I’m sitting at the kitchen table, staring out at the calm peace that snow always seems to bring, except that it’s 7:30 on a Wednesday morning and I know that the world should be awake already. I wonder if everyone has just thrown in the towel again and decided to stay in bed. Remember, I live in London, and it doesn’t snow here, so for a place that isn’t supposed to get snow, we’ve seen quite a lot of it this past year.
We’ve had snow, ice, and freezing weather since before Christmas, and it is set to continue on until well into next week. Though I saw them out gritting yesterday (by hand no less), the infrastructure is simply not designed to handle snow. As the BBC explained it, apparently Britain only gets wet, heavy snow, which packs itself into rail joints and brings down power wires. Light powdery stuff gets pushed out of the way, but the heavy, snowball snow just sticks and causes chaos. Incidentally, all of the snow has been ideal for snowball fights and snowmen, so at least we aren’t bored when we’re stuck at home.
So here we are, with a gas alert on and a bunch of snow on the ground again, and I think this is exactly why Europeans are much more responsive to green initiatives than Americans. The gas alert means that national supplies have been somewhat depleted and more gas is being imported from the Continent. Basically, we’re sitting here snowed in with below freezing weather, and we’re expected to moderate our use of heating as well. On top of that, we are all wondering whether Russia is going to start up their gas shut-off antics again, which didn’t affect us last time because Britain rarely sees freezing weather.
So we can’t drill anything, and outside power sources are a bit, er, unreliable, which means the only things left to do are increase efficiency and create alternate solutions. On top of that, the temperature has dropped below freezing, which it rarely does, and we’re snowed in again, which is only supposed to happen once every twenty years. So yeah, most Brits look around and think that green initiatives are good, if it will keep us free of gas alerts and snow