Friday, 9 February 2007

It didn't snow in the Tamar Valley

Whilst much of the country has been covered by the white stuff in the last day or two it didn't snow in the Tamar Valley, or at least not in my part of the valley. As is often the way the wet weather coming from the west didn't readily turn to snow until it either reached our moors or ran into the colder mass of air over the country away from the south west. Thus the top of Dartmoor has seen a fall and I understand that there is about 3 inches of snow on Exmoor today.

It is of course a real nuisance if you have to travel through snow and I am pleased I don't now have to commute. But there is an absolute fascination for me to watch snow falling and to walk on it when it is totally fresh. Perhaps it is that absolute silence you get that appeals so much. And it is great fun for both children and parents pretending to be children.

Par for the course much of the country, from schools on the one hand to airports on the other, was paralysed by the relatively small amount of snowfall. So then one hears the cry "Why can't we be like Canada, they cope with much more snow". Let's look at the differences: Canada is guaranteed snow in the winter, we aren't. In fact with climate change much of the country could become snow free (however if the Gulf Stream were to stop our climate could become like present day Alaska, a perfectly possible event, something to blog about another time perhaps). Add to that we have such variable terrain and many micro-climates in our tiny island so that spending money on infrastructure to deal with such unusual events is a bad way to use the limited funds available. Bear in mind as a nation we do a lot of travelling, just in commuting to work for example. It just isn't sensible to spend wads of money to deal with the very occasional snowstorm when our creaking infrastructure being used 365 days a year is under such pressure and in need of improvement.

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