Monthly Archives: November 2013

Climate change, opinion change

This is not so much climate modelling as climate fact:

Provisional Statement on Status of Climate in 2013: Continuing high temperatures globally and many climate extremes worldwide

At last it seems people in a place one least it expected are accepting facts:

Majority of red-state Americans believe climate change is real, study shows

Here are the Texas results:

Public Opinion on Global Warming in Texas: 2013

I always wondered about the inconsistency of the global warming skeptics in criticizing the measurements of warming trends by many climate scientists but still using the measurements, published by these same scientists, that seemed to show there was a ‘pause’ in surface temperature rise. It seems that the pause is itself an an artifact of the way measurements were interpolated, though it was never a pause anyway but just a lower rate of increase.

Global Warming Since 1997 Underestimated by Half

What this emphasizes is that trends over short time-periods, like 10 to 20 years, are not reliable indicators of long term trends.


I thought this was an excellent analysis:

HS2 … the high-speed train route with the same old staggering fares

I am not affected by HS2: I would not be living near it, I don’t commute, and I don’t pay much tax any more. For me it just seems the wrong priority. We need well insulated homes for people. Workmen on normal wages build them. People on the same normal wages should be able to buy them. At the same time the current mess of a dis-integrated rail system should be fixed before moving on – the East Coast train operating company seems a successful model to build on. Really, let’s work first on a properly integrated transport system. Both of these would mean lots of work distributed all over the country. Let’s start training people now; there is years of useful work. Isn’t that the main need – jobs for the many? When all these workers start improving their local economies, other businesses will be tempted to move into those areas creating more local jobs and diversification especially as local commutes to work will become pleasanter. We should be commuting less and using 21st century electronic technology rather than 19th century transport.


Bechstein 83353

I have a Bechstein Model B, number 83353, manufactured in 1908 – the year my parents were born. I bought it in 1975. I went to Mrs Gordon’s warehouse in London and picked through some worn-out pianos. This one had a fine sound even in its dilapidated state. I chose it, and it was refurbished before delivery.

It got well hammered over the years and the action, which I never felt had been very well done, was getting totally worn with springs breaking, dealt with by my fixes. I realized it needed another refurbish and pondered doing it myself as in my youth I always fixed and tuned my pianos. I decided anyway that I needed to be able to practice quietly and bought a Yamaha Clavinova. The Bechstein remained forlorn as I procrastinated over how to get someone good enough that I could trust to do it. Then I met Joseph Taylor of Taylor Pianos and booked him for the job as I had played some pianos that he had tuned and tweaked. It took about a year before he could start on it, and then some months more. But, now it has a new action (improved, roller instead of spring & loop), and is even better than in 1975.

Here is the machine during repair in Joseph’s workshop –




Fine adjustments after I have given it some workout –

Adjusting the backstop


Voicing the hammers


Tuning the strings


and – the instrument back together


Growth, the absurdity of GDP

I have been a fan of Bandana Shiva for a long time.
This is a concise summary by her of the disaster of most current economics:
How economic growth has become anti-life

Growth has become a magic word, something that must be good without asking what is growing. This is like reform, as in –  “to allow the current state of <fill in the blank>  to continue is not an option, we need this reform“, without allowing for various possibilities of change to be considered.