Hide The Deaths From Cold Portugal

Portugal Deaths

Portugal Deaths

I’ve been in a tiny bit of a ‘funk’ lately. Between the return from Florida, the surprise arrival of some bills (including the daughter asking for a few thousand for this semester of college), a degree of nerve pinch in a lower back joint that has mostly resolved but sometimes isn’t quite settled, and even discovering that I can now add tomatoes to the things I get to not eat; well, motivation took a bit of a dive. That the keyboard checked out on me at the same time wasn’t helpful.

At any rate, I’ve gotten over my last couple of days of feeling really ‘reactive’ and having painful joints. That’s how I react to foods that cause an immune system spike. The tomato sauce rich meal I ate is “all behind me now” ;-) The book “The Arthritics Cookbook” does a very good job of laying out what to avoid. I’d gone for testing specific reactions and mostly just cut back on beef ( the spouse had to cut out tomatoes along with beef). Well, time passes and it looks like I’m now having arthritic flareups with high dose tomatoes. I’m going to re-read my copy of the book and see what else he listed that may also start being a problem. (It listed tomatoes.)


At any rate, after a couple of days of being a bit ‘fuzzy’ and not feeling well, I was ready to take on some things again. One of them was the email that I’d largely ignored for a couple of months…

Going through that email, I hit an interesting note from Eco Tretas per a statistic about Portugal. They have been having some very cold weather there this winter.


(BTW, he got selected for a ‘best Portuguese blog’ award in the voting… I think it was a science category, so you might want to give him some kudos! And it looks like even in Europe they are having a revolt of the public against the dogma, reflected in the vote of the people.)

What did he find? Well, look at that graph up at the top. Notice how during the summers (that are supposed to be horridly hot with people dropping like flies) the deaths are lower than during the winters. Notice how they do NOT go out of bounds compared to the 95% reference line? Now look at this last winter. See that giant spike during the extreme cold?

There are two factors that enter into this (hit the link for the full write-up) but IMHO both of them are what is in our future for all of us if the Agenda 21 crowd and their siblings the AGW Fanatics get their way. First off, it was just a cold winter. Not warming at all. Warmth is good, cold is bad. We’re getting colder and there’s nothing they can do to change that (though they are trying to hide it via ‘adjusting’ the temperature history, in my opinion.) But you can’t hide the dead bodies. The second thing is the rising costs of electricity. Obama and the Dimocrats (the worst of the most dim Democrats) want to have higher power costs and a ‘green power’ push. Portugal already “lived the dream” on that one. Prices have shot much higher. So fewer folks can pay the bill to keep the heat on.

Put less heating in the same winter as more cold, you get a spike in dead bodies.

It would be interesting to see if other countries have a similar ‘dead spike’ this winter in the cold areas. It would also be interesting to see if the one anomalous warm place, the eastern USA, had a dip. (Likely need to look at individual State data to sort it out from the West Coast where we’re still having an abnormally cold winter. Snow on Mt. Hamilton again today… picture soon…)

But the bottom line is pretty simple: You can cook some of the data some of the time, but you can’t cook all of the data all of the time; and pretty soon the dead bodies are going to start piling up. It’s kind of like The Trouble With Harry. You just can’t keep ’em buried…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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26 Responses to Hide The Deaths From Cold Portugal

  1. Adrian Vance says:

    Is everything about you?
    How boring…..

  2. George says:

    Modern man is not very well adapted to cold. Neanderthal and the Dorset people were probably the last of the very cold adated humans left. Sure, we can live in cold climates as long as we have access to animals from which we can make clothes, but the Neanderthal and the Dorset were adapted to being able to survive in much colder weather with much less protection. That’s probably why modern humans pushed them both to extinction as the ice withdrew. The Dorset were modern humans but a very cold adapted race that the modern eskimos displaced and they eventually died out, too.

    Point is, the versions of Modern Man around these days don’t do well in cold weather.

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Vance:

    No, everything is not about me. I did, however, think a little preamble about why I was slow on posting lately was in order and that the reason I ran into this link from last month probably ought to be explained. If you find that boring, then skip on down to the part about dead people in Portugal.

    Look, you don’t like it here, don’t waste your time here. Pretty simple, really. If all you want to do is grouse, there’s the door…


    As the Portugal statistics show. Even in a temperate region with modern tools and heaters, more deaths in winter than in summer.

