Well that worked

Or rather it didn’t. Put not thy trust in Princes, to bastardise the old biblical saying, nor in the weatherman in whom there is no hope. Despite grey skies, Wednesday’s weather forecast up the island highway all the way up to Campbell river said dry and cloudy. Oh no it wasn’t. Thursday afternoon, what was supposed to be a sedate swan northbound was a damp old ride once I cleared the big hump of rock we call the Malahat. So the Mutt and I turned around and retreated back to the louring grey skies of Victoria.

Am taking great delight in the downfall of the idiot fop who weaseled his way into becoming the Prime Minister of Canada, a post for which he is both unqualified and has too little real life working experience. All the times he has claimed to be ‘anti-racist’ and a ‘feminist’ are turning out to be a bit of a bad joke. Three cheers anyone? Hip-hip hypocrite!

Not only is Trudeau a known groper of women, but also once liked imitating, some would say parodying, darker skinned people. Mm-hm. That’s without being a corrupt politician whose office goes against it’s own much vaunted principles. If he doesn’t get voted out during our October election, I for one will look at my fellow Canadians with even more disdain than at present. Not that I really like the idea of Andrew Scheer as PM. He’s kind of a very wet cod-liberal who wouldn’t try to bail out a boat if it was sinking, just in case it ‘offended’ someone. My vote, such as it is, is going to our local People’s Party Candidate. I like what Maxime Bernier is saying, and will be giving his fledgling party what support I can.

Any way. The sun is shining and I’m suited and booted for some weekend riding.

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Boring….

A bit bored at the moment. We’re on the run up to London in just under a month and looking for places to entertain ourselves. I’m rather put out because the weather around here has turned quite damp, so the Mutt is currently snuggled up under cover and I find myself reluctant to look out of the window at the rain. Such are the issues with being a fair weather only rider. I’ve got a hankering to take a run up past Comox (450km there and back, all right, 280miles) or even Campbell River (530km round trip, about 330miles) to clear some accumulated cobwebs.

On the plus side, work is under control and Management are happy with the what’s, why’s and wherefores of my workload, which I can handle without difficulty because I’ve whittled a number of tasks, including my weekly reporting, down to a few mouse clicks. It’s all a question of streamlining and automating the simpler procedures, which I’ve had time to do over the Summer, even with me and the Mutt sneaking out for two or three hundred kilometre long rides while things are slack. The mountain loop round Sooke and up to Port Renfrew, thence over the hump to Duncan via Lake Cowichan and back to the barn is a favourite. The road surface gets a bit rough after China bay and up to Port Renfrew but it’s very scenic. You go from a massive vista over the Pacific, where there’s nothing between you and Japan to nice tightening curves between the hills, dodging the logging trucks as you gain altitude. Snow normally hits the high ground in early November on this particular leg, so this is a Summer only pleasure. The Mutt is going into cold storage in the garage until the end of April 2020, so I’ll be making the most of all the sunshine we have left until October.

I was rather hoping that the warmer weather would continue for a while, but like I said, it’s raining and I’m no longer happy to don waterproofs and duke it out with everything the British and European sky can hand out. Never mind the Canadian weather. Yes, you can call me a wuss, but over the years I’ve ridden in everything from blazing heat waves where the mercury casually blew past the hundred and ten Fahrenheit (Forty three Celsius) marker to thunderstorms, torrential downpours where the rain meets itself coming back up, cannonball pea sized hail and even near whiteout blizzards. I’ve come home soaked to the skin through full waterproofs and on a couple of occasions with my leathers covered in a quarter inch of ice. So. Been there, done that, not dumb enough to want to do it again.

One of the benefits of my current age is experience and what I consider a little hard won wisdom. So there.

Don’t panic

I mean it. My own life has taught me that the biggest killer out there is panic. Flailing or running around and shouting will not help. So don’t do it. Trust me on this. A cool head will get you through more scrapes than being a drama queen and expecting other people to take up the slack. Indeed I have found my own personal policy of walking softly and taking a step back when faced with the unfamiliar and occasionally dangerous has often gotten me out of a tight corner.

