The recent heavy snow and icy conditions has been making me realise how vulnerable we are to forces much bigger than our ability to control, despite our sophistication and technological advances.
In fact has our reliance on computers and technology made us more clueless in a crisis?
There was the same feeling way back in April when the volcano that I can’t pronounce the name off erupted in Iceland and grounded many flights around Europe. Suddenly we didn’t look so clever as we engaged in ‘Train, Planes and Automobiles’ type escapades to get home from our European destinations.
Then this last couple of weeks icy conditions have made our normal ways of transporting goods around the place not so clever. Various major retailers have refused to guarantee that online orders will be fulfilled by Christmas.
A man in Scotland bought a condenser microphone from me last Monday and I posted it that afternoon. Yesterday he emailed to say that it hadn’t arrived yet.
Which is all well and good when we’re talking about things that don’t really matter. But what happens if oil tankers can’t get to homes to fill up tanks with home heating oil, or what if lorries can’t zip up motorways as per normal and bring in deliveries of bread or milk?
There seems to be a reluctance among BBC Radio Ulster presenters in particular to believe that the forces of nature can’t be tamed. They can put a man on the moon but they can’t grit the pavements and that sort of thing.