  4. alex says:

    we had a terrible winter too here in the middle of the mediterrenean sea. It’s mid April aand it feels like March. February was, at 2C below avergae, the coldest in a 100 years and March was below average by some half a degree. April seems to be heading that way too. I think the neanderthals will be taking over civilisation again soon.

  5. R. de Haan says:

    “You can cook some of the data some of the time, but you can’t cook all of the data all of the time”
    How right you are.
    We just had a palace revolution at NASA.
    One that was due for a long time.

  6. Jim says:

    You might try tumeric for inflammation. The first to try would be 900 mg with black pepper, which help with absorption. There are also 500 mg capsules. This has worked for me when I have overdone it hammering, for example, where my hand swelled up noticeably. Studies have been done on this aspect of turmeric and they can be found on the web.

  7. Pascvaks says:

    @Adrian Vance:
    (-;Smile when you say that;-)

    (-;No doubt someone will develop a cream, gell, pill, or injection to ‘fix’ that little problem;-)

    @R. de Haan:
    (-;You Eggheads are really wierd, that was a revolution? Is everybody who went to school in the 60’s retired?;-)

    It’s called Acclimatization. It ain’t painless, but we can do it when we have to. Not everyone, sorry, I was speaking in very broad generalities; ‘we’ meaning ‘people’. Very true that the young and old and infirm usually don’t make it. Birth rate drops like a stone too. Something about cold, skinny men and women not being as fertle or ‘warm’ to each other. (Almost for got- ;-)

  8. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: Thanks for the information about Tomatoes and …sciatic et al.. This information contradicts it:
    But, talking about death and approaching death. In Alchemy it was used the expression “kaput mortum” applied to chemical precipitates, which is the final step in the reaction between opposites which began the birth of a chemical compound, which began our life too.
    When the ions in water H+ OH- are present in clouds, floating over our heads, defying gravity, almost weightless, as HOH (hydrogen hydroxide) discharge, in its evolution, its life to become water, they finally arrive at a being called “water”: H2O (di-hydrogen oxide)and fall down. Then, the more neutralized, the more subjected to gravity. As we grow old we become increasingly much more “kaput mortum”, thus much more subjected to gravity…until we reach that “dead body weight”.
    P.S.- BTW we do not breath oxygen to oxidize our blood hemoglobin´s Fe+2 to Fe+3, but we take electrons to do it. So, we are still waiting for a new electro-therapy.

  9. pouncer says:

    First, thanks for the personal update. I’ve seen virtual friends drop off (as time goes by) usenet, chat areas, mail-lists, blogs, and even popular comment streams — often without a final goodbye. I wonder, and sometime worry. (I’m also guilty of such disappearances here and there. ) If you’re going to die suddenly or something would you please let us know ahead of time?

    Second, sympathies for the aches and pains. I offer comfort akin to that offered Job — at least you know what’s causing it. You also have the blessing of being somewhat in control of exposure to that cause. Good luck.

    Third, it seems to me writing a novel would be good way to take yourself out of your own troubles and into a situation (understood and controllable) where somebody else a long way off is having a hell of a worse time … the very definition of “adventure”. That said, a pay-per-view serialization module might make the effort not only distracting but rewarding. One model, (can we talk about NON-SCIENTIFIC models?) where the pay-per-chapter effort led to hardcover and e-novel sales on Amazon is here (http://wearingthecape.com/ ) leading here ( http://www.amazon.com/Wearing-the-Cape-ebook/dp/B004XRCC1G ) and here ( http://www.amazon.com/Wearing-Cape-Marion-G-Harmon/dp/1463539657/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1 ) If you’re not in the mood for day trading in the current market, your new hobby of novelizing your (often fascinating) thoughts might actually put pocket change into your personal economy. Not a recommendation, just a thought.

    Fourth, in the spirit of Matt Briggs, is a page intentionally left blank.

    Fifth, I see the website “MakeUseOf” has an e-book seconding your recommendations regarding TrueCrypt, here (http://www.makeuseof.com/pages/download-lockdown-secure-your-files-with-truecrypt). Which pushes me other the edge on THAT project. It also suggests another publication venue for you should you care to write up a Holmesian “short monograph” on obtaining and reading financial data live charts, etc — other writings you’ve already thought through and posted here somewhat ephemerally. It’d be interesting to have the EM Smith gems fully polished and on display.

