So Happy New Year to all readers, and it's February 2009 all over again - several airports are paralysed by snow, London could be getting six to ten inches of snow over the new 24 hours and yesterday the government issued a "gas balancing alert" which is a way of telling the big industrial users to cut back or switch to other fuels otherwise the boilers will be going out in houses up and down the country.
On the continent they have a hundred days' reserve of natural gas (methane) while here in the UK we're down to our last eight days'. The government has persistently refused to build more storage capacity for the last decade, while our electricity generation has migrated from coal to gas.
When the gas is gone there will be rolling black-outs, or "rota disconnections" in the DTI jargon.
Let's hope we get some warm weather before it comes to that.
Government emergency plans