Climate change or ignoring climate?

Feb 24th, 2012 | Category: Articles, Current Issue ID, Editors note, February 12

Stefan RoseanuThe end of January and beginning of February 2012 have confronted Romania with a strong proof of what winter can mean: strong winds combined with snowfall and snow storms, all superposed by freezing rain and ringing frost. There were many talks on the weather phenomenon marked, mainly, by the comparison with previous years and the conclusion was that “we have not had such a winter since 1954”.
However, the conclusion of those trapped in the middle of the drifts was but one: a serious disregard from the authorities and primary services suppliers (energy, gas, water, transportation) of the needs and problems of the citizens for whom they are responsible and a technological minus of intervention vehicles and equipments. 30% of the country was isolated, meaning that every village, either smaller or larger, was isolated from the others, for at least 5-6 days, as long as the snow has not been removed from any of the roads in the area and the railways have been ignored and have not received the funds necessary for specific operations. Conclusion: in a European country of the 21st century, the access to electric power has been interrupted for a week in hundred of villages because intervention teams were either prevented to go to the place of the breakdowns or were equipped with vehicles which could only run on asphalt. In a country which is hardly modernising, this decision has actually meant denying the people’s right to have access to heat, running water and offering them instead freezing houses and the lack of access to just information.
When you discover such a situation, you begin wondering whether the concept of metropolitan development can be applied around a European capital such as Bucharest. The lack of concrete snow removal activities could be noticed (the obsolete vehicles and their inappropriate equipments together with a stupid decision of waiting for the end of the “orange code” before initiating even the most insignificant snow removal activity) several days after the end of the blizzard, when tens of European and national roads were closed because of “unfavourable climate conditions”, to be interpreted as “sun and full moon, no wind and just the biting frost freezing all the drifts that have not been removed by intervention vehicles”.
During the entire period, the railways have been ignored as public and freight transport solution. The number of passenger trains has not been supplemented and additional trains have not been introduced to ensure a minimum of mobility, people living in the neighbourhood of the railways have lacked mobility alternatives, as there were no trains, for passengers or freight. The damages of companies and that of the economy are estimated at almost EUR 1 Billion already.
What we have to recall and learn from this experience is the fact that climate conditions have always had their ups and downs, manifesting variably on the continent and the times of small, isolated  communities have long passed. And then we have to make sure that the products we buy can face both high temperatures and blizzards. A moving, globalist society demands money. And last but not least, procedures adapted to real situations.

P.S. The Genius learns from someone else’s mistakes, the Wise learns from own mistakes and the Fool learns nothing.

by Stefan Roseanu

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