This funny story I think serves as a good if unintentional metaphor for the current mindset of environmentalists. Workers in Sweden were drilling to prepare for the installation of a geothermal heating system for a hotel. Geothermal systems are a great idea and can be very efficient. Unfortunately, the crew didn’t think to check on the location of the subway lines below the hotel…
The work team was drilling at Wollmar Yxkullsgatan, on Södermalm, to prepare for the installation of geothermal heating for a nearby hotel, but their drilling punctured the subway line and crushed the side panel of the driver’s carriage of a train that was waiting on the tracks.
“They drilled right down onto a subway train,” Lars-Erik Baarsen, station officer at Södermalms Police, told news agency TT.
After the workers had drilled to a depth of 20 to 25 metres, the team noticed that the resistance to the drill disappeared. “They then withdrew the drill and discovered that two-and-a-half metres of the drill was missing,” Baarsen said.
Meanwhile, down in the tunnel, the driver of the subway train was shocked when the side panel of his carriage was suddenly crushed by something from above.What could have been a tragedy thankfully turns into a humorous story as no one was injured.
I do think it serves as a good metaphor–act first and consider the consequences later. Just like geothermal heating, more efficient energy systems and the use of renewable, non-polluting resources is a good thing. The devil is in the details and timing of the implementation.