Sharon Gold is a diminutive woman with a big message for everyone — stop idling! The focus of a story in our East Bay Life section this week, Gold is a retired educator and grandmother from …
Sharon Gold is a diminutive woman with a big message for everyone — stop idling! The focus of a story in our East Bay Life section this week, Gold is a retired educator and grandmother from Jamestown. She exercises, goes for long walks and lives an active life, and in her weekly travels she confronts about 20 motorists per week to try to educate them about the dangers of idle engines. Gold knows her stuff, and she can readily tell anyone how parked or idling vehicles burn about 6 billion gallons of fuel annually in this country, shooting tens of millions of metric tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
Gold’s message is so simple, it’s difficult to forget once you’ve met her and listened to her. When you weigh the benefits vs. the costs, there really are no good reasons to warm up the car in the driveway for 10 minutes or leave any engine running in park for extensive periods of time.
And once you’re in tune with the sight of exhaust fumes puffing into the atmosphere from the back of an idle vehicle, it’s difficult not to see them everywhere. They often congregate outside coffee shops, at road or building construction sites, or in a row of driveways on a cold New England morning.
Check out the line of 50 cars idling in a drive-through pickup line outside of a popular Starbuck’s on a Sunday morning — nothing screams hypocrisy quite like burning a gallon of fossil fuel while waiting for the opportunity to buy a $5 coffee in an environmentally-friendly cup.
Most people understand why extensive idling is bad for the Earth, but they also feel like their one vehicle is just a drip in the bucket. Gold likes to tell the story of a man who was idling his car at a beach along Narragansett Bay while his wife took the dog for a walk. When she tapped on the window to talk to him about idling, he pointed out to a tanker ship and told her to go talk to that guy.
So now that you’ve heard her message, who would you like to emulate? Would you rather be a little more like Sharon Gold, or a little more like that guy?