    This is the Revenge of the Sixth — a dreadful work of no intrinsic value best forgotten as quickly as possible.

    Seveneth is FigaroSpeech (http://www.figarospeech.com/) for no better reason than it amuses and distracts me and I would hope do the same for you.

    Best wishes.

  10. R. de Haan says:

    Pascvaks says:
    14 April 2012 at 11:34 am
    @R. de Haan:
    (-;You Eggheads are really wierd, that was a revolution? Is everybody who went to school in the 60′s retired?;-)

    It’s the revolutionaries of the sixties that have caused the shit we’re in today.
    The only country that was shaken by “revolution” of the sixties was France.
    It gave birth to the Freedom Movement and the Greens, both pod smoking entities that have sold their souls to big money at first opportunity.

    Eggheads… don’t make me laugh.

  11. R. de Haan says:

    You’re mentioning Portugal but the effects of last winter have been much more grave in North Africa, Morocco, Tunis, Algeria and Libya.

    Lot’s of people killed in Hungry, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia as well.
    The latter four countries, just like Alaska have recorded record cold and record snow.

    The Green establishment however still tell us there was no real winter on the NH in 2011-2012.

  12. Les Johnson says:

    Cold events are nearly always more deadly than warm events. Almost every study on mortality shows that cold events increases mortality before and after the event, while warm events DISPLACE mortality.

    Mortality will go up during a heat event, but fall after the event ends. Basically, the people that were going to die, die a little quicker. As an example, if the normal rate is 100 per month, and there is a 2 week heat event, and there are 75 mortalities, there will be 25 mortalities for the remainder of the month. The overall monthly rate is unchanged. Cold events though, cause an increase in the rate, during and after the event.

    It is also interesting to note what is defined as “Cold”. Some studies defined it when the temeprature fell to 10 deg C. That’s a warm spell where I am from.

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    The Arthritics Cookbook has it right, I’m sorry to say. It’s an auto immune disease and what you eat is not fully digested, just broken down “enough”. This means that some protein fragments enter the blood in large enough pieces to be subject to immune system detection. That can happen AFTER they have been incorporated into your joint cartilage. Thus your own immune system attacks it. Exactly which proteins an individual reacts to will vary by individual, but tend to come from a clear set of materials (and not from another set) as they either digest slightly differently or are less prone to causing an immune response).

    For me (apologies, Adrian, I’m actually going to use ME as an example and that requires talking about me again. Plug your ears and run from the room ;-) that was almost entirely beef and ‘cow stuff’. I “poo pooed” the tomatoes idea. Then we tested my spouse. She had a reaction to tomatoes. The test for me was about 20 years ago and I had a couple of decades of enjoying tomatoes. Now I’ve become reactive to them, too.

    Yes, it’s nice to have more potassium and tomatoes have a lot, but so to bananas and I don’t hurt when I eat them ;-) Or I can just grab me “salt substitute” and sprinkle it on as much as I like….

    The Sciatica is not arthritic (at least, not yet…). It comes from a poor use of shovel about 2 years ago. Pushed a hip joint out of place and it didn’t want to go back. (Didn’t know you had a joint between the sides of the pelvis and the coccyx, but you do. The Sacro-illiac joint of the illium. ) After about 6 months of ‘not quite right’ went to the chiropractor who got is almost right again; then managed to push it the wrong way … So I have gotten it back where it belongs on my own. Except that now it’s been ‘mobilized’ for about a year and it’s not fully tightened up yet, so occasionally moves just a bit out of place. It’s slowly doing what it needs to do, though. What I get for having especially loose and flexible joints…

    So the hip discomfort is orthogonal to the arthritic response and it is quite clearly (now) driven by both beef and tomatoes for me. FWIW, the “always allowed” stuff is primarily fish, grains, and non-tomato vegetables. Tomatoes are technically a fruit, so if you keep clear that it belongs in with fruits it’s clearer how the sort happens.

