Essay: Taiwan Gas explosionBy: Leo Chen |
Three hours before the midnight of July 31, 2014, the Fire department of Kaohsiung city (The second largest city of Taiwan) received an emergency call to report a gas-leaking case. Five minutes later the fire trucks arrived, and found white smoke kept rising up from several drain ditch covers, strong and unpleasant odor filled the air, the Fire department judged as leaking of flammable gas; so they sealed several blocks, restrained surrounding traffic, and tried to dilute the gas by spreading water, and call for EPA’s (Environmental Protection Administration) emergent assistance in the meantime, to identify the substance to cool down the temperature with proper procedure…Unfortunately, a series of gas blasts started just before midnight, huge fireballs soaring in the air that the flams even flung a car to the roof of a 3-story building. The pipeline-blast tore trenches under ...view middle of the document...
As soon as I found Sendai city was on the list of early donators, I was deeply moved and drawn to the memory of 311 Earthquake that we were all sadden for our friends.
I had never realized that human lives could be so vulnerable when facing magnitude disasters. There are always invisible threats behind the convenience that we enjoy or rely on. I saw government and company officials tried very hard to explain and to apologize, blaming this accident to the urban design plans designed from past generations. This made me think of another question repeatly; the old designs and development such as petro-chemistry has greatly improved our livings, but is the world better if we follow their tracks entirely?
And what consequences would it lead us to?
The discovery and application of petro-chemisty has enormously contributed to the improving of human livings, and Taiwan was no exception. Yet, as developments go on, people started to question its negative effects, for example, it do more harm than good to our environment, and it is neither unlimited nor reusable. This leads to the thinking of a new searching, in another word, alternative reusable resources.
If I was the CEO of LCY Petrochemical company (who owns those burst pipelines), in light of this gas pipe explode accident and the crucial fault that fossil fuel is limited; I would immediately initiate a program to study the feasibility to convert from plastic to nature-based resources such as ethanol. Despite the prompt benefits that might gain from fossil fuel and the unpredictable risk while being a pioneer in an unfamiliar field, developing an environmental friendly and reusable energy is not only vital but an essential move for every petrochemical company, in consideration of long term investments.
We humans have been draining non-renewable fossil fuels from last century, the destructive consequences are polluting our environments and now threatening our lives. The latest technologies have been proved that some nature resources have become available to replace plastic, we need to react baldly and timely, to create a better new world for the future.