Unfortunate subsets of some militant environmental groups believe that anyone who uses the land, including quite responsibly, is an enemy.
Geobacter can clean up uranium but a new study documenting how microbes generate electricity while cleaning up nuclear waste and other toxic metals could mean a big benefit for contaminated sites in the future.
Identifying the Geobacters' conductive pili (nanowires - hair-like appendages found on the outside of Geobacters) as doing the bulk of the work is a new revelation. The nanowires also shield Geobacter and allow the bacteria to thrive in a toxic environment.
The Lacey Act is one of few government regulations I have praised
for its effectiveness. Few government regulations are actually designed to help anyone, they are either designed to hobble someone in order to artificially level the playing field or they are designed to boost a special interest. This act levels the playing field, but for the benefit of companies that are ethical.
One of the stranger claims of anti-science hippies is that there is not only a difference between 'organic' food (and apparently 'inorganic' food, whatever that could be) in structure - and if you believe that, go read Huffington Post, I won't take it personally - but also in nutrition.
We got a tenth of an inch of rain yesterday -- such a microscopic amount. The pond levels are down five feet from normal. It's much less than the water level drop in areas like Lake Travis in Austin, but that's still drastic.
I've been monitoring the ponds at Trinity River Audubon Center, and as I walked the margins of Great Blue Heron Pond, it occurred to me that although I was watching the nearby grasslands that I hadn't walked into our tiny remnant patch of woodlands (Longacre Woods) to see what impact the drought was having. Because I hadn't gone to investigate before, this was more a preliminary survey hike than an observation of changes.
The drought continues and our ponds shrink at Trinity River Audubon Center. I'm torn between fascination about the process and worried for the life and diversity that we've worked so hard to nurture. The floodplain ponds will come back with the first flood -- and they're the ones with the highest diversity. But the ponds that were gone had a fairly low diversity... they were young ponds (deliberately formed during the brownfield remediation process, backed with a waterproof cloth, and planted (basically environmentally created swimming pools) and were just starting to develop.
University of Alberta researcher David Bressler has an idea for the future of recycling.
Using throwaway parts of beef carcasses that were sidelined from the value-added production process after Mad-cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE) damaged the Canadian beef industry in 2003, Bressler has collaborated with industry, government and other researchers to forge cattle proteins into heavy-duty plastics that could soon be used in everything from car parts to CD cases.
Assuming you don't have the space for a smelly compost heap but want to be as environmentally responsible as possible, what’s the most
responsible way to dispose of a banana peel, or any other food waste?
A new study about the impact of various food waste disposal systems says putting it into a garbage disposer results in lower global warming potential than putting it in the trash and sending it to a landfill.
“What do you think we’ll fight World War III over?”
It was an interesting question for a third date, and the first thing my (now ex-) boyfriend and I disagreed on. I said “cheap oil” and he answered “water.”
Our difference of opinion was largely a product of our upbringings. I was raised on thunderstorms and flooded basements back East, while he grew up amid droughts and “water wars” in California.
Months after we parted ways, I was reminded of that conversation as I drove through California’s Central Valley, past billboards plastered with water propaganda and tractors shadowed by dust clouds.
As with everything, my insatiable curiosity leads me to adventures. This past week I went on a hike to one of the remote areas of Trinity River Audubon Center to view a pond that I hadn't seen before (because you have to hack your way through a lot of brush to get there, and I'd never gotten around to it.) It's been hot here in Texas (you may have noticed) but the sight of the pond itself was eerie. The shores had receded nearly 40 feet in some areas and there were dead carp (skeletons) strewn on the shoreline and at least 40 large dead mussels. Wading birds were wading in the water, but it wasn't very deep water.