In this vein we’re having to think ahead with regard to Elderly Friend. Her rapid slide into dementia has both us and the care home thinking that she’s not long for this world. She may even die while we’re in London. So. Funeral home fees and arrangements have to be checked, funds set aside for end of life care, nursing etc. All that stuff you get the joy of as power of attorney. However, this is the job we signed up for and it has to be done. The grunt work of signing off on those details like funeral services and ensuring the right ashes go in the right urn. Just in case.

However, a little foresight has often proven useful too because it’s of limited use being cooler than liquid Nitrogen if the ground is literally crumbling under your feet. Having a fallback option, just in case, isn’t needed that often, but I like them as they are very reassuring. Doesn’t have to be much, just simple stuff. For example, on road trips, I carry enough first aid stuff to be able to suture moderate wounds and stop bleeds whilst being able to provide some form of pain relief or sluice out a dust afflicted eyeball or contaminated cut. My credit cards are kept separately in case I get my wallet nicked. We always have double travel insurance and I never enter a place unless I already know where the best exit is. Mrs S often jocularly chides what she calls my ‘paranoia’, but despite the odd minor faux pas it’s been a long, long time since I was caught properly left footed.

We’ve gotten lost in the wilds of Ontario with dwindling fuel, but not unrecoverably so. We’ve lost money on investments, I lost five thousand dollars on three particular stocks last year, but more than made it back on others and spent a meagre two fifty on advice of how to set the loss against tax. Then made all my money back and then some on the same stocks by June this year. We try to invest across a wide spread, never put all our fiscal eggs in one basket and try not to panic if there’s a short term drop in the market like over the New Year 2018-9.

Because having at least one alternative is way better than being caught with your financial unmentionables around yer ankles. So it is with a WTO or ‘No deal’ Brexit. Now being a suspicious sort when it comes to news media, reading all the “Noooo! We’re all going to DIE!!” nonsense being peddled even in the FT. I really am thinking of cancelling my subscription. Fortunately I have my own sources. So I did a little digging.

Here’s what I found; imports will not grind to a halt. There are structures already in place to allow imports without delays at all major UK ports. Same for exporters. If you don’t already know, then you haven’t been listening. The tax authorities have been ready for a no deal scenario for over two years. I got that via Pinsent Mason (Major UK law firm who deal in international law by the way). Also from the guy who has just transferred out from being in charge of the port of Dover says they’re ready for ‘No deal’. HMRC have set up 190+ ‘pop up’ customs posts, in addition to the normal ports facilities who deal with clearing import and exports. The only problems will be from EU customs, so you’re more likely to run out of Cheddar at Calais than Brie and Avocados in Birmingham. Besides, where in the EU grows Avocado’s for heaven’s sake? Oh yes, France and Spain. The Netherlands are a major distribution hub and exporter, but don’t actually grow any. The major growers range from Israel to Mexico, New Zealand to Kenya, then there’s Colombia, Morocco, South Africa and the USA. Can’t get your Dutch Avocado? Fine, there are plenty more sources out there with produce to sell. Cut out the EU middle man. Ship direct from the growers, and don’t think there aren’t deals already being cut by the buyers for Messrs Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose and Sainsbury.

Even if the EU embargoes all imports to and from the UK, remember this; they need the UK markets more than the UK needs the EU. Never mind not getting a GBP39 billion payday, if they tried cutting UK Plc off without a cent they’d bankrupt a large proportion of their own internal economy. According to a financial report I read 12th September 2019, the European Central Bank is going to cut interest rates and start printing money, a failed policy by the way, which has already hit the Euro. Internally, they are already in trouble.

For expat UK pensioners in European countries (No names, no pack drill) this drop in the Euro means their UK pension will be worth more as the pound sterling will buy more. Expats I know they have been hit badly because of all the Remainer panicmongering driving the value of sterling down at least twelve percent lower than it should be. It would be nice to see them better off.

