A Bitter Reminder

Posted on behalf of Ariel Schwalb, Community Outreach Coordinator for Team North Shore

Days ago, my North Shore team was conflicted. We had a true dilemma on our hands; we needed to leave Gloucester to start getting some important work done in Marblehead, but a storm was approaching. There was 100% chance of rain, according to Siri.

We sat around in a circle and made a democratic decision about whether to try to leave right now (Sunday morning), or wait out the storm and go tomorrow (Monday morning). We all agreed we needed to get to Marblehead as soon as possible, but I was apprehensive about going out now because I felt that it was too late.

It was too late. By the time we packed up the trailer and headed out, it was downpouring, and lightning was too close for comfort. This simply seemed like a really bad idea. Not only are the roads slippery, flooding possible, and trailers heavy, but we could also get struck by lightning to seal the deal. I was crying; we were done for. Potentially.

As I trudged up a hill that could have been my last, I thought to myself, why am I doing this? Is what we are doing so important that it is worth being active in crazy weather like this? A tornado was happening around the same time closer to Boston.

A photograph of the gas explosion in Taiwan.

A photograph of the gas explosion in Taiwan.

My questions were answered last night when I found out about a gas pipeline explosion in Taiwan that had killed over 27 people, injured 286 and left 2 missing, making it the island’s worst gas leak explosion in history. Of the 27 who were killed, four were firefighters. The streets were covered in rubble; homes lost power in a blackout.

I send my condolences to the families and friends of all the people who lost their lives due to the explosion, and I feel angry because we don’t need to have such dangerous infrastructure in our lives in the first place. Solar and wind power can currently cover all our energy needs. There is no need for gas, much less gas explosions. The emission, spill, and explosion free renewable technology is there; we just need the political will be make it happen.

If I can play a small role in preventing more gas explosions by continuing to fight the Salem gas plant this summer, then I feel honored to bike in lightning storms and face a small danger to prevent others from facing a much larger danger in the future.


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1 Response to A Bitter Reminder

  1. marlamarcum says:

    Great post! AND… for the sake of other readers (and our insurance company), I’ll just remind you that during Climate Summer training, we had an emergency preparedness session during which I CLEARLY told you not to ride in thunderstorms.

    AND your point is well taken!

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