Thursday, June 10, 2010

just for fun

Oil spills, global warming... how little has changed in 50 years!

aside: one of the very few things i remember from freshman chemistry (which i took as a sophomore!):
"See the halibuts and the sturgeons
Being wiped out by detergents."
The curse of unintended consequences: in the early/mid-60s of the last century, detergents were clogging America's waters... so the feds decreed that detergents must be bio-degradable. What does "bio-degradable" mean? It means that something is EATING the detergents! - Cool!... well, except that the stuff eating the detergents were algae, which quickly choked American waters!

Why is this even semi-relevant? The 'dispersal agents' currently being used on the BP DeepWater Horizon disaster work because they promote bio-degradation of the oil... meaning that SOMETHING is eating all that oil... meaning that - through the natural process of METABOLISM - the water is being depleted of oxygen. Yep - we can get rid of the oil! - BUT nothing else can live in the water thereafter!

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