Me, I don’t put my faith in state pensions, mainly because I like to know where my money is and what it’s up to. As well as the payout of any given state pension being less than likely to support me in the style to which I wish to become accustomed in my forthcoming frail dotage. Also because I don’t trust politicians, any of them, not to plunder public coffers for their own short term gain. They can buy votes with someone else’s dime.

Oh yes, and I’ve finally bowed to Mrs S over buying a new cell phone so she can keep tabs on me, investing in a dual sim Samsung A20 with case and armoured glass.

Looking ever more forward to London, when I will be trying to console those of the Remain faction I encounter by speaking soothingly and gently holding their hands to reassure them.

Why specifically hold their hands? Just to make sure none of the nasty little sods manage to take a swing at me. Like I said, foresight.

The sound of science

Reading the abstract below, and subsequently the whole paper, enlivened what has otherwise been a dull workday. It’s mostly what I’ve understood to be correct and fills in a few gaps. In short; the climate modellers tools might as well have  been made by Airfix.

Abstract:

The reliability of general circulation climate model (GCM) global air
temperature projections is evaluated for the first time, by way of
propagation of model calibration error. An extensive series of
demonstrations show that GCM air temperature projections are just linear extrapolations of fractional greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing. Linear projections are subject to linear propagation of error. A directly relevant GCM calibration metric is the annual average ±12.1% error in global annual average cloud fraction produced within CMIP5 climate models. This error is strongly pair-wise correlated across models, implying a source in deficient theory. The resulting long-wave cloud forcing (LWCF) error introduces an annual average ±4 Wm–2 uncertainty into the simulated tropospheric thermal energy flux. This annual ±4 Wm–2 simulation uncertainty is ±114 × larger than the annual average ∼0.035 Wm–2 change in tropospheric thermal energy flux produced by increasing GHG forcing since 1979. Tropospheric thermal energy flux is the determinant of global air temperature. Uncertainty in simulated tropospheric thermal energy flux imposes uncertainty on projected air temperature. Propagation of LWCF thermal energy flux error through the historically relevant 1988 projections of GISS Model II scenarios A, B, and C, the IPCC SRES scenarios CCC, B1, A1B, and A2, and the RCP scenarios of the 2013 IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, uncovers a ±15 C uncertainty in air temperature at the end of a centennial-scale projection. Analogously large but previously unrecognized uncertainties must therefore exist in all the past and present air temperature projections and hindcasts of even advanced climate models. The unavoidable conclusion is that an anthropogenic air temperature signal cannot have been, nor presently can be, evidenced in climate observables.

Emphasis mine.

At first skim, this paper comes across as a careful analysis of the current and previous states of climate models, upon which all the scare stories of ‘Climate Emergency’ and ‘Climate crisis’ (Not to mention the wealth transfer con trick called ‘Carbon Taxation’) are based. Essentially this study carefully weighs, measures and finds the claims that ‘it’s all CO2’ seriously wanting.

And this paper has passed peer review. Not that the true believers like those boneheads of extinction rebellion, Justin Trudeau etcetera will pay any attention. If climate change is not caused by humans, and it isn’t, they don’t want to know. This sort of information is well above their pay grade and they know it. Hell, it’s a little above mine, but from what I can see it passes the bullshit test in which no obvious bullshit was found.

Want to read for yourself? The whole paper is open access and can be accessed here. The supporting information can be found here.

Hat tip to Small Dead Animals and Wattsupwiththat.

P.S.  If I was Gore, Nye or Suzuki, I’d be packing my bags and leaving town for good. The jig is up.

Update:  Have read Dr Roy Spencer’s critique at Wattsupwiththat which points out a couple of weaknesses with Dr Franks work which seem fair.  Yet to read the author’s response.  However, Dr Spencer, whilst highlighting the point that the models predict twice any observed warming, he sticks with the Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) measurement which does not take into account alterations to climate systems like the jet streams by their sensitivity to variations in the earth’s magnetosphere.

