Turkeys really were voting for an early Christmas last week. That’s because of reports that around 50 per cent of them might be saved because of a shortage of CO2 gas used to humanely kill Yuletide turkeys and then process their meat. What mordant satirist could have imagined a shortage of the very gas we are desperately trying to scrub from the atmosphere.

Even Scotland’s other national drink, Irn-Bru, was threatened by a lack of bubbles.

The crisis revealed that all our industrial CO2 is produced by two foreign-owned fertiliser plants, neither of them in Scotland.

Because of the doubling and tripling of energy prices, the owners claimed it wasn’t viable for them to produce it any more. Financial inducements from the UK Government helped change minds.

Hard lesson number one: the national interest is not uppermost in the minds of foreign-owned monopolies. The underlying issue is, of course, the 250% increase in the wholesale price of gas, an energy source upon which we have become dangerously dependent since the “dash for gas” to replace coal.

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Britain used to be a net exporter of gas, just as we used to be a net exporter of oil. But times change. We now rely largely on wind, nuclear and imported gas to keep the lights on. “Crazy” Kwarteng, as the UK Energy Secretary is called behind his back, promised that the lights will remain on this winter and that there will be no return to three-day weeks or power cuts.,

This probably means, lesson two, that it’s time to stock up on tins, buy candles and prepare for compulsory home- working. The echoes of the 1970s energy shocks were too obvious to ignore last week, especially now inflation is back.

Lesson three is that the wind doesn’t always blow. I remember driving around Scotland in August and noticing that most of our wind turbines were static.

It has been an unusually benign summer, possibly a result of climate change, which has exposed the weakness of our main source of renewable energy.

When the wind doesn’t blow we get no power and when it does blow we often get more than the system can cope with.

Offshore wind is more reliable, so lesson four is that we need to build offshore wind faster. The Dogger Bank windfarm is constructing a forest of wind turbines that are as tall as the Eiffel Tower and which will provide enough electricity to power a country considerably larger than Scotland.

The world’s largest floating windfarm, Kincardine Offshore, is also bobbing around now just off the Aberdeenshire coast and could be the forerunner of even cheaper wind energy.

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But only if the wires can handle it. There have been problems getting the energy produced by Scottish wind to English homes and offices.

Lesson five is that we need better means of storing energy and can’t rely on “just in time” production as we have for the last decade.

The wind doesn’t blow on time and our reliance on imported gas has made us acutely vulnerable to geopolitics.

One of the reasons for the increase in wholesale gas prices has been Vladimir Putin’s rough wooing of Europe to accept his Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

He has honoured contracts to the letter but has not been willing to push up supply to help with a gas shortage that has hit all of Europe.

Lesson six is security of supply. The Cambo oil field may be invoked here since, when developed, it will produce 30 million cubic feet of gas every day. But that’s really a drop in the bucket.

Cambo could help Britain become marginally less dependent on oil imports, even if the oil produced in Cambo is of the kind that tends to be exported. Energy self-sufficiency is a balance of indigenous production and trade. But Cambo is a distraction from the real energy crisis as we phase out fossil fuels altogether.

Similarly, there are people regretting that Britain did not develop shale gas in the way Barak Obama did in the US. There were plans last decade to “frack”, or extract gas from rock in the Bowland field in the north of England and the Midland Valley in Scotland.

But local opposition was too strong, Scotland banned fracking and the UK Government gave up on onshore gas.

Lesson seven is that energy involves hard choices. These choices aren’t going to get any less hard as we accelerate to net zero by 2050.

Society is just waking up to the enormity of what this involves. It will mean a transformation unlike anything since the industrial revolution.

Indeed, it will effectively require another industrial revolution to develop renewable energy on a sufficiently vast scale to meet the crisis in time.

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Scotland is in a good place since we have one-quarter of Europe’s offshore wind energy potential.

We also have huge untapped potential in tidal energy.

The bad news is that none of this is delivering the green jobs bonanza that was promised 10 years ago.

The trade union Unite says that fewer than one-tenth of the 50,000 jobs promised in 2010 have actually materialised. Scotland’s lack of any coherent industrial policy is acutely apparent in the green energy field, as the collapse of BiFab and CS Wind have demonstrated.

Lesson eight: just because we have the skills to produce the platforms for giant offshore wind turbines, which are not unlike oil platforms, doesn’t mean the work will come here.

BiFab is stuttering back to life under new owners, but most of the work has gone to the Middle East and China.

Lesson nine is that the cost of going green is going nuclear. Scotland is already heavily dependent on two ageing nuclear power plants, Torness and Hunterston, which provide more than one-third of Scotland’s electricity and all of its non-gas baseload.

Baseload is the reliable electricity supply that doesn’t depend on the wind or the vagaries of the international market. If we are now to dash away from gas, nukes will take on the burden because solar isn’t really viable in cloudy Scotland.

Yet both Hunterston and Torness are already way beyond their 30-year operational lifespan and due to be decommissioned. Unless there is a dramatic reversal of policy and/or a technological revolution, such as safer Thorium reactors, this could leave a very big hole in Scotland’s energy accounts. .

Lesson 10: energy price shocks will become a regular occurrence as we stagger towards net zero. The energy sums simply don’t add up – with or without imported gas. There has been a culture of environmental Micawberism in the Scottish Government – hoping something will turn up.

There is a naive reliance on the market to provide, as with the electrification of transport. But the private sector hasn’t installed the charging infrastructure for all those electric cars we can’t afford to buy and now may not even be able to plug in.

The only certainty is higher fuel bills. The lights may not going out, but even with the capped energy price this going to be a dark winter for the poor.