    FWIW, this may also have a bit to do with the “leaky gut syndrome” seen in many ASP folks, folks with Lupus and several other folks with various kinds of autoimmune issues. I suspect there is a point where “something” causes a leaky gut and after that, larger molecular fragments can enter the blood during digestion and cause all sorts of “issues” depending on what tissues the are incorporated into (but that’s a highly speculative idea and untested…)

    At any rate, if I stick to fish, birds, lamb, pork, vegetable not including tomatoes, and grains I have no problem. If I have “cow stuff” that include protein (i.e. milk and meat) I have arthritic pains slowly build over a week or two (but not with butter ;-) and cheese seems OK, probably as the bacteria changed the proteins). And now, if I have a meal with a lot of concentrated tomato sauce in it, I get ‘reactive’ in a broader way along with a tendency to joint flairups. I expect that the occasional slice of tomato will not be a problem, just the big load of a cup of concentrated sauce over a nice chile relleno… So more green sauce, less red ;-)

    It’s a very clear cause and effect that I’ve repeated a couple of times now “to be sure”.

    FWIW, drinking a whole lot of water helps ;-)


    I knew that… why didn’t I think of it? Thanks for reminding me… has an impact on cancer, too, IIRC. Good stuff…

    @R. de Haan:

    I’m still waiting for the ozone hole to be shown to be just as bogus…
    The patterns of coming and going are NOT related to atmospheric gasses and their concentrations. It’s directly related to UV levels and incoming ions from space.

    I used Portugal as Eco Tretas had done a nice posting on it. Yes, it would be good to document the others, too… Got Links? ;-)


    I’ll certainly keep folks posted if anything more than discomfort is involved (unless I’m just snuffed without notice). As I’m morbidly interested in how this machine of a body works, I’ll likely just do a posting on whatever it is and everything I can find out about it… ;-)

    One of the “issues” was that my left wrist was hurting when in typing position, and getting worse as I typed. Not conducive to writing a novel. So I needed to get things back to ‘under control’ first. It’s now settling down and doing well. Yes, serializing is coming…

    I saw a VERY NICE endorsement of TruCrypt that I was going to write up, but got distracted. A local court found that a user of it was NOT required to hand over the password(!) to law enforcement. That indirectly confirms that law enforcement could not break it … It’s very easy to use (just do not forget the pass phrase…)

    FWIW, I’m not so much into distraction as I am into fixing. Only when I can’t fix it do I resort to distraction. Heck, I was even limiting myself to one ibuprophen per day… It wasn’t all THAT bad, just hard to type and feeling “un sharp” like having a cold…


    One of my first clues about a Neanderthal content was the way I acclimatize. I’ve stood in a parking lot of the skii area at 7000 feet elevation surrounded by snow in sandals, slacks, and a light business shirt at about 10 to 20 F and been fine. One year in college I decided to go without shoes. ( I’ve seen a neander skeleton and it has the duck feet bones too…) My feet have a very ‘square’ profile, not the taper of Italian Shoes. Most shoes make my feet hurt. (Later I discovered Birkenstocks and they don’t hurt…) At any rate, I was 3/4 of a year into it and winter came. That was the winter it snowed in the central valley. So here I was riding an old Schwinn Varsity 10 speed bike to work with metal pedals in the snow. Oddly, but then I had about a 1 cm callus on the sole of the foot and didn’t notice cold. The toes just got kind of pink.

    Seems that I like warm but with a few days of adjustment, can run around in snow barefoot… Makes me think of my Celtic ancestors going into battle nude in Europe, a place not known for warm winters…

    So I’m less concerned about cold for some of us. It will just thin out the herd for those with a bit too little Neanderthal in the mix ;-)

    As they have now found Neanderthal genes along with some other in the Asian populations, it may well be that the current Eskimo are not so poorly cold adapted as some would expect given their tropical origins…

    Back on ‘deaths from cold’: I think there’s an opportunity here for a nice A/B comparison of warm years vs this last cold plunge in several European countries. If anyone can turn up links with charts like that Portugal one, it would make a pretty strong statement. (The North African data would need to be adjusted for death by gunshot and bombs… sorry to say.)

  14. R. de Haan says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    14 April 2012 at 6:55 pm
    “Got Links”


    Just work yourself through the links which include
    Balarus, Bosnia Herzegowina, Ukraine, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia and Moldavia, not mentioned in my earlier posting.
    People died from the cold spell in all of these countries.

    Still looking for statistics

  15. R. de Haan says:

    Nice weather info about the last winter Europe/Asia here:

    Click to access dwd_2012_report.pdf

  16. Larry Geiger says:

    We love you Chief!

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry Geiger:

    To quote Sheldon of Big Bang Theory: “There there…” ;-)

    @R. de Haan:

    Thanks, I’ll take a look at them.

