7 March 2023

Awake, for morning in the bowl of night has flung the stone that puts the stars to flight.

And, lo, has caught the sultan’s turret in a noose of light!

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable

 Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’

Cosas de España/Galiza

Lenox Napier writes amusingly here about the Spanish love of paper – el papeleo. By pure coincidence, he cites the role of los gestores I referred to the other day.

The left-of-centre Spanish government plans a law to promote a gender equality law – as ‘part of a broader package of gender equality measures – and you can read about this here or here. I can’t help wondering how this will work out if all the women in, say, the Cabinet are trans . . . Meanwhile, the government’s ‘far-left’ coalition partner – Unidas Podemos – is not as pleased with this as one might have thought they would be.

The right-of-centre Corner here robustly defends the decision of a major Spanish company to move its HQ to Amsterdam. This has caused outrage in Madrid but, says The Corner, this is a weak, flawed and ephemeral reaction which doesn’t follow the path of reason and wisdom but is, rather, partisan and emotional, unbecoming of serious people. Opinions will vary

The Corner takes a look at recent employment stats here and stresses that 55% of the net increase is in the public sector, where jobs are the most precarious. This has been greater in the regions and local councils than in Madrid, it seems. Possibly ahead of upcoming elections.

Although the jasmine in my fence bloomed a couple of weeks ago, the daffodils are taking their time. As ever, they’re out already in the UK, which surprises me, given that we have a milder climate here. Anyway, last night I went down the daffodil rabbit hole and came up with this:-

  • The real name for the flower is Narcissus, said to derive from the Greek word narkào (‘narcotic’), a reference to the pungent, intoxicating odour of the flower.
  • Daffodils in North America are called jonquils but, properly speaking, this name should only be applied to the species Narcissus jonquilla.
  • Some say the name pre-Greek and is derived from a Persian word.
  • There’s no evidence for the flower being named after Narcissus.
  • It’s called both Narciso and, more usually, Flor Pato(Duck Flower) in Spanish.

You can read more about it in Spanish here and a lot more about it in English here.

I’m posting early today as I’m off now for a bodega-visit up in our hills set up by my friend Mark Auchincloss. As you can see here, Mark does quite a lot of things here in Galicia. Wearing his Camino guide hat, he often passes through Pv city at the head of motley crews of ‘pilgrims’. Anyway, this visit will be in the Ribadavia area, famous for its Ribeiro wines and I expect to return lighter of both head and wallet. These days Ribeiro wine is the poor relation of Alabariño and (‘up-and-coming’) Gordello whites but was once Spain’s biggest wine export to the UK. Before the War of the Spanish Succession(1701-15) knocked this business on the head.

The UK

I fancy the sentiment expressed in the headline to this article is one felt by most Brits, if not by most of the folk around the world who follow UK matters. The words ‘leopards’ and ‘spots’ spring to mind.

On a far more serious subject, Richard North comments again this morning on the feasibility of the UK’s Net Zero targets.


A chap called Alex Epstein has written a book – Fossil Future – which makes the counter-conventional wisdom case for more use of fossil foils. It begins: I’m going to try to persuade you of something that may seem crazy to you – that, if you want to make the world a better place, one of the best things you can do is fight for more burning of oil, coal, and natural gas. And it continues as below. Epstein is no climate change denier, by the way.

The Way of the World/Social Media

There was a motoring tragedy in the UK recently involving the deaths of 3 young people and serious injury of the other 2. The social media fotos of the 3 young women appeared in the press and none of them looked remotely natural. I was reminded of a point made in a book I’m reading – ‘Hags’ – in which the author points out that women of the latest wave of feminism are asking cosmetic surgeons to do the impossible of making them look exactly like the phony image that apps have allowed them to create on social media. I doubt that this is what earlier feminists aspired to and I wonder when, if ever, we will get to grip with the evil aspects of social media for young women.

Finally/Did You Know?

In the 20th century, houses in the USA were sold by mail order, via a catalogue, the internet of the day . . .

For new readers:-

1. If you’ve landed here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try here. If you’re passing through Pontevedra on the Camino, you’ll find a guide to the city there.

2. Should you want to, the easiest way to to get my post routinely is to sign up for email subscription. As opposed to using a Bookmark or entering the URL in your browser. And there’s the Thoughts from Galicia FB group.


While we are almost universally told that more fossil fuel use will destroy the world, I am going to make the case that more fossil fuel use will actually make the world a far better place, a place where billions more people will have the opportunity to flourish, including: to pull themselves out of poverty, to have a chance to pursue their dreams, and—this will likely seem craziest of all—to experience higher environmental quality and less danger from climate. I am not going to make the case for more fossil fuel use by making some “climate change denier” argument that fossil fuels’ CO2 emissions aren’t impacting climate; I totally acknowledge that they have contributed to the 1°C warming we’ve experienced over the last one-hundred-plus years, and they will contribute to further warming going forward. But I will argue that the negative climate impacts of fossil fuels will be far, far outweighed by the unique benefits of fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels, which provide 80%of the world’s energy, have and will continue to have the unique benefit of providing low-cost, reliable energy to billions of people in thousands of places—a benefit that is desperately needed in a world where some 3 billion people still use less electricity than a typical American refrigerator.[Contrary to claims that solar and wind are rapidly replacing fossil fuels, fossil fuel use is still growing, while intermittent solar and wind energy, after generations on the market, provide just 3%of the world’s energy—and that 3%is totally dependent on fossil fuels, especially natural gas, for 24/7 backup. Solar and wind are nowhere near being able to replace the energy that fossil fuels provide today, let alone the far greater amounts of energy humanity needs going forward.

One of the key benefits of more fossil fuel use, I will argue, will be powering our enormous and growing ability to master climate danger, whether natural or man-made—an ability that has made the average person on Earth 50 times less likely to die from a climate-related disaster than they were in the 1°C colder world of one hundred years ago.

Because fossil fuel use is so vital to the world’s future, I will argue, today’s proposed policies to rapidly eliminate fossil fuel use would, if fully implemented, have truly apocalyptic consequences—making the world an impoverished, dangerous, and miserable place for most people. And even if fossil fuel elimination policies aren’t fully implemented—which they won’t be, given the expressed intent of China, Russia, and India to increase their fossil fuel use—even widespread restrictions on fossil fuel use that fall far short of elimination will shorten and inflict misery on billions of lives, especially in the poorest parts of the world.

Obviously, you wouldn’t want to participate in the movement to rapidly eliminate fossil fuel use if it actually meant inflicting these kinds of harms on other people, and you would want to fight for more fossil fuel use if it actually made the world a far better place.

But is there really any chance that I’m right?


  1. I remember visiting a kiosk in Boston in 1990 and seeing magazines that were selling floor plans and blueprints for different types of houses. I don’t think they sold the materials by mail order, though, just the blueprints.


  2. ” I fancy the sentiment expressed in the headline to this article is one felt by most Brits, if not by most of the folk around the world who follow UK matters. The words ‘leopards’ and ‘spots’ spring to mind.”

    I am very sorry. I am not sure I understand your comment here. Are you suggesting that somehow BJ is more popular around the world than in Britain?
    I don’t know if this is news to you but he is still rather popular among many brits (not enough vomit in the world to express my feelings). Conversely, on the continent , many are still shaking their heads in astonishment at how such human detritus could ever have been elected to high office.


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