Thursday, 2 December 2010

Snow



Snow has come to the UK once again and as always it causes chaos everywhere. Snow piles up in drifts at the sides of the roads, side streets are blocked and gritter lorries never go down there, railway line at times become blocked when the points freeze, and this year the Forth Road Bridge has been closed because of the snow for the first time since its opening in 1964. Cries of woe and shock are heard everywhere, except from the kids who avoid school for a week, business it hit as workers stay at home, shops are struggling, and some folks with little cash must be freezing like I am!

When weather like this hits us, and this is early snow and very much heavier than expected, we find ourselves asking why? Why can we not cope with the weather? Why are  we not ready for this? Why is something not done? The answer is simple, money! The folks that demand lots of grit be put on the roads are the same ones in mild winter asking why so much grit needs to be stored? The failure of the railways due to the cold occurs on two or three days of the year, maybe a week at the most, and to keep on standby all year round sufficient material to ensure the trains run would cost so much there would be questions asked in parliament. There are those that mutter about Germany and Sweden coping better than us in such a winter forgetting that in those lands winter is deeper, longer, and far harsher than our short week or two. They can then spend the cash and prepare properly for the conditions. If the UK was to do this questions would be asked by all the screaming tabloids about the financial waste, and suggestions made as to how such money could be better spent! The hypocrisy is overwhelming in such papers! 

This weather has been severe, especially in the north, but the southern softies have been hit quite badly also. Coming to us from an easterly direction, starting from the Arctic circle and arriving via Siberia, Germany, the North Sea it make land on the coats and travels right up the trouser leg with a ferocity known only to those who have stood on the terracing at Gayfield Stadium, Arbroath, in February! It does the individual no good I tell ye! It will last a few days more, and already the Scottish football weekend has been almost completely wiped out. The grounds may be fit but many roads are not,and while the main roads might be open folks cannot get out of the side roads to enter them! Soon however it will end, unlike in Sweden where it will continue until the end of March or April, and by this time next week all will be forgotten by most folks. The press will return to talking about 'that marriage' and the behaviour of cretinous famous folk, the world will continue to seek gratification via the Christmas shop, and energy company directors will sit with glasses of brandy and smug grins on their overfed faces. Normality will have returned.

A more serious question requires asking however. Could it be that weather patterns are indeed changing? Can it be that 'global warming' (look outside as you read that) is occurring? Can it be that the world is going through a change, and is it short term or longer? I first read about melting ice floes around about 1968! Scientists were claiming the Arctic was beginning to shrink, but nobody cared. Now, while huge areas of Greenland are being exposed some still claim there is no 'global warming,' I wonder why? Politicians, or lying scoundrels may be a better term, fight over such things irrespective of any damage that might ensue to the world around them. A long time ahead to a politician is next week or the next election and as long as his seat is safe that is all that matters. However whether the sun is cooling, or the earth shifting or the world about to come to an end and Jesus ready to leap through to us for a final time the fact remains that something is happening around us and most people walk about looking no further than the end of their nose. Our self, that most odious part of us, will sit and watch while the world burns, or it appears, freezes as in our case today.

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5 comments:

soubriquet said...

Maybe it's just my imagination. Winters 1963 and 64 were excellent for those of us who like snow, and it seems they took a turn for the milder in the late seventies?
1983? was a very cold one.

Our papers love to call it 'arctic weather', whenever it snows here. Well, yes. like a very mild arctic day, perhaps.
Like you say, it's maybe not cost effective to be always prepared, but... my work van is on snow tyres. They're not particularly expensive. And it goes happily uphill, with no wandering or wheelspin in fresh snow. It goes around corners reliably, without skidding, and, most important, it stops properly. Takes a longer distance than on a dry road, but far safer than on normal tyres.
Small investment, massive safety increase.

Mike Smith said...

I have a friend who lives in Norway where the weather is far more severe. And that great little country carries on as normal.

FishHawk said...

Alas, many a stiff upper lip is now quivering. What are you going to do? What are we going to do?

Adullamite said...

S, Cold winters come every 20 years or so. 14-18 was cold ans was 46/7. The 62/63 winter was a bad one I remember, it just went on and on. The 80's saw some cold times.
Overall there is indeed a change however.

Mike, Norway is always ready for the winter, we never are.

Fish, We always have stiff upper lips, they are frozen that way just now!

A. said...

1984/5 was a bad winter. That was the year we moved from Scotland to the soft south. We didn't know what had hit us but then nor did the locals.