I’ve been very skeptical about the viability of getting fuel from algae. Now it seems Exxon

is cutting its losses on algae biofuels after investing over $100 million only to find that it couldn’t achieve commercial viability.

They were planning to invest a lot more (as reported by the NYTimes in 2009, up to $600 million). Among other issues, there’s the nettlesome problem of what to do with the organic algae waste after extracting the fuel compounds.

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Some Florida DJ’s should get a medal instead of getting fired. It seems they announced

on the air Monday morning that there was “dihydrogen monoxide” in the Lee County water supply

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LA Times reports that

the Arctic could experience a nearly ice-free summer by 2020

That can’t be good. The article discusses recent research findings explaining why we might see more snow at our latitudes, at least for a while. It seems that reductions in arctic ice cover slows the jet stream. That can’t be good, either.


This pig-dumping in China can’t reflect good things, and is a kind of a tip-of-the-iceberg thing. Upwards of 6,000 pigs have been dumped into the river serving as Shanghai’s water supply, which

followed police campaigns to curb the illicit trade of pork products harvested from diseased pigs.

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Will people be abandoning Florida after recent tragic sinkhole events?

I suppose there are a lot of news media types pointing out how it’s more likely you’ll be hit by lightning than getting swallowed by a sinkhole.

The scientific story, from a great USGS article, for those who’ve missed, it is that
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It’s an interconnected world. Lake Erie is getting hammered by phosphorus, leading to toxic algae

so vast that in 2011 it covered a sixth of its waters, contributing to an expanding dead zone on its bottom, reducing fish populations, fouling beaches and crippling a tourism industry that generates more than $10 billion in revenue annually.

The phosphorus is comming largely from agricultural fertilizers in Ohio, washed by rains into the Lake Erie watershed. Solutions? Minimize fertilizer use. Clean up urban stormwater. Stop paving everything.

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I’ve been puzzling over Obama’s pick to be Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell. As The Hill has it, she

previously worked as an engineer at Mobil Oil Corp. and in banking prior to joining REI.

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Is this a traffic problem? Sadly, we read about how

A popular California high school coach died after being impaled by a car-park barrier

The article and accompanying newsfeed describe how he biked straight into a pipe making up the top of a gate, hitting his stomach. He died after surgery.

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Coral reefs are disappearing due to increasing ocean temperatures, water pollution, and acidification (caused by increasing carbon dioxide levels).

However, Parrot fish “can prevent algae from choking coral” because they “eat a wide variety of reef organisms” (cf Wikipedia). Down in Jamaica, unfortunately, as reported by ABC News,

parrotfish are now the most popular catch in heavily-overfished Jamaica, sold at the side of the road and in supermarkets and restaurants.

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