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3 Posts authored by: pujajavalagi Advocate

Barbara Brandl Denson, aka BB Denson, author of Gary the Go-Cart: Wind Blows, recently released a new children’s
book that tackles the idea of carbon sequestration, addressing the pros and the cons. In her new title,
Gary the Go-Cart: Carbon Comes Out of the Closet¸ Denson explains the inconvenient truth regarding the politics and money behind carbon storage.

 

What made you start writing the Gary the Go-Cart series?   

I work for an environmental company (Weston Solutions).  My job has been to listen to the problems that Oil and Gas Companies have, with the idea that when I hear about a problem for which we have a solution, I can whip something out of the Weston toolbox and say, “We can help you with that!”.  The more I heard the problems the oil field had, the more I realized that our number one problem is that everyone hates us and we do a terrible job of presenting our side of the equation.  Thus, I started writing these books.

 

More and more people have started discussing carbon sequestration and its benefits as well as its drawbacks. What drew you to this topic?

 

I attended conferences where I heard a multitude of scientists speak on the subject.  They were all quite passionate about how important carbon dioxide is to plant life and the environment and, how wrong it is to accuse it of causing climate change.  I understood what they were saying, however, it required a great deal of charts and graphs and technical terms that the average person either wouldn’t understand or wouldn’t take the time to understand.  I believe the message needs to be simplified.

 

Why is this an important topic for kids to be aware of?

 

The kids are the future.  We can’t have a whole generation growing up making their decisions on false assumptions.

 

You seem to have a passion for environmental awareness. Do you write in hopes of changing the minds of people who are “climate deniers” or are you hoping to just spread more awareness about the subject?

 

I want to encourage a fair dialogue on this subject.  I know that our climate is changing.  However, I also know that it has changed throughout earth’s history and will continue to change, no matter what we do and no matter what Al Gore says.

 

I know that today’s level of atmospheric carbon dioxide is significantly less than it has been in earth’s past and is not driving climate change.

 

 

What shaped your view on carbon sequestration/carbon storage?

 

Hearing the presentations I mentioned earlier.  A particularly good one is by Dr. Patrick Moore and here is a link to it.  Dr. Moore’s study goes back millions of years and shows how increased carbon levels are preceded by increased temperature, not the reverse. Sequestration of our carbon dioxide simply deprives plants of the food it needs.  I doubt many people are aware that commercial nurseries often pump carbon dioxide into their greenhouses to increase plant growth.  

 

The politics of energy has been a popular topic in the recent months. How important is it for us as citizens to be aware of the political process regarding energy related decisions?  

 

It is critical for citizens to be well versed on energy policy.  However, they should learn facts, not simply political slogans.  All too often the rabid environmental side has used fear and false scare tactics to gain monetarily.   Follow the money. Al Gore has made a lot of money off this controversy.

 

This new administration is filled with many climate change deniers. Is this the same as your “climate deniers” that you aim to educate?

 

I am in the camp that believes carbon dioxide is not a pollutant nor does it contribute to our changing climate. That is the message of this latest “Gary” book and one that I hope the public will learn.  

 

This might be a controversial question for you, but I would like to ask you anyways: Even if we continued to produce most of our electricity from burning fossil fuels, we could (in theory), cut carbon emissions by 80-85% through carbon capture and storage. Though the long term effects of carbon storage is not known, why would you say that carbon sequestration is not a viable method for sustainable production of energy?

 

The unnecessary sequestration of carbon is a significant added expense for no real benefit.  Our economy and our country should not be burdened with that expense.

 

Will you be writing another Gary the Go-Cart sequel? Can you give us a little sneak peak of what we can expect?

 

I do have more books planned.  However, the next book will not be a “Gary” book.  The next one is about a little girl who wishes that all oil and gas goes away and then discovers what that would happen to many of the everyday things in her life.

 

How can I get ahold of this book? 

 

If you would like to check out the book online, visit my the books' website, www.desidramus.com

You can also access my book through third party outlets such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other Independent Bookstores

 

(If you are interested in checking out my first book, you can find them at these links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Independent Bookstores.)

 

If you cannot find a reason to find the book, but would still like to support the project, please LIKE the GarytheGo-Cart facebook page !

