Environmental News Wrap: Gulf Spill Updates, Chemicals and the EPA, The Greening of China, Peak Coal, and more...
GlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:
- Microbes have been found in the Gulf of Mexico that eat small particles of oil in the water, could we use those microbes to clean up the marshlands as well? Technology Review reports.
- Use your laptop to improve our world! IBM has a project called the World Wide Community Grid. You can use your spare computing power to contribute to a super computer that will help solve some of humanity’s problems.
- Kettleman City, California, is experiencing an increase in infant mortality and deformity and some people are trying to turn this into a larger fight for the consideration of cumulative impacts of toxic chemicals commonly found in our environment. The citizens have little chance of success in a court room due to the challenge of being able to say who emitted what, when, and then connecting that to a particular child’s misfortune. The most important part here is that the US Environmental Protection Agency examines toxic chemicals based on their direct impacts to the environment and human health, and does not even consider the ‘cumulative impacts
- More Disaster of the oily variety in the Gulf of Mexico, MotherJones reports.
- This is a list of the top 12 fish to just avoid completely.
- There is a large liberal movement to ban the use of the chemical BPA. BPA is used in plastics and is labeled a “hormone disruptor.” BPA could cause cancer and birth defects, but the studies done so far have not been able to settle the issue. Even if BPA does not cause harm, I would rather be safe and just replace it with another chemical that we are sure is safe.
- The obesity epidemic in the US is having a terrible impact on the environment, just think of all that meat eaten by people who don’t even need the extra calories, and meat production is one of the greatest environmental impacts on earth. The New York Times reports on a study that shows how Americans are getting fat while having kids, which primes a person’s body to get and stay fat. Then, we feed that kid lots of nasty food, and in only 2 generations you have a fat America. And we are getting fatter! Wake up everyone and be healthy for the sake of the next generation!
- Many places around the world have banned plastic bags. California is trying to be the next one to go without plastic bags. Remember that all plastic can only be recycled one to three times, if at all. Plastic is not recyclable, just reusable, and will end up just sitting in our environmental until a small organism figures out how to eat it.
- BP is beginning the work to place the final seal on the broken pipe that spilled so much oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and the relief well will be completed in the next 2 months. With these two efforts the spill will finally be done with and BP can just focus on the cleanup.
- A fleet of trains in Philadelphia are being equipped with a technology that will generate energy when the trains break. This is a genius source of electricity and revenue, and is the kind of innovation that the environmental movement seeks to encourage.
- China must attend to both poverty and environmentalism, neglecting either one is not an option for the government. The Nation reports.
- China is exploring the deep ocean for resources; they are preparing themselves for the challenges of the future.
- Scientific American reports on the impact we have already had on global warming and how the straw that will break the camel’s back will be the resource decisions that we make in the next couple of decades.
- National Geographic reports on a study that claims that coal reserves will decline quicker than many currently believe. Like oil, there is plenty of coal, but we have used up most of the high quality deposits and are moving on to the more expensive and environmentally harmful deposits.