The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

How Will We Cope?

Posted by The Futility Monster on January 8, 2010 @ 10:04

Will this become my new substitute for fireworks? I hope so!

Many people like to criticise those of us who think climate change is happening because of the crafty way we’ve segued from “global warming” to “climate change” over the past several years.

“Look at winters like this one!” they cry. After all, how can we possibly be warming when our weather seems to be getting worse? Indeed, that was almost exactly what Ann Winterton MP said at PMQs on Wednesday.

Talk to any member of the older generation too, and they will tell you that decades ago, when they were young, summers were long and warm, and it hardly ever rained.

There’s got to be an element of rose-tint in the spectacles sitting across their aged brows. The old dears are always liable to tell you that everything was better way back when. It might be true sometimes, but this one takes the biscuit.

Anyway, by shifting to climate change is the description of what’s happening, we’re actually being a little more accurate. And I like accuracy. Many have posited that a shift in the Gulf Stream, caused by climate change, would ensure that this country gets much colder, and more like others on our longitude.

Nobody’s saying that this winter we’re suffering is a direct consequence of climate change. Not yet. But let’s just wonder for a moment. What if this winter starts becoming the norm? Would we ever be able to cope? I know we like talking about the weather as a nation, but hardly anything else would cross our lips…

One thing it might do is stop the breathless reporting of “news” on rolling news channels. I had a good moan about this before Christmas, but it’s become rather prominent now, with endless reports about airports opening and closing, reporters getting stranded, and supplies of salt across the country. Very boring. But if all that becomes commonplace, it would no longer get reported. Definitely a win.

But if it happens all the time, one might expect we would get better at planning for it. We’d increase the space available for storing grit. We’d have more council staff available to clear the roads and pavements. Russia manages to do it. Surely we could too.

Then there is the schools conundrum. Down the road from here, a certain primary school is open today, and has been every day this week. No more than 100 metres away is another primary school (a different faith, utter nonsense why they must have their own schools…) which is closed, and has been closed all week, just like the vast majority of others around here.

I assure you there is no miraculous micro-climate over the open school. They have just stayed open. Because, in truth, while the pavements are slippy, this is far from being as bad as it could be. And they have recognised that closing on one day sets a tremendously bad precedent. Because now schools are staying closed because they were closed yesterday, and the level of ice hasn’t changed.

Since the forecast is for this ice to be in place for another 10 days or so, does this not mean that all these schools will need to stay closed for all that time? After all, the ice will still be there on Monday…

Canada, the north of the USA, Russia, et al must all be laughing at us right now. Schools would never be open during the winter in such countries if they were as feeble as us.

Wonder what’s going to happen next year…

2 Responses to “How Will We Cope?”

  1. comingiceage said

  2. Nonconformistradical said

    If winters such as this one became the norm clearly we would have to be better prepared but it would be more economic to do that in those circumstances.

    It isn’t only about grit supplies and expecting local authorities to grit every bit of suburban and rural road – some self-help is required. Such as having a spare set of inexpensive wheels with winter tyres for use for a few weeks of the year. My understanding it that, for example, people in non-Alpine parts of Germany (they’d use chains in the Alpine parts) do just that.

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