Thursday, February 13, 2014

No school but a big news day

Lots of snow outside and no school, but four big topics in the news today. One ended up being so big I gave it its own post! Here are the other three:

1) Europe is considering authorizing more GMOs. Europeans are very skeptical about GMOs, fearing (as yet unproven) environmental and health harms, and meanwhile constraining farmers to using less productive varieties.

2) I learned something new about oil today: did you know it's illegal to export crude oil from the US? Oil is cheaper in this country than it is worldwide because of an export restriction. That is nice for us because it keeps our prices lower, but it also decreases our incentives to conserve. If we can export the world prices might go down a little while ours go up a little more. If you're pro-environment, you're pro-high gas prices, so removing this restriction might be a good thing.

3) Progress on nuclear fusion: scientists not far from where I went to grad school are getting close to making nuclear fusion feasible. I don't know a lot about it, but from the writeup it sounds like it's kind of a dream energy because it's virtually limitless and it doesn't make nasty waste like fission does. Interesting!

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