Snow offers perfect reminder of how close we are to chaos

Magical nights in the pubs of Kinvara during the cold snap in Kinvara Galway - but the trip home proved a bit tricky. Photo:andrew downes, xposure
Magical nights in the pubs of Kinvara during the cold snap in Kinvara Galway - but the trip home proved a bit tricky. Photo:andrew downes, xposure

World of Politics with Harry McGee – harrymcgee@gmail.com

And so the storm has passed; the snows have thawed; life has returned to normal – although some drifts haven’t melted yet…including some political ones.

Periodically over the past decade we have been reminded of how close the divide is between order and chaos – like when the then-Government imploded in 2010 it raised the prospect of a loss of sovereignty and a run on the banks and a collapse of the economy.

At the time we were given a big reminder of how dependent we have become on globalisation. Cut adrift from the rest of the world, we had enough food and provisions stored to keep the country going for about a fortnight. That shocking fact showed how much removed we were from the notions of sustainability, and indeed self-sustainability.

We got another reminder of the finite nature of our resources, both natural and processed, over the course of the snow blizzard. There was a run on the shops and over the weekend with shortages of bread and milk.

With supplies of most over stuff quickly diminishing, the empty shelves reminded me of a visit to Cuba 17 years ago when most shops had bare shelves, save for one or two pathetically sad items.

There is a wider debate on sustainability and our huge reliance on imports as well as our strained infrastructure which is only one shock away from crisis.

There were some suggestions the State over-reacted by shutting down all public buildings, including schools, as well as all public transport.

Sure, the impact of Emma did not fully live up to the billing predicted but it was still a major weather event. Look at the twelve foot drifts that affected parts of West Wicklow, North Kildare and Wexford.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.