- I fish. Badly, but I try. Now, polluted water can really screw up a fishing trip and a new report claims that common pesticides threaten Pacific salmon. The Associated Press reports:
Under the settlement of a lawsuit brought by anti-pesticide groups and salmon fishermen, NOAA Fisheries has issued a draft biological opinion that found the way chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion get into salmon streams at levels high enough to kill salmon protected by the Endangered Species Act.
The chemicals interfere with salmon's sense of smell, making it harder for them to avoid predators, find food, and even find their native spawning streams.
Banned from many household uses, tens of millions of pounds of the chemicals are still used throughout the range of Pacific salmon on a wide range of fruits, vegetables, forage crops, cotton, fence posts and livestock to control mosquitoes, flies, termites, boll weevils and other pests, according to NOAA Fisheries.
Jim Lecky, head of the office of protected resources for NOAA Fisheries Service, said his team has until a court-imposed deadline of Oct. 31 to work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to find new ways to safely use the chemicals.
- E. coli good for making you sick and possibly good for making “renewable petroleum.” Silicon Valley is figuring it all out. Chris Ayres of The Times Online explains:
What is most remarkable about what they are doing is that instead of trying to reengineer the global economy – as is required, for example, for the use of hydrogen fuel – they are trying to make a product that is interchangeable with oil. The company claims that this “Oil 2.0” will not only be renewable but also carbon negative – meaning that the carbon it emits will be less than that sucked from the atmosphere by the raw materials from which it is made.
LS9 has already convinced one oil industry veteran of its plan: Bob Walsh, 50, who now serves as the firm’s president after a 26-year career at Shell, most recently running European supply operations in London. “How many times in your life do you get the opportunity to grow a multi-billion-dollar company?” he asks. It is a bold statement from a man who works in a glorified cubicle in a San Francisco industrial estate for a company that describes itself as being “prerevenue”.
Inside LS9’s cluttered laboratory – funded by $20 million of start-up capital from investors including Vinod Khosla, the Indian-American entrepreneur who co-founded Sun Micro-systems – Mr Pal explains that LS9’s bugs are single-cell organisms, each a fraction of a billionth the size of an ant. They start out as industrial yeast or nonpathogenic strains of E. coli, but LS9 modifies them by custom-de-signing their DNA. “Five to seven years ago, that process would have taken months and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he says. “Now it can take weeks and cost maybe $20,000.”
- According to The Green Meeting developers have broken ground on a $600 million earth-friendly skyscraper in Manhattan. Take a look:
Designed by noted architect Helmut Jahn and developed by New York-based Time Equities Inc., the building will incorporate environmentally sustainable technologies including a green roof, efficient water fixtures and plumbing, automatic blinds and energy control. Further, the 65-story building will be clad in energy-efficient glass that maximizes use of natural light and filters UV rays. All waste from demolition will be recycled and construction materials will be "sustainable" and "rapidly renewable," according to the developer.
"50 West Street is marked by sustainable design, advanced technology, landmark architecture, and commitment to the community," said Phillip Gesue, director of acquisitions and development for Time Equities.
The eco-tower will contain 240 residential units and 150 hotel and retail units, as well as 2,500 square feet of meeting space.