Category: environment

Wildfires And Box Fans

As shocking as the evening television news videos have been of the wildfires across the western United States and Canada, yesterday’s story in the Seattle Times, by Christine Clarridge, used a Mordor comparison in her title: “Like Mordor: A Central Washington town had the… Continue Reading “Wildfires And Box Fans”

Brown Foam

When the frackers began to ramp- up their fracking activities in our county, just over a decade ago, my greatest pollution concerns were for our streams, rivers and lakes. It made perfect sense then, and even more sense now, as we have seen repeated… Continue Reading “Brown Foam”

Poisoning Pennsylvania

We had yet another ‘Stuck on Stupid’ moment this week when news emerged about the use of ‘Forever Chemicals’ in hydraulic fracturing of shale oil and gas wells. Approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency! This comes on the heels of past revelations about… Continue Reading “Poisoning Pennsylvania”

Its the Beetles!

Along with Independence Day, Lightning Bugs, and the heat and humidity in western Pennsylvania, July brings back the Beetles! Not the singing type, more the chewing type. These buggers are primarily known for the lawn damage they cause, which seems especially noticeable on lawns… Continue Reading “Its the Beetles!”

More Frac Fluid Fears

While the oil and gas industry is attempting to rebrand some of its fracked gas as being more ‘green,’ and to spin ‘unnatural gas’ in a more positive light, yesterday’s newspaper stories reminded those of us who follow fracking of their long- running, and… Continue Reading “More Frac Fluid Fears”

Going Solar With Large Trees

When we first landscaped our house, nearly 40 years ago, we made sure to plant a large growing Maple on the west side. That planting location came very close to the concept of planting a large deciduous tree on the southwest side of a… Continue Reading “Going Solar With Large Trees”

Lightning Bugs Are Back

While some call them Fireflies or Glowworms, we’ve always called them Lightning Bugs. Here in southwestern Pennsylvania they seem synonymous with the 4th of July, for the timing of their annual nocturnal appearance. True to form, it was nice to see their blinking yellow… Continue Reading “Lightning Bugs Are Back”

Extreme Heat

The dark red colors on yesterday’s weather map of the Pacific Northwest exemplified the harrowing tale of climate change, with several states and part of Canada, setting new records for extreme heat under what is called a ‘heat dome.’ One recent tweet included this… Continue Reading “Extreme Heat”

Death To Lawns?

The perfect home lawn has been the illusive goal of many, and rarely achieved for any length of time by most. You see, new lawns have what is known as a “honeymoon period,” which could be compared to the “7 year itch,” since that’s… Continue Reading “Death To Lawns?”

Fracking With Fitz

Following a recent protest in front of the City County building in downtown Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Allegheny County executive Rich Fitzgerald made a few erroneous statements to the Press, according to a recent story by Eric de Place, a research fellow at the Ohio River… Continue Reading “Fracking With Fitz”

Compressor Stations

The progression of Marcellus Shale oil and gas development, processing, and export in western Pennsylvania has gone like this: 1. Seismic Surveys – Widespread exploration began with seismic surveys, that used “thumper trucks” and shot holes with explosive charges, to determine what the underground… Continue Reading “Compressor Stations”

Nonfunctional Grass

In all my many years of landscaping and lawn maintenance, I had never heard the term “nonfunctional grass” until yesterday. That’s the term being used to describe certain turfgrass areas, actually 31 percent of the turf in the Las Vegas area, which can no… Continue Reading “Nonfunctional Grass”

Fracking Setbacks

As more peer- reviewed health studies are completed around unconventional gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing across the United States, more mothers, doctors, and local citizens are calling for greater setbacks from these industrial- grade activities that are used to drill and frac Marcellus Shale… Continue Reading “Fracking Setbacks”

4 Million Reasons

Our Washington County, Pennsylvania has a long, disturbing history when it comes to football field sized impoundments, 15 to 20 feet deep, which are used by the oil and gas industry to ‘hold’ their liquid waste, or should we say, are supposed to hold… Continue Reading “4 Million Reasons”