Then there are Dr Frank’s responses to the points raised by Dr Spencer, who then answers in the comment string below.  Who says science is dull, eh?

Points of failure

Following the BREXIT news, I see Bojo, the UK’s deceptively clownish PM has just outmanouevred the remoaner MP’s. He called their bluff. Talk about cojones, I’d hate to play him at poker. Despite being in a weakened position he flipped the noisy remoaners the bird and Labour, recognising that much of their own voter base were the ones who mostly voted ‘leave’, folded.

The BREXIT party poses a significant electoral threat to the Corbynites, as it does to the Tories if Bojo fails to deliver on the 31st October. Farage and co are likely to capture a significant part of their vote and they know it. The Limp Dems might garner a few seats because of split votes, but they won’t make much headway in largely leave constituencies. The numbers are against them. A hung Parliament would result with a majority of dark blue (Tories) and light blue (BREXIT party). Maybe Farage would deal, maybe not.

A lot of what I see going on at present is all sound and fury, signifying nothing. The Remain faction won’t get any bills past the Lords in the time frame available to them and the Tories won’t invoke the Parliament act to force the issue. Only the ruling party with a firm majority can do that. Boris Johnson won’t go cap in hand to Brussels, partly because even the EU has lost patience and won’t negotiate further and partly because if he does bend the knee, from an electoral standpoint he and the rest of the Tories would be heavily overdone toast. I think he understands that this is his defining moment and he must not fail.

Judging from the mood of things from over here in BC, the British voting public, outside of a few noisy activists, have had enough. Now if it does come to a UK General Election, there are certain parties who will be in for a punishment beating at the ballot box. Those who have demonstrated bad faith will be the worst hit. Which is what the Corbynites fear. They have broken faith with a good deal of their traditional voter base who wouldn’t vote Tory even if threatened with red hot pokers, but might well vote BREXIT party or just stay at home in disgust. All the remainers “We want an election and we want it now” rhetoric is just guff, as has just been proven. The shadow of Farage hangs over them all and they know it.

These are their points of failure. Despite the threat of electoral annihilation, the remain faction will not give in, but will grow ever more shrill, right down to the wire. The thing is, to continue the poker metaphor, they’re a busted flush. They’ve played their best cards and bet the farm but they are beaten. Now they’ll try to kick over the table and call a mismatch, but they’re too late. All Bojo and company have to do is stand firm and filibuster like their lives depend upon it. Because in a way they do.

My, my, this is interesting. I’m positively looking forward to London this October.

Update:  Speaker Bercow has resigned?  Good gravy.  Whatever next?  All I know is that another must be elected by the Commons while one of the previous speakers three deputies stands in.

Having had a quick breeze through the history, a Speaker’s resignation is unusual, but not unprecedented.  So apart from calling into question Bercow playing ducks and drakes with certain parliamentary rules, it’s going to be business as usual.  The Brexit clock ticks on.

The politics of fear

There’s a movement of the entitled currently making nuisances of themselves on London streets who call themselves by the grand title ‘extinction rebellion’. These silly frightened people worship a teenage girl as their prophet and claim we’re all doomed if we don’t dismantle society and stop doing anything any time anywhere within the next twelve years, or according to some sources, eighteen months. From what I can see, a lot of them are anti-BREXIT as well.

They rather remind me of the current dementia-driven outpourings of our elderly friend. Who makes wild claims about her belongings being rifled through by her care home’s facility staff when she’s too befuddled to find them herself. Even after she’s been physically shown the item that she has been ‘lost’, two minutes later she’s swearing blind that it’s been stolen. Which can get a bit wearing.

Like her, extinction rebellion are unable to accept reality, which is that unless a bloody great asteroid impacts the Earth in the next century, it’s going to be more or less business as usual. The Earth will not boil, making life unsustainable. Even if everyone in the entire world buys an SUV to do their daily errands. Most of us will get up, go to work or whatever, earn a crust to pay the bills and then go home. The fact that post BREXIT some people may have to pay more for their BMW spares will pass us by, unless of course you own a BMW, Skoda, Mercedes or Volkswagen.

