Storytellng can shape a culture. That’s a powerful statement. It is a statement that reminds and reassures me why I created this website. I created it to tell the stories of the people making an impact on the environmental field. There isn’t a thorough understanding of what environmental professionals do or how they live their life. Those outside the field barely have a surficial understanding of what we do. I wasn’t thinking about culture when I started; I just wanted to give environmental professionals a place to tell their stories. If I’m influencing the culture, well that’s pretty cool.
I tell a lot of stories while teaching hazardous material, waste and other environmental classes. Most of the time I’m just telling stories. I’m a stand-up environmental story teller. And it works. The students take more away from the course when they hear a good Hazmat-related story than merely discussing the difference between flammable, combustible, and ignitable. I remember teaching a course for the USGS and one student saying, “Just tell us another gruesome story.” That’s when I realized the power of these stories.
Here’s a sampling of those stories – a guy who chugged a soda bottle full of oil; confined space entry incidents; a surfer’s exposure to stormwater; refinery explosions, uncovering buried canisters of toxins, and any story to do with dihydrogen monoxide.
There is power in storytelling. I’ll keep telling them to my classes and to anyone reading this site. Here’s 3 of my favorite quotes about storytelling.
“Those who tell the stories rule the world.”
-Hopi American Indian Proverb
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
“Great stories happen to those who can tell them.”