Further to my rant the other day on the subject of people whining about the weather comes this excellent site offering free assistance in getting yourself prepared for next winter. As it so presciently observes:
The snowpocalypse has hit Britain, again, and you’ve still not bought a snow shovel. Naturally, all the shops have sold out and have no idea when they’ll get more.
So it offers to help you by sending you a reminder e-mail in the middle of next year. Truly a public service. Sign up, minions!
My patience is already exhausted with people kvetching about the weather and blaming $PUBLIC_BODY for failing to ensure their personal convenience. Guess what? One billion Red Chinese and Mama Nature don’t give a mouse-sized shit about your plans. The problem is not that this is yet another example of how useless Britain is at everything other countries do well. It’s that severe weather causes us problems because it’s so unusual. We aren’t prepared because we almost never need to be prepared.
In southern Germany drivers don’t slide all over the place because they have winter tyres. In Britain we do because we don’t; the reason we don’t is because we almost never need them. When my wife and I went to her dad’s in Maine for Christmas two years ago, Kennebunk had 30 inches of snow that day. This is entirely normal for a New England winter, so they cope. They have snow tyres, snow blowers, four-wheel drive vehicles, municipal snowploughs and domestic power generators in abundance – because they need them for months every winter.
In most of Britain, especially the south east and most especially London, 30 inches is about a quarter century’s cumulative snowfall. So how’s it the government’s fault that when London gets three inches in half an hour one freakish Saturday it inevitably causes problems? As Michael White says in this remarkably common-sense article in today’s Guardian:
Do we want to stockpile snow ploughs, salt, grit etc on a Russian scale when they haven’t been needed here since 1962-63 or possibly 1946-47?
Short answer: no, especially when public spending is already in a blizzard of coalition-driven economies, some of which will prove to be false ones.
In order words, stop whining. It’s nobody’s fault. There’s no one to blame, apart from Mother Nature and she couldn’t care less.