Friday, 23 May 2008

Global Warming Running out of Steam?

The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine this week announced that 31,072 scientists have signed a petition stating that "… There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gases is causing, or will cause in the future, catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate..."

Wow, if that leaves you confused, join the club. I thought the argument was over, and everyone had agreed that man is responsible for global warming.

Apparently not… recent direct polling of climate scientists has shown that about 30% are "sceptical" of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming.

Meanwhile, in London, something resembling smog has returned…

For the more technically minded, you will appreciate the simple message this chart from New Zealand demonstrates when it compares reality to computer-generated models of global temperatures.

All in all it would appear that the great global-warming hoax is being exposed.

Question is, what will be the next media-generated scare story?

Death in Grindstone Canyon

The internet is an amazing tool. I recently came across this article in Time magazine describing how a group of New Tribes missionaries lost their lives.

Time, Monday, Jul. 20, 1953

The New Tribes Mission is not for the frail of body or the faint of heart. Its members specialize in unfriendly aborigines and dangerous terrain; they come from any denomination of Protestantism, and their aim is to go where other missionaries have not gone before them. Founded in 1942 by Paul W. Fleming, a onetime missionary to Malaya, the New Tribes Mission has already suffered more than its share of dramatic accidents: five of its missionaries were killed by Bolivian savages in 1943; in June 1950, a New Tribes plane crashed in Venezuela killing 15 missionaries and their children, and five months later another New Tribes plane crashed in Wyoming killing 21 missionaries and their families, including Founder Fleming.

Last week, in northern California's Mendocino National Forest, 14 more New Tribesmen died violently.

Grace Before Supper.The temperature had been in the upper 90s for days, and the park rangers kept an anxious eye on the tinder-dry brush. Late one afternoon, they saw the smoke they feared. (As he confessed later, an unemployed 26-year-old who wanted to raise some cash as a fire fighter had got a blaze going.) In a matter of minutes, a crackling patch of flame was eating through the chaparral.

The rangers sent out a call for volunteers. Among the first to be recruited were 27 men from the New Tribes Mission "boot camp" at Fouts Springs, 15 miles to the south. It was frantic, sweaty work, but in a few hours the wind was dropping, and the fire seemed to be sealed off and under control. Then a spark jumped the fire lines and set off a spot blaze in Grindstone Canyon, a short distance away.

Led by a Forest Service man, 23 of the New Tribesmen built a 6-ft. firebreak around the spot fire with their shovels. Then they sat down in the darkness to a late supper—nine on the south side of the burned circle near the canyon wall, 15 on the down-canyon side. They said grace and began to eat. It was about 10 p.m.

"Run! Run!" None of them knew that the wind had sprung up again, or that up the canyon the fire had jumped the control lines. A forest ranger raced along the canyon's edge shouting, "Run! Run! Get out of the canyon!" The group of nine heard his faint voice above them and threw themselves at the canyon wall, scrambling up 200 yards to safety. The others may never have had warning until the flames came rushing and hopping through the head-high chaparral upon them. They ran.

For about three-quarters of a mile, they tore through the brush, and the flames were gaining behind them. Fourteen of them turned then and tried to clamber up the canyon wall. They could not make it, and for those who tried digging foxholes, the shalelike earth would yield only a few inches. One strong man went on running and fighting through the brush down the canyon with the fire at his heels. He had gone a mile and a half when he fell exhausted, 50 yards from the point where the fire eventually died out. He was the 14th of the New Tribesmen to die that night. Back at their training camp, the missionaries and their wives reminded themselves that New Tribesmen are prepared to die. "The Lord spoke for their hearts, and they realized their lives should count for eternity," said John Knutson, business manager of the mission. "Our people are ready to go unto the Lord."

Monday, 7 April 2008

What better way to start a new blog!

We have returned to Northern Ireland from Burkina Faso. We will be here for the rest of 2008, and as we may not be returning to Burkina to live, we thought it might be good to create a new blog.

If things go according to plan, and free and fair elections take place in the coming months, we hope to return to Ivory Coast in 2009 to continue the work among the Loron tribal folks.

We are delighted to be home and see our new grandson, and, of course, our two grand-daughters and the rest of the family!

Seth Daniel Ferguson

Andrew, Laura and Seth

Proud Grandparents

Stephanie and Rebecca, Peter and Claire's two girls, with Seth