You think I'm joking? I'm not. First let's look at the shutdown.
The heaviest snowfall to hit northern China in nearly six decades continued to snarl traffic yesterday, stranding thousands of passengers on railways and at airports.And what are the people of China doing? The obvious. Trying to keep warm. With disastrous results.
The unusually harsh winter weather also caused coal shortages, forcing some provinces to cut power supplies.
With people turning up the heat indoors to fight the extreme cold across the country, many provinces are reducing electricity supply due to the shortage of coal.Britain is getting similar treatment.
Since December, power has been cut or reduced to more than 2,000 factories in Wuhan, Hubei province, to ensure supply for household use, while most parts of the south face electricity shortages, Han Xiaoping, an energy analyst, said yesterday.
With power demand surging this winter, coal stocks in 349 power plants across the nation have decreased to around 27 million tons, or barely enough for 12 days of generation, while stocks in the north have declined to less than a week, the Shanghai Securities News reported last month.
Generally, coal stocks should be enough for at least 20 days, Han said.
But in Hubei province, things are much worse. The local electricity supplier faces a shortage of 760,000 tons of coal before March this year, Yang Yong, assistant chief engineer at Hubei Electric Power Company, told China Business News yesterday.
Nearly 2.4 gigawatts, or some 17 percent of the coal-fueled power generation capacity in Hubei, has been shut down due to coal shortage and there is a risk of even more output cuts, the newspaper reported yesterday.
For the second time ever, the National Grid yesterday issued a warning to energy providers that demand for gas is threatening to outstrip supply.Ah. Higher bills. What are the Brits doing about it? Burning books.
The ultimatum comes after a 30 per cent rise on normal seasonal demand as snow and freezing conditions continued their stranglehold on Britain.
The concerns caused natural gas prices to jump to their highest level in 10 months yesterday, touching 45p a therm.
While it is unlikely that households will find their supplies restricted, a shortage could lead to higher bills.
Volunteers have reported that ‘a large number’ of elderly customers are snapping up hardbacks as cheap fuel for their fires and stoves.If they are burning copies of the Communist Manifesto it may actually be a service. No way to tell.
Temperatures this week are forecast to plummet as low as -13°C in the Scottish Highlands, with the mercury falling to -6°C in London, -5°C in Birmingham and -7°C in Manchester as one of the coldest winters in years continues to bite.
Workers at one charity shop in Swansea, in south Wales, described how the most vulnerable shoppers were seeking out thick books such as encyclopaedias for a few pence because they were cheaper than coal.
One assistant said: ‘Book burning seems terribly wrong but we have to get rid of unsold stock for pennies and some of the pensioners say the books make ideal slow-burning fuel for fires and stoves.
A lot of them buy up large hardback volumes so they can stick them in the fire to last all night.’
Now we come to the very best part. To what do some Chinese attribute the cooling to?
BEIJING: Freak snowstorms and record low temperatures sweeping northern China are linked to global warming, say Chinese officials.So if it gets warmer - it is global warming. If it gets colder - global warming. How convenient. Evidently there is nothing Global Warming Can't do.
But, unlike the unseasonal snow falls that hit Beijing at the start of winter, the dump this week appears to have no link to the Government's relentless efforts to change the micro climate.
There are about 2000 weather modification offices in China, according to the media, which are responsible for bombing the skies with silver iodide to induce precipitation.
More than 2 million Beijing and Tianjin students were given the day off school yesterday because traffic was in chaos. On Sunday the capital received its biggest snow dump since 1951, immediately followed by the harshest Siberian winds in decades.
Tomorrow morning the mercury is forecast to plunge to minus 16, a 40-year low, after a day-time maximum of minus 8.
The head of the Beijing Meteorological Bureau, Guo Hu, linked the blizzard-like conditions this week to unusual atmospheric patterns caused by global warming.
Cross Posted at Classical Values