Pre-refined gas is a mixture of methane and propane that comes from natural gas wells. Pre-refined means that it hasn’t yet been refined into natural gas for energy. It is an extremely flammable gas and a hazard that is managed in the oil and gas industry. It’s not something you should have to worry about blowing up your home. Unfortunately a pipeline leaked this gas into a house in Firestone, CO. The house was built only a few hundred feet from a natural gas well. The leaking gas ignited in the house and the explosion killed 2 people. You can read more about this tragedy here. I’ve been asked about this several times since it happened. Therefore, here’s the basic how and why. Continue reading
This is part of a series where I examine interesting pieces of environmental art.
The image to the right is a photo of an aerosol spray can explosion inside a flammable storage cabinet. The can wasn’t old and there wasn’t any fire or unusual heat or pressure added. It made this cool splash on the door and sides, with the rest of the paint soaking the bottom. I was surprised when I opened the cabinet. I think my reactions were, “What the?” and then, “Cool.” Is this environmental art? It is art at all since it was unintentional? I think the unintentional part makes it better than if it was deliberate. In fact, there seems to be a whole class of unintentional or accidental art. I thought it was interesting enough to take a photo of it. Therefore, I’m calling it art. Continue reading
“It’s easy to be Puff, but it’s harder to be Sean.” That’s a great line in the song, I’m Coming Home by Sean “Diddy” Combs*. I can relate to that. I’ve created two self brands. One is this blog, The National Environmental Professional. It has become the brand I relate to my professional lifestyle. The other is RMP Productions, which is my more fun, media production brand. I’ve kept them separate since I created this blog. Now it’s time to consolidate them to one in a brand experiment. Puffy Daddy, Sean Jean, Puffy, P. Diddy, Diddy… If it can work for Sean, it can work for me. Continue reading
“Without clean water there is no beer.” That’s a great slogan for a brewery that supports clean water. I was drinking a Winter Storm Imperial ESB from Heavy Seas Beer when I saw, “Can’t make great beer without clean water!” printed on the label. I don’t remember seeing a brewery that was this open, direct, and to the point with its commitment to an environmental cause. The Clean Water Fund logo and information was right there on the back label. I was curious to know more about Heavy Seas Beer’s support of the Clean Water Fund.
I enjoy the environment of beer and reached out to them to learn more. Fred Crudder, Director of Marketing & Hospitality, responded and was happy to tell the story of their support of the Clean Water Fund. Thanks also to Christine Shaffer, PR & Communications. They invited me to the brewery to meet. Unfortunately they are in Baltimore and I’m in Denver. If you’re in Baltimore or the mid-Atlantic and want a good beer that supports a good cause, stop in for a pint. Have one for me, too. Continue reading
Methane emissions and coal mining have received attention from the current Federal government administration. You can read about the regulations and policy here, here, or here. Instead of rehashing all of that, I want to take a look at the hazardous properties of these chemicals. Let’s get a little hazmat’ish today and address the hazards of methane and coal processing chemicals.
First, I breakdown the health and environmental impacts of methane. Methane emissions can be part of the gas flaring at oil and gas production sites. Then I look at a few of the chemicals involved in coal processing. They are the unsaid, and often unknown, part of “clean coal.” Continue reading
What are the worst things you do for the environment? I’m not referring to deliberately dumping oils or toxins, or hunting the last of a species. I’m referring to those activities that you may take for granted. These are actions you take due to a combination of choice, comfort, convenience, and necessity, such as heating your home with fossil fuels. Even though I work in the environmental field, there are several day-to-day actions I take that I know are not environmentally friendly. So this post was both for me and you.
Below I identify the five worst things I do to the environment, plus five more that you might do. There is one action you can take, or may have taken, that is beginning to stand above the rest for its potential negative impact on the environment. That is to vote for and/or support an elected official who opposes environmental protection.
The top five worst things I do to the environment. I discuss the impact of each below.
A friend of mine, a hydrologist doing actual hydrology, simplified something I’ve been thinking about. He said when his work crosses over to the environmental field it’s like a vacation. There’s no charts or data to analyze. It’s simply check-the-box, compliance, and explaining. “There’s no real science anymore.” That’s the line that hit me. Although I refer to myself as an environmental scientist, I’d been thinking about how I do little actual science. Then he said it. “There’s no real science left in the environmental field.” Bam! He’s right, from a certain point of view. Is science gone from the environmental field? Continue reading