Code Orange Doubleheader

The weather is playing a doubleheader in the Pittsburgh region this weekend, with Sunday being the second of back- to- back CODE ORANGE weather alerts. Code Orange days cause problems for young children, the elderly, and those with respiratory issues like asthma, emphysema, and… Continue Reading “Code Orange Doubleheader”

Savings and Savings

A recent blog by Barry Kresch, of the EV Club of Connecticut, had this catchy headline: “Tesla Police Vehicle Saves Westport Tens of Thousands of Dollars.” Big Oil doesn’t want to read this story! According to a detailed analysis, the Tesla Model 3 not… Continue Reading “Savings and Savings”

TENORM Mountains

You’ve probably heard of the Allegheny Mountains. Also known as the Appalachian Mountain Range, it extends 400 miles through Pennsylvania, and several other states. As famous as those mountains are, Pennsylvania is now becoming known more for the 30 new “mountains” that it’s creating,… Continue Reading “TENORM Mountains”

Canada’s Best

Andrew Nikiforuk’s headline says it best, “The Brutal Legal Odyssey of Jessica Ernst Comes to an End. The Alberta landowner fought an epic battle against fracking interests.” Jessica shares her amazing story on her blog: Ernst v. EnCana Corporation. Andrew Nikiforuk knows her story… Continue Reading “Canada’s Best”

Pennsylvania Fracking Reform

Pennsylvania legislators and our Attorney General are promoting new, overdue legislation, to help protect Pennsylvanians from the drilling and fracking of the unconventional oil and gas industry. PUBLIC HERALD has been head and shoulders above the rest of the media outlets, in reporting the… Continue Reading “Pennsylvania Fracking Reform”

The Fracking Sandbox – Part 2

In my Saturday May 22 blog ‘THE FRACKING SANDBOX’ we looked at frac sand, from cradle to grave, so to speak. And on that second point, I’m not even sure I pointed out how much of this sand, contaminated by hydraulic fracturing, ends up… Continue Reading “The Fracking Sandbox – Part 2”

Recuse Yourself Judge!

There’s no way a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge should be ruling on a court case, involving gas drilling and municipal zoning, when he was a cheerleader for Act 13, drilling and fracking, and the Shell cracker plant, for over a decade! Last I heard,… Continue Reading “Recuse Yourself Judge!”

Returning The Favor

There was a lively debate going on in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, eight years ago, regarding the potential leasing of the DEER LAKES PARK gas rights. Concerned citizens filled the chambers of multiple Allegheny County Council meetings, in an attempt to get a ‘No’ vote… Continue Reading “Returning The Favor”

On Deaf Ears

My persistent efforts, and extensively researched comments, were shared with our Washington County commissioners over the past decade, and did nothing to prevent our premiere county park from being used as a ‘cash cow’ to produce revenue, from oil and gas drilling and fracking.… Continue Reading “On Deaf Ears”

Republicans Love Fracking

A group of environmental reporters, recently polled Pennsylvania legislators, for their reactions on the results of some disturbing health studies, both past and present, regarding those citizens who live in close proximity to unconventional oil and gas well drilling and fracking, primarily in southwestern… Continue Reading “Republicans Love Fracking”

Crypto Climate Change

Who knew that the next wave of destructive mining would gobble up huge amounts of electricity, further delaying our transition from fossil fuels? Yup, Bitcoin mining. The new energy hog. For those who don’t understand how this 21st Century “mining” works, and why it… Continue Reading “Crypto Climate Change”

Fracked By Zoning

Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court will hear arguments on an important case on fracking, as it relates to residential zoning, this Monday. Those who have followed fracking closely in Pennsylvania, over the past decade, recall alarming legislation that was passed by our state legislature, known as… Continue Reading “Fracked By Zoning”

Artificial Turf

Artificial Turf and P.F.A.S. Years ago, when our Peters Township high school switched its football field from natural grass to artificial turf, I was asking one of the right questions: Where will the artificial turf get disposed of when it’s replaced after 10 years?… Continue Reading “Artificial Turf”

