Framing the Dialogue

Posts Tagged ‘environment’

If Then Were Now

Hoover_Dam_Bypass_Bridge_-_2009-11I have been fortunate to travel some in my life and recently was fortunate to get to see one of the great natural wonders of the world, The Grand Canyon.  I have also seen Niagara Falls a few times, the red rocks in Colorado, and the desert in Arizona.  We also visited Las Vegas, not a natural wonder, but were able to visit Mount Zion National Park, Valley of Fire State Park, and Hover Dam.  While we were there they were constructing another engineering marvel, The Hoover Dam Bridge.

Consider The Grasshoppers

“Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shade of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field; that, of course, they are many in number; or that, after all, they are other than the little, shriveled, meager, hopping, though loud and troublsome, insects of the hour.

Edmund Burke

Jumping Jack Flash It’s A Ga$ Ga$ Ga$

Those living in Western Pennsylvania have been the object of a blitzkrieg of advertising about gas.  More specifically a very deep natural gas pocket found in the Marcellus Shale Formation.  Some estimates put the volume of gas in the formation at 500 TRILLION cubic feet which has fostered a great deal of interest in drilling this formation which is concentrated in the West Virginia-Pennsylvania-New York areas.  West Virginia and Pennsylvania seem to have the greatest potential.  Capture of this gas found in very deep geologic formations is not without significant costs and risks to both the drillers and the environment.  I would rather focus on the financial part, but did not want to overlook this issue.


I have a dream job…unfortunately it is still in my mind, but the job that I have now has that potential.  Reading books like Rework fuel my desire for a better working environment.  I can work my butt off all day and sometimes by 4:00 I am spent.  I have given my all for that day, but really don’t feel comfortable leaving before 5:00.  Starting a new project would be rather pointless as I am not at my freshest. 

“Workaholics make the people who don’t stay late feel inadequate for ‘merely’ working reasonable hours.  That leads to guilt and poor morale all around and leads to ass-in-seat mentality.” [see my above comments]

Earth Day Plus 40

Last year I wrote a three part series on Earth Day. Part 1 addressed my role working as a government employee in the environmental field while balancing my environmentalism with conservatism. In Part 2 I tackled some of the issues surrounding alternative energy and why the energy solution is not easy or cheap. I finished with Part 3 with a blast of the media and the misinformation that they spread as facts about the environment.

Earth Day 2009

As someone who works in the environmental field, Earth Day is the super bowl.  It is a day when many folks alter their behavior and do things that are “earth friendly” for a day and then go back to the way they always do things.  There are a lot of slogans and events and wearing of t-shirts with earth symbols.

Earth Day is an unusual time for me as a conservative, an environmentalist and someone who works at an environmental regulatory agency.  It is my experience that most people who work in the field are left-leaning and are probably registered as Democrats.  You might be surprised to learn that there are a lot of us conservatives.


Most of you have heard of NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard).  Having worked in the environmental field for over 25 years, I have run into a few.  It is not unusual for a NIMBY to gleefully point to another community to put their; incinerator, recycling station, halfway house, bank, nucular (I know) power station, etc.

Owls Aren’t Wise and Bats Aren’t Blind

Having grown up in the city, nature pretty much consisted of dogs, cats, squirrels, and pigeons.   My folks did buy some property in the country when I was six and that expanded my horizon.  We loved exploring the woods and streams nearby.  We saw nature, but really didn’t learn much.

When we had children, one of our favorite things to do was to take the brood on hikes.  Beyond blue jays, whitetail deer and bunnies I didn’t know about Mother Nature.   As we started to learn about the outdoors, we learned a lot.  One my favorite books on nature is Owls Aren’t Wise & Bats Aren’t Blind.  In this book Warner Shedd “debunks our favorite fallacies about wildlife.”