Do you like that title? I can't help it, I hear that song from Robin Hood every time I see the word 'oekologie' so hum along with me and enjoy episode #16.
First, I can't take credit for finding most of the terrific stuff contained in here. We're big fans of community events like this so we bothered everyone we could to help find good stuff rather than stay passive and just use submissions that got sent in. As a result, we got some terrific work that was done over the last month. Let's get right to it.
Justin at Sustainablog advocates a velvet glove approach rather than the iron fist approach sometimes taken by enviromentalists in Myths of Environmentalism. He says it's a better idea to remind people that the beautiful nature experiences they enjoyed as kids should be around when they have grandkids too. No argument about that, though we're generally inclined to make fun of Proust here, but that's only because we have fewer Ph.D.'s in English than those guys.
Ian at Tropical Ecology Notes provides an elegant walk through the science discipline aspects of conservation biology in The importance of habitat area in conservation: a look at the species-area relationship. Who knew a nested species-area curve would be so easy to explain?
10,000 Birds is as baffled as we are about why the corporate bigwigs (you do know multi-national non-profit corporations still exist to make money, right?) behind Earth Day and Arbor Day needed to have them in the same week. More interestingly, Mike takes a contrarian stand and argues that the Arbor Day mentality (plant trees) is a bad thing because it transformed the lifeless plains of Nebraska into a pretty good place to live. Maybe if they weren't a red state he would like Nebraskans more? Arbor Day = Ecological Devastation? is bombastic stuff, unless you're in the let's-eliminate-humans camp, but makes some terrific points.
At Science 2.0, Earth Day is a hot topic also, but an oh-so chic one. See for yourself at Earth Day - Fabulous Fashionistas Save The Oceans Without Breaking A Sweat. You'll feel stupid overpaying for cosmetics so they get a tax write-off instead of donating all that money directly to environmental causes yourself but at least you'll look terrific in your angst.
Jeremy Bruno at The Voltage Gate and head ecology guru behind this carnival is too modest to submit anything himself, so he forced me to go over to his column and find something. It's okay, I do it anyway. And so should you. Reason number 8 billion, yet perfect for this carnival, is Why Jurassic Park Is Not a Pro-Science Movie.
Emmett at The Natural Patriot takes conservation personally. He doesn't write often but when he does, it's terrific, as you'll see after reading The Timberneck Biodiversity Restoration Project, Phase I. The real hero of the narrative is, as is often the case, a woman, in this case Liz, who lets him do something he loves and pretend it's work. The world needs more Liz'es more than it needs a cure for cancer.
Greg Laden has gone to the dogs - at least when it comes to the uncertainties of understanding the structure of genetic variations within populations. And he uses dogs as a jumping off point for a pretty good primer on phylogenies, phenotypes and divergence versus combinatorial breeding. See for yourself at Evolutionary Genetics of Canine Population Structure.
Jennifer at The Infinite Sphere does an in-depth two-part essay on white nose syndrome in bats. Unlike most bloggers, she doesn't just write about it. She goes into caves and starts looking at bats. You have to admire that. If you're a huge Barack Obama supporter you will love the huge fanboy advertisement that greets you. On this site, we tend to make fun of science that devolves into pop culture or politics, but we'll let it go this time. Anything for bats.
At Brain Blogger, Dr. Lindsey Kay takes us through some interesting ideas on Multiple Sclerosis - and a possible environmental factor that mixes with genetics - namely being farther from the equator. Genetics, sex, health habits - it's a mysterious disease. The fact that birth month is a factor makes it even moreso.
Is Ethanol a dirty word to environmentalists? Well, we had a lot of environmentalists saying it was our friend (that means you, Al Gore) before Republicans made it law (and therefore eeeeevil.) There are 2 million more E85 ethanol flex-fuel vehicles appearing on the road each year and the mandate and subsidies are not going away until 2012 (or later) so we need to keep up with what is happening. The folks at I Want Better Gas Mileage can't do anything about the air pollution or negative energy impact of ethanol, but they feel optimistic that all of the money being thrown at it will lead to improvements. That would be good news.
Organize it gets ecological and talks about 7 Ways You Can Stop Wasting Food And Help Save The Earth. A lot of these make sense - 'buy only what you will eat.' Others, like 'shop every day', not so much. For those of us who don't live on a commune or have a Bohemian flat above an organic produce market, the environmental impact of driving to the market every day would easily offset the environmental savings of having tomatoes go bad.
Mary at A Neotropical Savanna must know it's been a long time since Linnaeus and I hung around together because she makes tropical plants easy even for physicists at Cojoba - the coral snake tree. Go ahead, ask me about compound and alternate leaves now. I dare you.
Did you know PCBs and DDT were still impacting sea creatures? I didn't but Guadalupe Storm-Petrel is on the case and fills us all in at Earth Week Environment Posts: 2. Organochlorine Contaminants in Sea Lions and Seals. They'll be happy to know they have a friend.
Quick hits (because my description will be longer than the articles themselves):
At Ludicrous Ideas they talk about a new car that runs on hydrogen extracted from tap water. It's a great idea. Unfortunately, the car is only 6 inches long.
Organic Weed Control Methods And Herbicides look suspiciously like an SEO advertising trap (the three huge ads before you get three words into the article doesn't help there) but organic weed control is a good idea nonetheless. I am not an ecology expert, though, so one of you will have to tell me if a blowtorching weeds is actually a great environmental solution.