Rain Gauge

How much rain did we get? Weather can be very localized, so it’s hard to know how much rain you actually got without a rain gauge. Checking our rain gauge this morning, I see we got just over one-inch of rain over the past… Continue Reading “Rain Gauge”

March Gladness

After two terrible months for rooftop solar energy production, it was great to see a $7.29 electric bill for March. On top of frequent and persistent snowfalls keeping our front 18 solar panels covered with snow for the first two months of 2021, solar… Continue Reading “March Gladness”

Fracked in Pennsylvania

Peer reviewed health studies have shown greater health risks for those living within one-mile of a gas well site. Look how close this house is to a well pad! Wastewater impoundments have been an ongoing problem in western Pennsylvania, in fact, I thought they… Continue Reading “Fracked in Pennsylvania”

Environmental Destruction 101 = FRACKING

Cut down all the trees, which helps to promote climate change, eliminate wildlife habitat, increase runoff making flooding worse, toxify millions of gallons of water while making some radioactive, pollute the air with methane and diesel truck fumes to haul-in strip mined frac sand… Continue Reading “Environmental Destruction 101 = FRACKING”

Backwards Pennsylvania

Backward thinking state senators in Pennsylvania are NOT thinking about a cleaner future for Pennsylvanians… you, your kids, your grandkids. State senators like Gene Yaw(n) are working hard, to keep those of us who live in the Commonwealth, stuck in a ‘fossil-fool past.’ Yaw… Continue Reading “Backwards Pennsylvania”

‘Seaspiracy’ Documentary

Wow, talk about an eye-opener! I’ve seen more than my share of videos about the alarming state of Mother Earth when it comes to climate change, but this viral video on Netflix ventures down some new ‘dark alleyways!’ All that plastic polluting our oceans…… Continue Reading “‘Seaspiracy’ Documentary”

Clean Air and Pure Water

The man who wrote those words into Pennsylvania’s Environmental Rights Amendment 50 years ago, has authored a new book, to be released on Earth Day. We just learned of this new book in the PA Environment Digest Blog which included this: It’s a crying… Continue Reading “Clean Air and Pure Water”

W&J College Campus Trees

Far different story than the myth about George Washington and the Cherry tree! WASHINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA – Washington & Jefferson College in Washington County has earned renewal of its Level I Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum.  As of April… Continue Reading “W&J College Campus Trees”

Flower Power

This solar energy “flower” fascinated me the first time I saw it! It gives true meaning to the term “flower power!” The first time we saw it was on the way into a Christmas concert at Trinity High School in Washington, Pennsylvania. The solar… Continue Reading “Flower Power”

Dust to Dust

Composting on a human scale A couple years ago, a friend from West Virginia opted to have a green burial. I’d gotten to know Bill through our photography and environmental work on oil and gas issues, aka ‘fracking.’ We also had a shared interest… Continue Reading “Dust to Dust”

‘Free Energy’ from the Sun Keeps Getting Cheaper

99.99% Price Drop! From $76 per watt in 1977, the cost of silicon solar cells has fallen to $0.20 per watt in 2020 (full story) With the recent 2-year extension of the US Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for installing residential solar systems, your reasons… Continue Reading “‘Free Energy’ from the Sun Keeps Getting Cheaper”

‘Plum Crazy’ Injection Well Permit

Citizens and environmental groups call on Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf to revoke this permit Injection wells are used by the drilling and fracking industry to dispose of toxic flowback and produced water from oil and gas wells. Huge volumes of this toxic liquid waste return… Continue Reading “‘Plum Crazy’ Injection Well Permit”

Trees & Shrubs for Pennsylvania Wildlife

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is selling bundles of trees and shrubs for a very reasonable price! 2021 Tree Seedlings Index“The Tree Seedlings Index for 2021 has the most variety of tree and shrub species offered by the Game Commission’s Howard Nursery: 9 evergreens, 8… Continue Reading “Trees & Shrubs for Pennsylvania Wildlife”