Ahem, may I speak?

Photo of Betsy AgarA little bit ironic, as I have been known to talk over top of people, Ahem, may I speak is the online manifestation of years of opinionating (opinionizing? opinionoozing?). What grew out of an accidental foray into freelance writing has developed into a habit.  As an engineer, people do not expect a me to be a writer—neither did I—but as an environmentalist and egalitarian, I can’t resist putting finger to keyboard and playing with words.

Graduating into an industry of new construction, I wrestled with conflicting selves:  Environmentalist v. Engineer, and thought I’d broken middle ground in Building Science. Applying my technical training to rejuvenation of aging buildings was a would-be perfect integration, but for the cost of renovation compared with new builds – so much for rejuvenation and renewal.

Not only that, but I am continually disappointed by the streaming of traditional engineering fields.  Environmental Engineering institutionalized as its own discipline but it is in fact a mindset that MUST string through all engineering fields.  So, I left.

My mandate to live within limits without limiting life, lead me to complete a masters in engineering. My dissertation was primarily a study about monitoring waste collection fleet efficiency, but I snuck in my expertise with my environmentalism by adding an element about vehicle emissions – which remains one of the leading reasons other researchers cite our work…

Shelves of catalogued mining cores

Mine cores at the Britannia Mine Museum, Squamish, BC

A shift into research was formative, and the Environmentalist Engineer, quickly became the Egalitarian as well.  In particular, my experiences teaching at McMaster University lead me to understand the inextricable nature of social justice in environmental questions of resource depletion and allocation.  My concept of sustainability morphed from a political talking point into a worldview.

All of that said, I am also a mom. Recently I started a new blog about feeding my family of Meat Eating Vegans. Our modus operandi: No Eggs No Milk No Mushrooms! Allergies suck, but eating doesn’t have to.

Tread lightly,


Live within limits without limiting life


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