Category Archives: Top 5

Top 5 Environmentally Influential Places in the US

Teddy Roosevelt said, “I have always said I would not have been President had it not been for my experience in North Dakota.” I would not have my environmental perspective had it not been for these 5 places. As an environmental professional, I work to create a balance between a clean beautiful natural environment, human health, useable land, and productive facilities. Therefore, my Top 5 environmentally influential places are the following.

1. Southwestern and Central Pennsylvania, for its geology and geography. The old rocks, rolling hills and valleys, the landslides, the coal. It’s where I developed an appreciation for earth sciences. First, on my own spending time in those hills and valleys and second. Second, it’s where I studied geology at Penn State University.

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Top 5 Worst Things You Do To the Environment

wyoming coal rail car

Coal on its way to be burned to power and cool your home and office.

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.

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Top 5 Songs with Environmental Messages

This list isn’t just the most environmentally emotional or Earth Day-type songs. It’s the Top 5 songs that combine an environmental message, good music, and are enjoyable. You can enjoy each of these songs without the message, but once your listen to the lyrics it takes the song to a new level of meaning. I’d love to hear your additions to the list. 

1. Mercy Mercy Me – Marvin Gaye

Can there be another choice for #1? No. It’s a beautiful song by a legendary artist and I’m guessing many of the people that enjoy this song have never appreciated the lyrics. It’s beautiful and unfortunately still relevant. “Ah, things ain’t what they used to be.”

 2. (Nothing But) Flowers – Talking Heads

 “There was a factory. Now there are mountains and rivers.”

“We used to microwave. Now we just eat nuts and berries”

A close second, describing a world where progress and industry have been reverted back to a natural state.

 3. The Trees – Rush

 “And the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, ax, and saw.”

This song isn’t about the environment at all. It has another strong theme that I’ll let you figure out on your own. But I always liked how this last line of the song added more levels.

 4. ½-Full – Pearl Jam

 “Won’t someone save? Won’t someone save…the world?”

This is one of those rockin’ Pearl Jam songs that you first enjoy just listening to Ed’s garbled lyrics. After listening a few more times you pick up the lyrics and then it makes this list!

 5. Godzilla – Blue Oyster Cult

 “History shows again and again; how nature points out the folly of men.”

 Yes, yes it does. But really, this song is just fun!

Bonus Track: Styrofoam – Fugazi

“We are all bigots, so full of hatred, we release our poisons like styrofoam.”

This is another song that has a meaning beyond the environment. But let’s look at the context of it’s release. In 1989 the issue of styrofoam being non-biodegradable and poisonous to the environment was prevalent. That’s enough for me to include it in the list. And Fugazi is great!

Update 7/5/2013: A reader emailed with a plea to add this one. Although it just makes me think of the movie Major League.
Burn On – Randy Newman