Each year, the Society of Petroleum Engineers selects one qualified and dedicated member as their International President. This past year, this role fell to Pink Petro member Janeen JUdah. Ms. Judah, who is based out of Houston, has held many SPE leadership positions and was even named a Distinguished Member of SPE in 2003. Her list of accomplishments is endless, and is only getting longer. Thanks to Pink Petro, I was able to get a chance to learn more about her achievements and the work put in to get her to where she is now. 

 

Where did you study? What was your major?

I actually have four degrees. I got my Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M, followed by an MBA at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, followed again by a JD from the University of Houston Law Center. However, I would not recommend studying law after engineering. It is difficult to combine law and engineering as there are limited opportunities in the industry to effectively combine both petroleum engineering and law.

 

It is amazing that you will be the first female SPE president in more than a decade. Do you see yourself as a role model for young women? What strides do you hope to make regarding reaching out to budding engineers while in office?

I have learned that I am a role model whether I choose it or not. There are not a lot of women in any industry with engineering backgrounds to look up to. I embrace it and try to give advice to make other women’s paths easier because mine was hard. I try to give general life advice, especially when I get approached by millennials.

 

Speaking of work-life balance, how do you yourself balance work and life?

You don’t. It is difficult to get a perfect balance. I generally warn people who ask about balance because I don’t know any women that have had it all, all at one time. I would describe it as a juggling act. Sometimes, the work is more dominant, and sometimes, the family is dominant.

 

Students that want to get into management need to understand that management demands your time. There are choices that you’re going to have to make in your life, but there is no reason that you can’t have a wonderful career and family. Many people don’t realize that the technical ladder is more flexible. It is better for family and/or anyone on a dual career ladder and you can get almost as high as you would on a managerial ladder.

 

In your JPT article, you discuss the importance of environmental stewardship. I believe that not enough people talk about the environmental aspect of petroleum engineering. Many people think that all oil products are ruining the environment. How do you hope to address that/change that?

 

At this point and time, there is not much for the industry to do to overcome the general media view of climate change because facts are often not relevant. Everything you do has an impact on the world around you. I learned firsthand dealing with the full life cycle of what we do when designing projects. Most people are not used to designing projects keeping the end of its life in mind. It is our job as an industry to minimize our impact and our footprint through these designs. An investment now will pay off in 40 years. No one cared about their footprint in the 1930’s, but we are getting bad press now because of this.

 

Pink Petro and others conducted a survey, Energy 2021 regarding the loss of talent during this downturn. What are your predictions? Do you believe that people will come back after the downturn?

 

There was a big influx of people between the 70’s and the 80’s that came in all at once. A majority of these folks have left the industry in this downturn.  Many of my peers are retiring now. The big crew change has mostly happened. So how do you deal with gearing back up again? This generation is starting to hand the reins off to a younger generation, allowing them to take leadership roles. Many of the older generation might come back, but probably in consulting roles rather than full time employees.

 

Have you had any mentoring/coaching that has helped you in your career?

 

Yes, but I haven’t had as much of it as I would have liked. There almost no women ahead of me, so I didn’t have women around to give me advice. All of my mentors have been men. I get asked to mentor a lot, but I can’t be every woman’s mentor, so I do a lot of public speaking and I try to be active on social media to make myself accessible. 

 

What advice do you give to the new generation of young petroleum engineers entering the industry in a downturn?

 

Our downturns are more spectacular because they get lots of press.

 

My biggest piece of advice is “Persevere through hard times. When things aren’t going great, don’t quit.” Society gives us women permission to quit.

 

I also advise people to search their heart. Why did I choose engineering? I was a problem solver, not a math wizard. I struggled through calculus just like everyone else. Perseverance will get you through it.

 

Lastly, life happens. Sticking through the hard things is worthwhile, whether it is differential equations or the current state of the business.

 

Thanks to Janeen JUdah for taking the time to talk to us at Pink Petro! #Janeen2017

 

What advice do you have for young engineers, readers? Comment Below!

Pink Petro member and petropreneur™ Claudette Hayle is known for being her own boss. Claudette, with all of her 
experience with start ups, provides consulting services as well as access to capital for financing partnerships 
aimed at providing profitable solutions that incorporates Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors for solving local and global challenges. I got the chance to talk to her about her business ventures, as well as what she does when she isn't hard at work managing her firm, Cygnus Energy Group, LLC. 

