Final Word from Thursday, February 16, 2023

During the height of the energy crisis late last year, people were burning anything they could get their hands on. Blesk reported that households turned down the gas and the electric heating and fired up their furnaces and stoves with anything available. What a difference a month or two can make! The gas-storage tanks are still relatively full, and the panic has subsided. There are places in Prague where piles of discarded Christmas trees can still be found, waiting for a diesel truck with two or three workers on board to come screeching to a halt to pick them up. Empty cardboard boxes aren't as plentiful as they were in the week or two after Christmas, but they still overrun the containers. The same Christmas trees and boxes that were adequate fuel for a furnace in mid-Dec. are now treated as worthless waste. Ex-CNB Gov. Miroslav Singer defines a crisis as when you have no choice but to make a change in the way you're doing things. By his definition, we won't have a real energy crisis until people start fighting over the empty boxes and other trash in the street, either as fuel for themselves or for selling to others. [ Czech Republic boiler natural fireplace paper ]

Glossary of difficult words

ain't - (informal) is not;

to subside - to become less intense, violent or severe;

to discard - to get rid of (someone or something) as no longer useful or desirable;

to screech - to move rapidly with a loud, harsh, squealing sound;

to overrun - to move or extend over or beyond.

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