Every tragedy that happens on a massive scale is plunged, unwanted, into the heart of our collective consciousness for a time. And eventually, unless you’re there or directly affected, it is somewhat forgotten.
I live in the center of the United States, and terrible events such as natural disasters like tornadoes or man-made tragedies such as the Oklahoma City bombing are always hidden somewhere in my memory, available for momentary recall. They certainly changed me.
Such must be the case for folks in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, when a decade ago a train carrying crude oil jumped the track near downtown and exploded. The accident took the lives of 47 human beings and set Lac-Mégantic on a path to explore and embrace renewable energy.
Ten years later, our Kathy Hitchens writes about a $3.7 million investment to expand a renewable microgrid deployment in the rural town. The Canadian government and Hydro-Québec are both putting up funds to add to the microgrid first deployed in 2021.
Never forget — that is a mantra from many terrible events that change thinking from that point on. It could be Pearl Harbor or Oklahoma City or a superstorm. For people in Texas, following numerous close calls due to extreme weather, it drives the willingness to install more distributed energy and microgrids to offset vulnerabilities in the grid system.
The events vary but their impact to change a way of life and how we respond to external threats — both natural and man-made — is ingrained in our will to survive and provide a better way forward.
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