In the first half, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology Brian Fagan discussed the history of humans and climate change, and how humans have adapted —including during the Little Ice Age for a 500-year period. Droughts and megadroughts have probably played the most havoc with human civilizations over the years, he noted, particularly in areas that have separate wet and dry seasons. He tied collapses in ancient Egypt to low periods of rain or monsoons in the Nile, and the Roman Empire, which experienced severe famine due to climate changes. There were significant climate fluctuations during the Ice Age, but during the last 15,000 years, we have been experiencing a warming trend. However, beginning in the 19th century, there is no scientific doubt that a vigorous warming trend was in fact caused by human activity, he said.

10,000 years ago, the male human lifespan was only 26 years, hampered by inadequate sanitation and hunting accidents and injuries. It was only around 70,000 years ago that humans developed tailored or sewed clothes, which allowed for closer fitting and layering to better survive sub-zero temperatures, he reported. They also discovered ways to store food, burying it in the permafrost, as well as smoking or salting meats to preserve them. As far as how humans will adapt to current and future climate challenges, "the past reminds us that we're ingenious and innovative," he stated, and that we're capable of rising to trials far greater than those of ancient times, as we can evaluate what has and hasn't worked. Most importantly, Fagan added, we need to unite as a species in these efforts.

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In the latter half, editor of the Catholic Exchange, Michael Lichens, talked about different types of angels, as understood by the Church. Angels could be thought of as messengers of God that can take on many varying aspects. They are beings of pure intellect or spirit, he explained, rather than the deceased souls of human beings. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, "if they come in a body, it's only for our benefit that we see that," Lichens detailed. The Church teaches that each person gets a guardian angel, assigned by God at birth. These guardians can step in at needed moments and are there to watch over us, he said. Their mission, he added, is to get people through life, and into death, and finally into heaven.

Pope John Paul II called guardian angels "your personal patron saints," Lichens cited, and they can be called upon to assist us at any time. "The best and easiest thing you can do on a daily basis," he continued, "is just have gratitude especially for those times you didn't know it was your guardian angel who helped you out." He detailed noteworthy cases of angelic interventions, such as with Isidore, a pious Spanish farmworker, who was said to have some of his farming tasks completed by angels, so he would have more time to pray. Padre Pio, who was known for such things as exhibiting stigmata wounds, bilocation, and communicating with those in Purgatory, often asked people to send their guardian angels to him with any prayers or recommendations. During the last hour, callers shared accounts of their profound encounters with what they believe may have been guardian angels.

News segment guests: Christian Wilde, Kevin Randle

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