ABC Wednesday – “N” is for …


First up “N” is for Natural Gas!! That is what I do for a living. It’s kind of hard to take a picture of though because it is odorless and colorless. (The odor you associate with it is added before it gets to your house.) Above are pictured natural gas compressors in the Woodford Shale Field east of Oklahoma City. My job involves optimizing the use of these machines to maximize the production of natural gas while minimizing costs (consistent with safe operation).

Believe it or not, I am on the sustainability team at work as optimization is all about sustainability. Do I believe in man-made global warming? Yep, I do. I also believe in hot showers! I am an “all the above” on energy and I think we are headed toward green energy faster than what most people think. I follow the trends and stats. Wind and Solar is taking market share away from natural gas (for electric power generation) and gas is taking away market share from coal and nuclear, and is barely holding its own. The growth in natural gas production is export. Energy for transportation (gasoline for our cars) will be the hard part.

I love the idea of nuclear power but I am not sure we are going to restart that. I am reading “Midnight in Chernobyl” by Adam Higginbotham and there are some chilling passages, especially about the plant management who refused to believe that a reactor core had literally exploded and insisted that they had it under control, when actually their reactor core graphite was all over the countryside and there was literally no reactor left to cool. I can tell you from first hand experience that the human capacity for denial is infinite. (Oops I digress, I am bad about that!)


N is also for Neon. This is Orphas’s Lounge in downtown Tulsa. I have been stepping over the drunks passed out at its front door since I’ve been working in Tulsa since 1992 (admittedly a rare occurrence.) My goal is to go inside and have a beer one of these days before I retire. As old as I am though, I am too young to die!!


N is for National Guard Armory. This one is a now privately owned one in Haskell, Oklahoma about an hour or so from Tulsa. Remember when all the towns had one it seemed. They used to be almost community centers. Not any longer for some reason.

So that’s about it!! I am linking with ABC Wednesday

6 thoughts on “ABC Wednesday – “N” is for …

  1. Mama Pajama

    I’m glad you recognize and understand the importance of global warming, and I hope you’re right about wind and solar being the norm before too long. nuclear and coal should be retired for oh so many reasons, natural gas is a finite resource we need to move past our dependance on, and fracking is a horrible travesty that shouldn’t be allowed to continue. hope the drunks don’t trip you up on your way into that bar, someday!

  2. Linda

    Excellent post. I think you are right about energy, and also about human fallibility. We are all Homer Simpson at some point.

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