The abiotic oil idea is geologic nonsense, but it's found a second life by being highly useful for disarming concerns among the faithful over the finite supply of fossil fuels. As Rachel Maddow correctly points out above, this is an outgrowth of young earth creationism aided by wishful thinking and the willful ignorance now in the process of utterly consuming a once relatively normal political party. It becomes a big problem for the rest of us when they put anti-science nutcases in charge of large departments tasked with preventing or mitigating this kind of stuff:
North Carolina health officials are warning residents to steer clear of the Dan River, where a pipe from a nearby power plant is dumping unsafe levels of arsenic. ... Arsenic levels in the waste-water are 14 times those considered safe for human contact.
“Because the Duke Power-Eden coal ash spill is located in North Carolina’s portion of the Dan River, a potential hazard exists immediately downstream of the release,” health officials said in a statement, recommending that people “avoid recreational contact with water and sediment in the Dan River in North Carolina downstream of the Duke Power-Eden spill site.”
- Despite all the microchips and wireless devices, we still ultimately rely on a steampunk-like energy infrastructure. If a 100 million electric cars start going on the grid, we're going to need even more. It would be good to find a much better, more fundamental way to convert one energy source, like heat or sunlight, into electricity.
- Your obligatory cute cuddly panther kitty!
- It may be hard for Midwesterners and those from the East Coast to accept, but Jan 2014 has been one of the warmest on record, even in the northern hemisphere, and we may be setting up for a very warm spring and summer.