Happy New Year

…to all my readers.

It looks set to be an interesting year ahead.

First there’s going to be the inauguration of Donald Trump as US President. And that looks set to be the beginning of a new era in American politics, and probably global politics as well. I don’t have very great expectations about him. I won’t be surprised if he gets nobbled, and turns out to be just another US President, much like all the other US Presidents, saying and doing pretty much what they all said and did. He’s surrounded himself with bankers from Goldman Sachs, and that’s not very promising. But we’ll find out soon enough what he’s really made of.

And maybe we’ll also find out soon enough whether Brexit really means Brexit. It’s seemed to me that it would be best for Theresa May to wait until the anti-EU Trump is in safely in office before beginning to move that forward. So I’ve not been critical of her to date.

We may also see whether the EU continues to disintegrate. There are elections in both France and Germany this year, and it looks likely that nationalists – or rather, patriots – will continue to gain ground in those countries, and everywhere else in Europe. I think Brexit was just the beginning of a Europe-wide process of recovering national sovereignty.

And we’ll also see whether the new Trump administration is going to mend fences with Russia, and act in concert with Putin to destroy ISIL/Daesh, and start rolling back Islamic fundamentalists everywhere.

I can’t see anything much happening to relieve the situation for smokers. Trump doesn’t smoke, and has said nothing about that matter. Nobody ever does. But in Mike Pence he has a Vice President who is more sympathetic to smokers than most. And since Trump seems to be good chums with Nigel Farage (who’s invited to the inauguration), there may be faint signs of progress in that direction.

I’m sure there are plenty of other things that will happen. Perhaps a big freeze in Europe in the next couple of weeks? Meteorologist Joe Bastardi warns:

“This is going to be a huge deal. You’re going to see the weather in Europe making global headlines as it gets covered with tremendous amounts of snow. And when you look at this […] Europe is brutally cold […] and Europe, get ready because there’s going to be all sorts of you know what is going to break loose over there.”

Maybe I should buy some more woollen socks.

About Frank Davis

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28 Responses to Happy New Year

  1. waltc says:

    Record cold predicted for US too. But remember it’s “climate change” not ” global warming”

    On possible Trump admin v climate dogma and, incidentally, its parallels to shs dogma. (Like note
    the guy saying he didn’t dare dispute global warming until he retired.)


  2. Rose says:

    Happy New Year, every one.

    Yes, Frank, I would buy some more woollen socks, I’ve been knitting a lot of thick jumpers for my nearest and dearest since September in anticipation of a very cold winter.

  3. smokingscot says:

    And a very good one to yourself and all the folks who go to make this place.

    Per subject.

    You may be interested to learn that His Excellency Hollande took the last opportunity he has to address the French people as President of France at New Year. And no it wasn’t to laud all his achievements, nor to sing the praises of the EU and France’s roll in it.

    It was a fairly pathetic thing that ignored the massacres in Paris and Nice, the strikes, his incompetence as well as all the scandals surrounding people in high office in the republic. Nope the guy’s decided to play the fear card with rather inflammatory language, designed for the middle and upper echelons of French society.

    …. addressed the policies of the anti-immigration and anti-euro National Front, whose leader Marine Le Pen is set to make it to the second round of the election, if recent polls are correct.

    “There are periods in history when everything may change dramatically. We’re in one of them,” Hollande said an address that was broadcast on French television.

    “How can we imagine our country being curled up behind walls, reduced to its internal market, going back to its national currency and, on top of that, discriminating between its own children according to their origins?” he said.

    Hollande, who did not directly name the FN, mentioned British voters’ decision in June to leave the European Union, and the U.S. presidential election won by Donald Trump in November, as events that demonstrated that democracy, freedom and peace were “vulnerable and reversible”.

    All here: http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Frances-Hollande-warns-against-nationalism-in-last-New-Year-address-477076

    I’ve been watching the abnormally cold weather they’re having in Cairo and Aleppo (actually it’s the whole Eastern Med, including where Nisakiman hangs out). It takes one heck of a lot of energy to get the temperature down by just one degree at these degrees of latitude – Cairo’s 30 degrees above the equator.

    For sure these places get cold snaps, but nowhere near as long as this winter. So it struck me that it’s kind of like someone left a fridge door open and the ice is melting to do that.

    And sure enough that’s exactly what’s happening in the Arctic.


    So will someone kindly shut the flippin’ door… please.

    • nisakiman says:

      Yes, it’s absolutely bloody freezing here – much colder than usual at this time of year. Night temperatures are getting perilously close to zero, and it’s barely making it to 9° – 10° C in the day. Blue skies and sunshine, but cold.