 

 

Me: Where did you go to school? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?

Claudette: I attended York University, where I studied Math and Computer Science. At the time, I was a young parent. I worked for the CVS Superstore for Financial Systems, and three years later, I started my own company. I began by providing technical professionals to work as consultants. This was during the time many companies were going from paper to online. This began my journey as an entrepreneur. I sold the company and began advising other women led companies about capital raising and capital structure. I found myself on Governer Pattacke’s board of advisors. I began to get more involved with women entrepreneurship. I learned how to be a government contractor. More specifically, I learned how to leverage your skills and how to leverage your opportunities.

 

Me: Did you think that you would end up working in energy while you were in school?

Claudette: Not exactly. I wanted to be in technology and entrepreneurship. However, it was visible that energy and finance converged. As I looked at the hedgefund market, I saw how people traded energy, and I became very interested. From an entrepreneurial perspective, I wanted to be on the side where the fuel was going to be a refined product. Upstream takes a different kind of capital and a different kind of skillset. Downstream is where a lot of the action takes place.

 

Me: You have been in various positions, one of them being a congressional candidate. Could you tell me about your experience? Would you do it again?

Claudette: It was a great experience. As an entrepreneur, you think about politics and taxes and regulations and how it will affect your community. As a congressional candidate, it was my job to think about the issues, community development, and to really see how entrepreneurship plays into the community. I was invited to do it, and through the experience, I learned that I did not want to be a politician. The whole experience gave me a lot of perspective, but I don’t believe I would do it again.

 

Me: You are a mentor to students at Baruch College. How do you think mentors had a role in your career?

Claudette: I had very significant mentors. My mentors made me look at business from a common sense perspective. They taught me that human capital is very important, and most of all, they taught me to always be my own boss. In my experience, you are handed opportunities to make a difference. It is your job to always go in from a perspective to make things better. Have a passion. For me, that was running a business. Business becomes a person that you are obligated to. There are multiple days where the day is longer than your typical 9-5 job. It becomes more of a 24 job, but it is important to remember that employees come first. Sometimes you will make sure that you take care of all the business before you take care of yourself, but it is important to remember that for the business to thrive, you have to thrive.

 

Me: As a mentor, do you do any work to empower women and help advance their careers?

Claudette: I have a different mentor guide for young men and women. They have different issues that they are thinking about. I worked with a young man who was very bright, but also had to be very grounded.  When someone outside of your direct circle is telling you that you are able to do something, it can be affirming and they can go out and perform well. It is all about the evolution of confidence.

 

Me: What is the best piece of advice a mentor has given you?

Claudette: Whatever you have decided that you are going to do in your life, you have to be passionate about it because if you are not passionate about it, you will not sustain when difficulty comes. Be excited about your work. When you do so, your brain is working in a heightened state. Accomplish the things you are passionate about. Passion is your fuel.

 

Me: How do you achieve your perfect work-life balance?

Claudette: Schedules! Also, setting a list of goals. I am organized in my mind so I am motivated to accomplish certain goals. I also take a day off where I don’t work at all. Instead, I turn my phone off and read, allowing myself to recharge.

 

Me: In all your different projects, did you ever have to deal with any discrimination?

Claudette: I understand that discrimination exists, but I never go into a situation thinking that someone is going to discriminate against me. I was raised in Jamaica and came to the US when I was 18. I grew up seeing people of color being the people in positions of power. I never thought anyone was going to discriminate me because of the color of my skin. I never let that stop me. Your mind is a powerful tool, greater than any external forces. You control the way you are perceived and what you can accomplish. Your mind is your power. Don’t attract negative energy to you.

 

Me: Of all the things you have pursued in your career, which has been your best/most memorable experience?

Claudette: One of my most memorable experiences was when I was on an interview to pitch to a government contractor who had planned to give a huge contract to the subcontractors who were selected. I went in as one of the only minority applicants and they looked surprised. I pitched my company well and in the end, my company was awarded the grant. In fact, the man who was at the head of the contracting company became one of my mentors. Never judge a book by its cover, and don’t let things discourage you too much. They might think you are just a fly on the wall, but it is your job to show how hard you can fight to win.