When I was leaving the Marionette Theatre the other day, I decided to swing by Columbia’s Hydrogen Fueling Station, since I was close by and had never seen it before.
The good news was that, had I been driving a hydrogen car, there would have been no waiting.
The bad news was the really scary series of warnings posted at eye level.
But then I got to thinking — such warnings would have been a good idea at the very first gasoline fueling station in a community, back in the days when folks weren’t accustomed to working with that extremely volatile substance.
Come to think of it, we DO have such warnings at gasoline stations — along with those that tell us not to operate our cellphones, and to place a container on the ground before pumping into it. We just tend not to notice them any more.
There’s a tradeoff with so many things that pack a lot of energy — gasoline, hydrogen, coal, nuclear. Once you get the economics to work — which tends to be tougher with the lower-risk sources such as wind and solar — it becomes a matter a matter of engineering things to minimize risk. Or so it seems to my nonexpert mind.