Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snow in Scotland - more systemic effects

Drennan writes:  'By the way, regarding systemic effects of the snow, here are a few more.

1) We all need food supplies etc but of course the big stores are all operating on the "Just  in Time" system - which  means a delay of a day or so means the stores start running out of food.

2) People hear about this difficulty on the news and so they buy twice as much as usual to "stock up" - except for the indigenous rural Scots who stock up at the start of November every year - and the result is the shops empty quicker.

3) This is all made worse by the fact that the TESCOs and ASDAs have outcompeted the small town centre bakeries etc which have often closed.  The TESCOs etc of course buy in bulk from bulk producers and hence the great majority of the bread eaten in Scotland is all made in three huge bakeries near Glasgow.

4) However, once an articulated lorry delivering supplies jack-knifes on a  motorway, huge traffic jams build up behind it and breakdown vehicles or road gritters that would make the road driveable can not get through. A few of these and the whole system jams up! We have of course developed a delivery system largely dependent on just in time deliveries by large lorries, and business based mainly on car commuting workers who get caught in the snarlups.

5) This of course means tankers cannot reach the main oil refinery, which means that petrol stations start running out of fuel for sale, which means even those that can move to deliver may run out of fuel.

6) In the meantime, amid the political blame game that is going on, the first minister for Scotland announces that we will have to get used to more such extreme weather conditions in Scotland - enter Climate Change.

All the best - it is thawing now but forecast to freeze up by Monday'

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