Monday, 4 October 2021

"Fuel issues persist in south but 'over' elsewhere"

Says the BBC.

That's hardly surprising. We in the South East are the most inconsiderate and irrational people in England, from which I do not exclude myself :-)

I think I beat The Daily Mash by a few hours.


Macheath said...

Calhoun’s ‘rat utopia’ experiments, in which overcrowded rats displayed highly antisocial behaviour, are often dismissed as irrelevant to humans (usually by the sort of people who, in the face of all the evidence, are outraged when you suggest that school pupils - sorry, ‘learners’ - are young animals).

However, it is interesting to note that this petrol crisis occurred just after the autumnal equinox, the point of the year at which, north of the 45th parallel, the shortening days prompt many mammals to prepare for winter by storing food or by over-feeding in preparation for hibernation.

It seems logical to assume this instinct is also present in humans, albeit in a generally latent state, given ready availability of supplies (the Harvest Festival, for example, looks remarkably like a celebration of satisfying this atavistic need). The suggestion of an imminent shortage at this critical time, combined with the pressures of an overcrowded society such as metropolitan London and its environs, might well prompt sufficient acquisitiveness to create seven-hour queues and empty petrol stations.

Mark Wadsworth said...

McH, all seems plausible. Do you think that all large towns were 'fuel crisis hot spots'? What about the West Midlands?

Macheath said...

The ‘J- shaped pattern’ on the map of the hotspots in the north would imply so (Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Derby and Birmingham), as would the way that motorists venturing increasingly far afield led to closures of empty stations spreading in sequence out of the centres of Oxford, Reading and Milton Keynes, as described by members of my family.

Mark Wadsworth said...

McH, ta, makes sense. My wife had to drive 50 miles out of London (on another errand), she said petrol stations were open with no queues. But she didn't do the decent thing and top up the tank.

Where did you find that map? Or is it a mental map based on media stories?

Macheath said...

The Metro had a very crude version showing shortages in the north west, but I also spent a long time scanning google traffic maps and correlating queues with petrol stations - we were planning to drive up to North Yorkshire so a bit of advance research was needed.