Thursday, February 28, 2008

Stock Up on Fur Coats

This story by Lorne Gunter is a must read. In case you don't have time to follow the link, I'm going to quote liberally from it:

Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966 . . . In just the first two weeks of February, Toronto received 70 cm of snow, smashing the record of 66.6 cm for the entire month set back in the pre-SUV, pre-Kyoto, pre-carbon footprint days of 1950.

And remember the Arctic Sea ice? The ice we were told so hysterically last fall had melted to its "lowest levels on record?" Never mind that those records only date back as far as 1972 and that there is anthropological and geological evidence of much greater melts in the past.

The ice is back.

Gilles Langis, a senior forecaster with the Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa, says the Arctic winter has been so severe the ice has not only recovered, it is actually 10 to 20 cm thicker in many places than at this time last year.

. . .

Last month, Oleg Sorokhtin, a fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, shrugged off manmade climate change as "a drop in the bucket." Showing that solar activity has entered an inactive phase, Prof. Sorokhtin advised people to "stock up on fur coats."

He is not alone. Kenneth Tapping of our own National Research Council, who oversees a giant radio telescope focused on the sun, is convinced we are in for a long period of severely cold weather if sunspot activity does not pick up soon.

The last time the sun was this inactive, Earth suffered the Little Ice Age that lasted about five centuries and ended in 1850. Crops failed through killer frosts and drought. Famine, plague and war were widespread. Harbours froze, so did rivers, and trade ceased.

It's way too early to claim the same is about to happen again, but then it's way too early for the hysteria of the global warmers, too.

You said it Lorne. All that I'll say is my snow tires sure came in handy this year.

I've got some reading to do . . .

A friend of mind sent me a link to a new online magazine, I'm lovin' it. (great now I'm hungry) The online journal aims to contribute to the national arena of ideas by promoting principles of: Democratic governance, Individual freedom, Free markets, Environmental stewardship, and Peace and security. Best of all, the editorial board is stacked with Western Alumni, including 2 of my classmates.

The most recent edition focuses on faith and politics. The best article I've read so far was by Kyle Jantzen, who provides some historical background on the relationship between church and state in the Western World and in Canada. It's a concise, well written article that helps put some of the frustrations of Christians and the suspicions of skeptics into perspective. Give it a look. I'm sure I'll be killing some time on that website in the near future.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Iranian Muslim Hitchhiker

Here's something for the "It goes to show what I know file:"

I picked up a hitch hiker today. He was very polite and grateful. He told me that he was Iranian and had two daughters, Michelle and Maria. He named Maria after the virgin Mary. He noticed the rosary on my review mirror, and said many people have these in Iran. I was surprised, but he said that there are about 70% of the population is muslim and that about 10% is Christian and another 10% is Jewish. He told me that he was a muslim, but that Jesus and the virgin Mary were very close to his heart. He said that there were 124,000 prophets from Adam through to Mohammed, and he seemed to geniunely believe that being muslim was somehow an extension of Christianity. Sometimes, he even goes to the Catholic Church to worship. He served for 3 years in the Iranian military during the Iran – Iraq war 2 years because of conscription, but he volunteered for the third year. He said he would gladly join the Canadian military if he was called to because Canada is his country now.

Can anyone shed some light on this?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Prayer Vigil Draws Attention

After frigid temperatures last year, the relatively milder weather may have helped the Kitchener – Waterloo prayer vigil get noticed. There were many people walking down King Street in front of Grand River Hospital on Monday, January 28th. Many of them briefly walked along side the wide cross section of pro-lifers who were praying for an end to abortion. The crowd included pro-life heroes that have been fighting for life for over thirty years as well as young families with children and a sizable contingent from the city’s two universities.

Although K-W Right to Life sponsors this event each year, this year was significant as it marked the 20th anniversary of the 1988 court decision that struck down Canada’s law on abortion. Even the mainstream media recognized the significance of the day. CTV news was at the vigil with a video camera, interviewing K-W Right to Life President Jane Richard and lingering to take video footage of the march, of the candles, and of the faces of people praying, walking, and remembering where we have come from.

The anniversary matters, because even though abortion has been legal in Canada for almost 40 years, unborn children have had no protection at any stage of development since January 28, 1988. This means that a child in Canada who is about to be delivered can be brutally dismembered or murdered in any number of ways, but minutes later the child has all the rights and privileges of any other Canadian. It just doesn’t make sense, and yet, this has been the case for 20 years.

20 years is a really long time. 20 years ago, the Soviet Union was withdrawing after an 8 year invasion of Afghanistan, Ronald Reagan was President of the United States, Eighties music was popular, and the Maple Leafs had only gone only 21 years without winning the Stanley Cup. In fact, many of the university students that joined the vigil would have only just been born. They, like us, are the lucky ones; in the last 20 years approximately 2 million unborn children have had their lives snuffed out while still in the womb.

Technology has also come a long way in 20 years. 20 years ago, Compact Discs were just establishing themselves as the dominant music media, DVD’s hadn’t even been invented, and state of the art computers had 16 colours. Medical technology has also advanced giving people an ever greater knowledge of life in the womb. Fetal surgery, 4-D ultrasound technology, and dramatically higher survival rates of premature babies have all drawn attention to the simple fact that unborn children are undeniably human.

After 20 years, it’s no wonder that attitudes have changed. Today two thirds of Canadian women support legal protection for unborn children at some point before birth, and support for protecting the unborn is even higher among young people. In this environment, a diverse group of volunteers came out to make a statement about the tragedy of abortion, to encourage each other, but mostly to pray. KW Right to Life President Jane Richard said, “I’m always encouraged by the pro-life movement, our voices aren’t heard most of the time, but events like these are a chance to come together and pray and this is more powerful than we know.”

Even though the atmosphere was generally quiet and prayerful, there was a silent bond between participants, with smiles and hellos accompanying heartfelt prayers. There’s nothing like trudging through snow and breathing fresh crisp air while supporting a noble cause to create a sense of camaraderie. Perhaps next year, a local church or pro-life restaurant owner will help further that sense of camaraderie by hosting the volunteers after the vigil with hot chocolate and cider.