      Last summer, I sweated and cursed as I installed loft insulation in the house I recently bought here in Patras (sweat + Rockwool = itching like buggery), but I’m bloody glad I did it now. No central heating in here, just a gas stove and an electric radiator (they’re not big on central heating here in Greece, although new builds are starting to put it in). I think next summer I’ll install a couple of those aircon inverter jobbies that do the heating in winter too. Dunno how much they cost to run, though.

      • garyk30 says:


      • Rose says:

        Nisakiman, but are you quite sure that’s not a sign of global warming?
        They really have tried to get us to swallow thw most apalling hogwash over the years haven’t they? These two need framing for posterity.

        LETTER : Freeze points to need for climate action
        Monday 6 January 1997

        “Sir: Paradoxically, a severe cold spell is a very appropriate moment for a robust lead article on global warming (4 January). However, the article implies that the recent cold weather is probably a natural variation from the trend of gradual temperature increases. That is certainly possible, but it could just as easily be a perverse consequence of global warming itself.

        The extra heat trapped by greenhouse gases changes the circulation of the atmosphere and may even disrupt major systems such as the Gulf Stream. If the changed circulation means that Britain gets more of its weather from the Arctic than from the Caribbean, global warming may cause local cooling.

        Such predictions are hard to make and even harder to verify. However, they illustrate the point that global warming will lead to changes in weather patterns that leave some places colder, most hotter, and many facing instability, storms, floods, droughts and other “weird weather” events. Sadly, many politicians still cling to the more comforting idea of vineyards in Suffolk and pavement cafes in Manchester.”

        International Institute for Energy Conservation

        Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past
        20 March 2000

        ““According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

        “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.”

        Click to access snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-the-independent.pdf

        Now not even available on the Wayback Machine despite it’s having been saved 127 times.

        Formerly at http: //www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

        • Frank Davis says:

          Is that the same Clive Bates who used to run ASH?

        • nisakiman says:

          Heh! Yes Rose, it’s amazing the contortions they perform to turn global cooling into global warming, is it not? Not dissimilar to TC’s valiant efforts to turn figures on their head to justify their intolerances. In fact, they seem to be working from the same manuscript.

          I do wonder when people are going to wake up to the massive con that’s being perpetrated on them, on both fronts.

          I can see it, you can see it, Frank can see it, just about everyone who comments on this blog can see it, and yet there are just so many who are completely in thrall to the ‘accepted narrative’ who are not only blind to the lies and deceit, they will even deny the facts staring them in the face. It long ago ceased to be science based. It’s now a matter of blind faith.

          Sometimes I despair of the human race, I really do. They won’t even question what they are told by these charlatans. They just swallow it whole, as it comes, and then parrot what they have read as if it’s the untarnished truth. A bit like religion.

          Ok, I’m just going to pop into the bedroom and slit my throat in frustration now. I’ll try not to make too much mess…..

        • Tony says:

          “Is that the same Clive Bates who used to run ASH?”
          Appears to be. He worked for the “International Institute for Energy Conservation”
          See: http://www.clivebates.com/?page_id=209

          The anti-smoking and global warming scams seem to be very close with people like Bates operating in both.

        • beobrigitte says:

          “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.”
          Ever since I lived in England, english kids can’t have known what snow is. And the english around my age didn’t have a clue, either. The first time my kid’s dad visited me in Germany for Winter he was like a little kid seeing 50cm (boooooriiiing!) snow for the first time in life. We made use of that. He shuffled the cars free….

        • beobrigitte says:

          Is that the same Clive Bates who used to run ASH?
          Are we talking the same clive bates who is the shining knight of vapers?

          Oh, just mentioning it. Vapers in the zoo are banned to the obscurely hidden smoking areas, too……..

          We do need a lot of explanations these days. But more we need is transparency.

        • beobrigitte says:

          Nisakiman, but are you quite sure that’s not a sign of global warming?

          Ok. Getting pissed off now. CAN the lobby make up it’s mind about global freezing/warming? NEITHER is really happening but it feeds paranoia in the gullible.
          And, can we please let our planet wobble on as it’s done for a long time? And, yeah, the magnetic pole does switch. It always has and each time the process killed everything that was on the sunny side for 8 hours.
          Man can’t/never could change this. Sod’s law has it that the PENSIONSERS will be in the night half of the earth when it happens.
          After that smoking is irrelevant. Reproduction will be…

          OMG!!!! Not even Orville could dream up a scenario like that!!!

      • Frank Davis says:

        Round here, in Herefordshire, the air temperature today only rose as high as 4 degrees C, and fell as low as -1 degrees C. Tomorrow it’s supposed to fall to -2.

        • nisakiman says:

          Yes, but Frank, I’m supposed to be in the balmy regions of the Mediterranean, where winters are mild! That’s (partly) why I live here, so I don’t have to put up with the cold, which I hate. It’s not supposed to get this cold! Who can I write to to complain?

          I’ve been ROBBED!

