Just before the lights went, the most annoying noise of the morning was the phrase "power outage".
What happened to "power cut", even "failure"? If I must be deprived, can it be managed in Scottish-English, please? I said as much just before the lights went.
The next irritation was the queue of concerned radio fans wishing to complain about Alex Salmond's shortcomings as a weather forecaster. As it turns out, the new Scotland will not be sunshine all the way. This is his fault, obviously.
Finally, resisting the temptation to show the dog what a cauld blast really means, I got childishly annoyed by weather warnings. The Met Office has a new system. The Met Office, it seems, loves its new system. It has been firing off prognostications almost daily for the last two months. The result – the familiar result of anything "colour-coded" – is that no-one knew anything when it actually mattered.
What we do know is this: climate change has been described repeatedly. The description for these latitudes is simple indeed: wetter and windier. In years to come the northern end of the British islands will have more storms, more often, and of greater intensity than before. We had better get used to it.
This will involve the breaking of a few habits. One might be in the habit of confusing a few flying wheelie bins with the end of days. It's a nuisance if slates come off your roof. It's an issue if every major river crossing in Scotland has to be closed. It's a crisis if a weather event threatens essential services. But these are not one and the same thing. Your inconvenience is not a national emergency. Calling a phone-in show will not alter this fact.
Understanding our vulnerability as a society might be more useful. We have just about begun to grasp what food security means, and what is implied by the politics of energy security. We understand the simple, personal dimension to these transformations less well. We don't seem to know – or want to know – that sometimes the lights go out, the phones die, the TV and the broadband are inert, and we are on our own.
It seems to strike some people as an impossible notion, in fact, almost as a breach of their rights. One day of lousy weather is a personal affront: something should be done. So try to tell these indignant souls that this is how the world of climate upheavals and economic degradation looks, and how it could remain. You might become unpopular.
On the other hand, lest flying wheelie bins threaten your peace unduly, bear in mind that Scotland didn't suffer an earthquake yesterday. There was no tsunami. The storm barely grazed hurricane force. Mercifully, casualties were light, it appears, and not in the tens of thousands seen elsewhere. Some appointments, supermarket deliveries and flights were delayed; some few homes damaged. Worse things happen.
If storms such as yesterday's are in fact the result of climate change – an argument for another day, no doubt – we will not be the chief victims. Scotland looks well placed, in fact, for that contest.
Desertification will not be our problem. Most places will not be submerged. In a real climate apocalypse we could probably feed ourselves. Others face far greater problems.
We should begin to learn, though, that some of our vulnerabilities need to be addressed. Last winter's snows were one lesson; a blustery day provided another. Yesterday, in a matter of hours, Scotland's roads, bridges, air and sea links were all but put out of action, one after the other, albeit for a few hours. That doesn't inspire confidence.
It was, in one language, an act of God, or one of those things. But perhaps we should begin to take seriously the idea that all power cables should be below ground, that a creaking transport system is more than just another "budget priority", even – let's dare to dream – that wheelie bins are not clever. The serious point might be that the security of communities and households is as important as the big, strategic, national imperatives.
We have been brought to believe that the world will remain forever reliable, that an interdependent global system is by definition a source of strength rather than risk. When the facts – or the weather – turn out to be otherwise we react as though civilisation itself is under assault. Perhaps it is, in a sense. Who can truly claim to be "ready" for climate change? What would that even mean?
People who enjoy predicting doom will tell you that one day the sun will act up and disrupt every computer system on the planet, creating a chaos most of us cannot imagine. Other hardened pessimists are fond of population crises, or water wars, or – and this is the fun part – almost anything you can think of. Each scenario depends on a very simple notion: our habit of taking things for granted.
Yesterday morning it was decided that the storm was the worst since – if I heard right – 1998. This was the non-journalistic way of saying "the worst since the last worst". The claim conveyed nothing useful other than the idea that fierce winds are out of the ordinary. But it left the impression that a large national problem was equivalent to a national disaster.
We should have been better warned, no doubt: a fair complaint. In future, we should probably pester the Met Office until its weird new system of coloured lights conveys information that is of actual use, and at a time that it is useful. But the habit of treating foul weather as a reason for panic is not the fault of the weatherman, or the politician. It is a symptom of a society becoming steadily more infantile, throwing a collective tantrum when something doesn't suit.
Not that you would catch me in such acts of self-indulgence. Not without an amber warning, a power outage and sundry other offences against language, obviously. But that soon blows over.
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