At the End of the Day

We’re having one of the driest and most chilly Springs for some time here in South West France. Josef Kowatsch and Stefan Kämpfe at the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) write that spring in Central Europe has been cooling for almost 30 years now – and not warming – and it’s been arriving later and later.

And no, I don’t want another tiresome thread debate about who is right or wrong about all of this: the answer is (empirically) we are having cooler Springs here, and nobody knows why warming and cooling appear to be happening at the same time in different parts of the globe.

I merely use my eyes, hands, and skin to report that all my veg is behind for late May, and the ground is drier than one normally finds in July.

Apart from that, everything else is disturbingly normal. For the fourth time in six weeks I bought a piece of hitech kit devoid of any accessible explanation about how to use it, but with 90% of the manual telling me how (a) it had passed every rigorous safety, ecological and efficacy test set by the European Bunion (b) I shouldn’t chuck it in the bath-water (c) if I came out in a rash I should seek medical help quickly and (d) it was not a toy. So there you go.

Millimetre by grudging millimetre, I am being accepted into the French welfare and health service. It is in the nature of bureaucrats that they (1) will cut any cost up to but not including their jobs and (2) the concept of client continuity is clearly the Devil’s brew – and thus to be avoided at all costs.

The system here – run by CPAM (the Assurance Maladie) – doesn’t liaise at all with the British social health system (the NHS). So what the NHS tells Brits to provide as ID evidence is woefully misguided; but as each CPAM functionary has his or her own personal idea on what you need to provide, the applicant is left in a no-man’s-land reminiscent of Kafka’s The Trial anyway. And things are not helped by CPAM’s belief that the best way to introduce eurozone austerity is to ban the use of photocopiers.

This is, let’s get real here, the equivalent of cutting armed forces costs by rationing the petrol available to naval aircraft carriers. Which is, as we know, precisely what the UK has done in its own surreal drive to save money (and the world) at one and the same time.

Anyway, so long as I can stay healthy for the next six weeks, as a loyal EU member State, France will from then on save me from illness. My chosen route is to increase the level of vitamin C in my body. I am therefore doubling the amount of lemon slices in my evening Gin & Tonic. And if that sounds as pointless as George Osborne’s “austerity to repay national debt” strategy, congratulations…this is the right website for you.

I do find it possibly significant, by the way, that the French call their system Illness insurance….whereas we call the UK one a health service. There is a radical difference in the expectations generated there, and I have to say I think the French have called it right – as they invariably do. One thing they have invented which is spot on the money is the belt that no longer needs adjustable fastening holes.

The problem with belts is that overuse of the holes (most of us only ever use two) means the “leather” haha falls apart after a year or so at best. But there is now an elasticated belt on sale here in a range of stylish designs whereby woven elastic allows the fastening blade to pass through the weave without damage to the structure. Not only do you get a belt that keeps on working, the blade goes in at exactly the right place to contain one’s self-inflating spare tyre. Its simplicity is its genius.

But that’s the way with the French: when they get it right, nobody can touch them for miraculous innovation. And when they get it wrong – mon Dieu! It is more wrong than a phone directory full of wrong numbers.

However, let me close with the final and incontrovertible proof that everything is disturbingly normal: within the last half-hour, Alexis Tsipras has issued a press release saying that agreement with Greece’s creditors is “very close”.

19 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. A colder world is a drier world.

    The pacific ocean switched to the negative or cool phase in 1999 and will remain in that phase till ~ 2030.

    Long oceanic /atmospheric cycles are expressed differently in different parts of the world.

    There are several climate cycles some of which operate on centennial and bi centennial scales.

    What you see is what you get :-)


  2. According to someone called Frances Coppola in Forbes this is called ‘coercive deficiency’ and a winning strategy in Game Theory….maybe.


  3. john this might interest you ‪#‎goodegg‬ a small town in spain who are looking after them selves


  4. For the forth time in six weeks you bought a piece of hi-tech gear that you don’t already know how to operate. Why? Are you a sadists? A masochists? A gluten for punishment?


  5. Arguably, being in NZ , I am at a suitable distance.
    But really , knowledge of climate cycles is part of the stock in trade for sustainable agriculture.
    It is always good to know what time it is.
    When someone asks me the time , I usually reply , “about half way through the cool phase of the PDO , early in the third millenium.”

    I ‘ve never worn a watch. :-)


  6. My former employer has supplied retiree medical but it’s not entirely free. Today I went to the Veterans Administration hospital (which is free for me, thank you taxpayers)for a consult about my seasonal allergies. Do to the fact that they were training staff I was attended to by three doctors who took about an hour to discuss my health issues. God bless America.


  7. SCA
    No, I’m allergic to gluten.
    Some of us have a life: it isn’t my job to make hitech work, last, and be accessible in terms of instructions. It’s their job as marketing concerns.
    I think you have your telescope the wrong was round. Meawhile, a choice of hitech that doesn’t assume one is a nerd would be nice.


  8. Sweden is also undergoing similar changes. Last summer was late but very hot when it did come and dry (maybe some remember the large forest fire we had). This year we are having a repeat with cold clear nights and dry. Early days yet to see if this year will be like last year.


  9. On the right track, farmerbraun.
    Contributing to these cycles are sunspot activity, especially the lack of sunspots, which lead to global cooling.
    The Sun, not CO2 is the main climate driver. John L. Casey has noted 18 & 207 year cycles which he thinks will contribute to a 30 year cooling period coming up. He predicts the cooling trend, which started 2002, will lead to increased volcanic & tectonic activity, such as has been seen in Nepal.
    I recommend his book: Dark Winter.


  10. If you look at the graphs Rowan you will see that there is nothing unusual about that.
    Neither is the state called el Nino in any way unusual in either phase of the PDO ; it is the preponderance of el Nino or la Nina which is the feature of each phase.

    It’s the trend , stupid!


  11. FarmerBraun – in one comment you say the pacific ocean has switched to its cool phase, in the next you claim that there is nothing unusual about it being positive in the graph that I posted a link to. Me thinks you are confused. By the way, the PDO and the el niño/la nina cycles are separate cycles operating on different timescales. Hot phase PDO increases el niño effects and cool phase PDO minimises el niño effects. We currently have a hot phase PDO and a developing monster el niño in the pacific.

    JD the sun has actually contributed LESS solar radiance over the past few decades, decades that have been increasingly hotter and hotter. Has John Casey actually published his “findings” in a peer reviewed paper? I suspect not, which is why you can only provide a book link. I suspect you also don’t know that we have satellites capable of measuring the amount of energy entering and leaving earths atmosphere, and the amount of energy leaving is less than that entering – by roughly the same amount as that calculated to be trapped by the excess CO2 in the atmosphere. “it’s the sun” is a Denier myth that was debunked long long ago. have an extensive set of articles covering precisely this topic; look at the top of the left-hand menu bar on their site to find them.


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