    Looking at the Portugal chart, it looks like about 1000 excess deaths this year.

    What I want to know is just how a broken set of polices can kill 1000 people and nobody goes to jail. It’s just got me in a slow burn right now…

  18. R. de Haan says:

    UN wasting our tax money on… numerous studies

  19. Power Grab says:

    Regarding people who get by in the cold without shoes, here is a passage from Dr. Weston A. Price’s book, _Nutrition and Physical Degeneration_:
    “The sturdiness of the child life permits children to play and frolic bareheaded and barefooted even in water running down from the glacier in the late evening’s chilly breezes, in weather that made us wear our overcoats and gloves and button our collars.”
    Dr. Price visited the Loetschental Valley in Switzerland in 1932.
    I’m wondering, does goat provoke the same allergic reaction as beef in you? I would hate to have to give up beef and milk. I have had goat’s milk. It seemed the same to me as cow’s milk. I have not had goat meat, though.
    Wheat does a number on me, though, and I try to avoid it, especially in the form of bread.

    Oh, my favorite anti-inflammatory is organic apple cider vinegar.

  20. R. de Haan says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    14 April 2012 at 8:10 pm

    One thousand access death for Portugal only.
    The claim is that Europe alone had to cope with 600 death.
    I think this number is a joke.

  21. Power Grab says:

    Re links for statistics on cold-weather-related deaths – I usually see them when I check Robert Felix’s blog, http://www.iceagenow.info (also, the older blog, http://www.iceagenow.com ). I have enjoyed reading his blog for several years. He always has links to articles about how cold things are getting, even if the MSM won’t touch them.

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    No, goat and sheep do not cause me any problems. (They just cost too much ;-)

    I regularly drink goat milk and use goat cheese and sheeps milk cheeses. FWIW there’s a longevity cluster in northern Italy where folks live to 110 without degenerative disease levels of the rest of us. They produce and consume a huge quantity of sheeps milk cheeses. Look, for Pecorino Romano. I love the flavor and frankly, seeing film of a 90 year old guy running around the mountains chasing sheep in fine health and eating a meal of mostly cheese and bread with wine is, er, attractive… (They also have the statistics to show he’s the norm there).

    I’ve had goat. It’s kind of like mutton. Same flavor as an older sheep. Some folks find it a stronger flavor, I just think it’s a better one ;-)

    Frankly, serve me a slice of ‘leg of goat’ and tell me it is ‘leg of mutton’ and I doubt I’d even notice.

    It’s available from Caribbean stores and some Halal butchers.

    Spouse uses the vinegar trick.. maybe I’ll join her. (Usually I just ‘get religion’ and go back to eating right and things resolve 8-}

    @R. de Haan:

    Thanks for the added links. Yeah, that Europe number of 600 is bogus on the face of it. Looking at the Portugal chart again, I noticed that there are several dots above the 95% line. That’s several hundred to a thousand EACH…

  23. ecotretas says:

    Some more data:
    Spain: http://antonuriarte.blogspot.pt/2007/08/mortalidad-y-clima-en-espaa.html
    Europe: http://web.archive.org/web/20090216055832/http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_information/dissemination/unexpected/unexpected_8_en.htm
    Studies: http://falardotempo.blogspot.pt/2010/05/mortes-pelo-frio-resumos-de-20-artigos.html

    Some are Spanish & Portuguese links, but hey Google Translate is our friend…
    Regarding Portugal, as you might all know, is in a big economic crisis. Political parties took advantage of the deaths, stating that people were dying because of the economical crisis. Basically no one wants to question the warming dogma. Now that death values are below normal, as the graph shows, the economical crisis must be over… ;-)


  24. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Ecotretas: Interesting graphic: January 2005, a few days after the Sumatra earthquake and tsunami, the days of the lowest Ap index.

  25. Pascvaks says:

    @ Power Grab –
    “Oh, my favorite anti-inflammatory is organic apple cider vinegar.”

    I guess there’s a good reason to call it ‘Bug Juice’ after all;-)

    PS: The best way to “hide” COD is to specify the penultimate COD as THE COD and let the straw that broke the Camel’s Back go by the wayside as merely catalytic. Besides, everyone knows that truly cold climatic events are really only catalytic, people usually die of something like heart failure, stroke, malnourishment, lack of meds, etc., before they ever actually freeze to death. But heat stroke, that’s different.

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