        • Frank Davis says:

          A simple form of heating is a hot water bottle. I use them a lot. Often sitting with stockinged feet on a hot water bottle.

        • beobrigitte says:

          Round here, in Herefordshire, the air temperature today only rose as high as 4 degrees C, and fell as low as -1 degrees C. Tomorrow it’s supposed to fall to -2.

          Yeah, was the same here. Now the northern air that brings the snow bypasses England (as usual) and we have the usual cold rain for Winter. The only time I EVER saw different here was Winter 2010.
          I guess it was a statistical flyer.

          Nisakiman, the Greeks will tell you that shit happens……

      • smokingscot says:

        Not 100% sure there is an inverter a/c. All I could punch up is this which, while an Egyptian site, does give the btu ratings.


        They’re great if the outside air temperature is 8 to 10 degrees – and they’re very fast at heating up a fair sized living room.

        Outside compressor’s very, very heavy though and the pipe’s supposed to be less than 3 mtrs. If you’re real close to the sea, do beware the compressor unit’s only flash painted and the carcass as well as fan grille will rust. These Sharp ones are manufactured in Thailand.

        The greatest problem with them is the outside unit starts to ice up if the air temperature drops below 8 – and gets progressively worse in really cold conditions.

        Then it spends a long time sending heat through the outside coils. That can take a good 10 minutes in the worst case scenario, though usually it’s about 5 to 6 minutes – and it pee’s out water. Does that as well if it’s an especially humid night.

        Naturally during this period of de-icing you’ll be sitting there listening to the racket, while gradually starting to chill from the ground up!

        Costs a bundle for a quality brand name and I don’t use mine at night. Got alternate stuff for that. The only Chinese brand I know to be worth spit is Haier

        You pay heavily for the a/c, but actual running costs are significantly lower than any other form of electric heating. On the plus side, it or they will make your flat far more attractive when the time comes to flog it.

        Although the btu for cooling is lower than that for heating, they do a fine job of cooling as well.

        • smokingscot says:

          Sorry Nisakiman. It should read.

          Not 100% sure there is an inverter a/c that does cooling and heating (reverse cycle).

        • nisakiman says:

          Oh, they have them all right.


          Praktiker is just round the corner from me.

          This ones a cheapie at €299, but it does A/C and heating. Rated at 9000 BTU. But even the more expensive ones with higher output don’t go much over €500.

          Normally, the temperature rarely dips below 8° anyway, so if they’re as efficient as you suggest, that seems to be the way to go. This year just happens to be a particularly cold one. Never mind, next month we’re off to Thailand and Laos for six weeks, so I can re-charge my vitamin D. :)

  4. smokingscot says:

    Learn something new every day. United claims to be American.


    9000 btu’s good for a 10 by 10 ft bedroom, but you’ll be getting advice on that when you firm up.

    They claim power consumption’s just over 1 kw at full tat and about 330 watts when it’s just cruising along. That’s very efficient. And under Euro 500. And galvanised outdoor unit.

    That’s progress!

  5. Ralf Dekker says:

    First of all a Happy Newyear to you and your loved ones. Here in the Netherlands they make a big thing about some new Los Alamos research claiming specific DNA damages caused by smoking. They claim to have researched thousands of lung cancer cases where they allegedly can see distinct differences between non-smokers’ DNA damages and smokers’ DNA damages. Thus they claim that smoking leaves a ‘specific DNA-damage footprint’. Have you seen this?

  6. beobrigitte says:

    First of all:
    HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone!!! And a belated “Merry Christmas”!!!

    For the first time in a number of years all my offspring came home. And with that came a local cold that has been rather successfully spread via different airlines after…. Never mind. Shit happens.

    But….. Doing granny stuff for the first time this year, too, led me into areas that do need to have a few questions answered. URGENTLY.
    Grannys take the grandchildren to places like zoos. I’m no different. And a big local zoo does offer smoking areas. And I was going to use them only to find out if they work.
    Needless to say, when I spend £30 for a meal, I EXPECT to enjoy my cigarette in a comfortable area NEAR where I just spend that money.
    My first insubordinate action happened shortly after entering (£24 entrance fee not taken into account) when having a cup of coffee….. The designated smoking area was just nowhere near.
    Half way through the day I did what everyone did. Smoked when walking.
    And I did notice that there were plenty of appeals to adopt animals or donate towards EEBV, which kills 80% of infected elephants.
    Surely tobacco control can come up with the cash. After all, it has infected this zoo very effectively!!!

    I saw a lot of pissed off smokers who were not in the mood to help out. Neither was I. Treat me as a human being and I will. And, Debbie, begin to answer the question HOW I have reached my age healthily!!!

    *Pissed off granny speaking*

    Actually, tobacco control. Answer ALL questions without citing idiotic tobacco control&friends cited so-called research.

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