10 November 2021: Covid queries; Housing laws; The Spanish health service; (A)GW piss-taking; Climate cafés; & Other stuff.

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Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops
Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable
Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain


Some good questions:-

1. Who isn’t confused by the roller-coasting stats? On the surface, those of the UK look dreadful but I see that the UK’s infections rate – the ‘R’ rate? – is said to be lower than anywhere else. Which might well be good news.

2. Is Europe reverting to being the epicentre of the Covid plague, as cases soar across the continent?

3. Did Sweden really ‘swerve disaster’? A fascinating review here.

4. Is it true that, after 2 years, the only valid conclusion one can draw is that conclusions are fraught. 

Cosas de España/Galiza  

From: Mark Stücklin: A brief look at Spain‘s new housing Act.

And here’s Lenox Napier on the Spanish national health service. Mostly.

When I came to Pontevedra 21 years ago, communications from official bodies were in both of our official languages – Spanish and Galician (Gallego/Galego). Nowadays, everything is only in Gallego. As are all the street signs. And it seem to me that the proportion of articles in at least the Diario de Pontevedra is rising steadily. I have no complaint against this, of course, but I do wonder if it reflects pressure from the city’s ‘Galician only’ mayor via the ‘ghost subscriptions’ from the council which keep the papers alive. And able and willing to print the council’s version of news.


Taking the bovine piss . . . . Scientists claim that: Cattle urine is a major cause of our global nitrogen problem. If we could collect 10-20% of urinations, it would be sufficient to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and nitrate leaching significantly.  

As we await that crucial development, here’s an interesting article from Der Spiegel on The dirty truth about clean technologies.

As regards Net Zero by the end of the century . . . Richard North is in pessimistic mood here this morning: No matter what is agreed this week, the real world will continue on regardless. That means the burning of record amounts of coal – led by China, not least to feed the factories to which many companies in the old industrialised countries have outsourced much of their production. We are not going to see any meaningful reductions in global “carbon” emissions for the foreseeable future. Any expectation that the CoP process can have any meaningful effect is simply self-delusion. Like others, RN believes human genius – and the countless millions in cash – would be better directed towards realistic measures to deal with the consequences of what is seen as inevitable GW. As he puts it: The only credible alternative is a programme of adaptation to whatever the “climate” has to throw at us, and that requires a healthy economy to finance the necessary measures. And, in turn, a plentiful supply of cheap energy. 

The Way of the World

YCMIU: A climate café is a simple, hospitable, empathetic space where fears and uncertainties about our climate and the ecological crisis can de safely expressed. The model is adapted from Death Cafés.

Quote of the Day

A civilisation whose highest values are money and protecting feelings, as opposed to, say, truth and understanding, will inevitably become censorious. When students are told by institutions themselves that they are clients buying a product (a degree), it is no surprise that a consumerist society that lives and dies by the motto “The customer is always right” will find itself up against buyers who object to being taught things that offend their beliefs.

Finally  . . .

Yesterday I read that a certain wine haas ‘excellent precision and poise’. Not having the faintest idea what this meant, I got to wondering if there exists a dictionary of viniculture verbiage. I must check. Or write one.

Slogans on T-shirts usually leave me cold but this one made me smile:-

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