As for their claims of man made climate doom, they are just that, unsubstantiated claims. From massive temperature peaks to sea level rise and dead Polar Bears, there is very little hard science behind them, and despite forty plus years of clinging desperately to the CO2 climate driven theory, no-one has actually established a positive link to any catastrophe. All the prophesies of climate doom have been overblown and proven false. Don’t take my word, or that of anyone else. Go look for yourself and you will find what I did. That the major driver of Earth’s climate is about 93 million miles away and very hot indeed. The climate models the portents of doom are based upon rely on only one measurement for the sun’s influence, that of TSI, total solar irradiance, and make little allowance for variables like cloud formation or variances in the sun’s electromagnetic fields, which have direct impacts on Earth’s weather. It has been proven that when the fields weaken, as they have been doing for the last fifteen to twenty years now, a cooling phase begins. Educated guesses are that this period will probably really get going in 2020 and last for about thirty plus years. It’s why the jet streams are playing up.

As for the claims of “hottest year evah” I would point my last reader to the early to late 1930’s. Temperatures, tornadoes and heat waves were all greater then. The newspaper reports of the time will confirm this. Unfortunately, not all this information is listed online. so is not immediately accessible to the casual reader, although Tony Heller does a decent job of pointing out the falseness of these overblown claims. At least for the USA. He has the resources to dig through old newspaper archives and retrieve information that might otherwise be flushed down the memory hole.

The hard science is out there and can be empirically demonstrated. The only drawback is that the interactions between the Sun and Earth are highly complex, cannot currently be influenced by humans and are therefore not taxable. Which is why the climate cultists like extinction rebellion will dismiss them out of hand. They have made themselves so frightened that essentially their higher cognitive functions are seriously diminished and so are unable to process newer and more credible information.

That seems to be the mood in the old country right now. Everybody has worked themselves up into such a lather that no one is thinking straight. The lamestream media likes fear because it sells their product. Many politicians like the fear because it can drive votes and thus power their way. If only people would actually stop for a moment, take a breath, do some proper research outside their immediate comfort zone, they might stop panicking and be able to have a bloody good laugh at how ridiculous the situation became.

Then again, that’s probably just wishful thinking on my part. Experience tells me that most people would rather panic than actually think. Hi ho. Off to the asylum we go.

Tempus, fugitting

Time is ticking down. Old family friend is declining with them, which means we get phone calls every day accusing the care team at her senior living facility with all kind of wrong doing. So we as powers of attorney have to co-ordinate mental health and her carers to make sure of maximum co-operation and minimum alienation. I think we all know she’s on the home stretch. She’s been working herself into a nervous frazzle and with her damaged heart probably doesn’t have long in this world. So our emergency travel bag sits at the ready because it will be us doing the unpleasant post mortem details like formal identification. Note to self, get funeral clothes out of cold storage. Black shoes, white shirt, formal suit, black tie. There are things which must not only be done properly, but also seen to be done after that fashion. This is the way we in our household prepare for these sad occasions. This is how we say goodbye to an old and highly respected friend. Slow, reluctant walk to the cemetery, brisk walk home. Life will go on and those we hold in our hearts can never die. Not a happy thought, but I can see it’s looming inevitability like an oncoming train.

Fuck. I hate doing this.

However, the other thought occurs that we will have discharged the debt we owed to elderly friend and her late husband, which is as it should be. We can take comfort in that.

We managed to get her on the phone, but if anything, the confusion has worsened. All we can do is make sure we’re ready.

Stuff it. It’s labour day tomorrow and the weather forecast looks half way decent, so I’m off for a good long 200k plus ride to clear my head. Full tank of gas, suited and booted. Let Mrs S have the car to please herself. Not much else I can do.