Environmental Enlightenment #203
By Ami Adini - Reissued May 19, 2017

This is a SHORT, LIGHT and SIMPLE newsletter. Its purpose is to rekindle in the initiated terminology they have once learned, and enlighten the uninitiated on terms they may have heard but never knew the meaning of.

Power of Simplicity
The EPA’s Citizen’s Guide to Cleanup Technologies

Series 4: Greener Cleanups

See our Newsletter, Environmental Enlightenment #200, for introduction to one highly valuable, plainly written series of Citizen’s Guides published by the EPA at http://www.clu-in.org/products/citguide

With this issue we introduce the EPA’s Citizen’s Guide to Greener Cleanups. You can reach it through the hyperlink under the blue header below.


Energy is the capacity for work or vigorous activity.

Do Not Wake Sleeping Gorilla
Photo courtesy of King Kong Wiki  (http://kingkong.wikia.com/wiki/)

The word derives from Greek energia, from ergon, work.

(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, ©2000 Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.)

Readily perceptible, natural forms of energy are winds, rivers, waterfalls, ocean waves, ocean streams, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, geysers, hot springs, solar rays, snow, rain, thunderbolts, tides and flows, fire, combustible materials, and… charging gorillas.

2011 Wildlife Photographer of the Year (Natural History Museum, London, and BBC Wildlife Magazine: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/ and http://www.bbcwildlifemagazine.com/)
© Andy Rouse/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011

Natural forms of energy not readily perceptible are radioactive rays, cosmic rays, solar winds, planetary magnetism, rotation and internal structures, solar fusion, lunar orbiting, galactic gravity, and radioactivity.


File:Earth internal structure.png
Diagram courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey

Probably better than 90 percent of the energy that we use on Earth originates with the sun. Counted among this class are fossil energy (petroleum, coal and gas) (*), solar energy, and hydroelectric and wind energies.

(*) (Abiogenic Petroleum Origin theory to the contrary. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenic_petroleum_origin)

At this time, petroleum, coal and natural gas provide over 85 percent of the power that makes the human race tick. (Wikipedia)

The energy that went into the making of fossil fuels took hundreds of millions of years to accumulate, and we’re burning it at a rate of millions of times faster.

No need to employ esoteric calculus to comprehend that fossil-fuel-derived energy has limits. Be it a hundred years or two hundred years, or a bit more: in the not too far future, the human race will have it exhausted.


Additionally, all fossil fuel is organic and its combustion locks oxygen within carbon dioxide and water.

Illustration by Jecowa, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic License

 We need trees and plants, lots of trees and plants to release the oxygen thus trapped.

In cleaning up soils and groundwater from contaminants, we should be wise to not pay for it with increased deprivation of oxygen or release of greenhouse gas.

Go to the EPA’s Citizen’s Guide to Greener Cleanups at http://www.clu-in.org/download/Citizens/a_citizens_guide_to_greener_cleanups.pdf for the rest.

It will prompt your wits to greener pastures!

You can find past issues of "Environmental Enlightenment" at www.amiadini.com with wealth of information about issues concerning assessment and cleanup of contamination in the subsurface soil and groundwater.

Call me if you have any questions. There are no obligations.

Ami Adini Environmental Services, Inc.
Environmental Engineering Consultants & Contractors
Underground Storage Tank Experts
California Lic. #1009513 A B HAZ ASB
818-824-8102; mail@amiadini.com

Ami Adini is a mechanical engineer, California Registered Environmental Assessor, Level II (Exp.), and president of AMI ADINI ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES, INC. (AAES), an environmental engineering consulting firm and general contractors specializing in all phases of environmental site assessments, rehabilitation of contaminated sites and upgrading of underground storage tank facilities. AAES provides practical solutions to environmental concerns using the highest standards of ethics and integrity while providing its clients with maximum return on their investments.