Fertilize in Kentucky, Cause a Red Tide?

Let me tell you a story about nitrogen. A farmer in western Kentucky applies nitrogen-based fertilizer to his crops. It rains. The rain carries run-off from his fields into a little stream nearby. Hungry fungi and bacteria munch on the nitrogen. And they can do a pretty good job, normally, of filtering that nitrogen from the stream. And that’s important because too much nitrogen can wipe out oxygen and create dead zones where nothing can live or grow.

Whither Frogs?

I reported on the role of zoos in conservation last week, and while I was researching, I learned that zoos will play another important role in species conservation. They’re not as iconic, perhaps, as polar bears, but frogs may well take their place as ambassadors of extinction. And long-term residents of zoos.

Radio-activity

It’s nearly spring, and nuclear is in the air. Some state legislators are attempting to lift a ban on building new nuclear reactors in Kentucky. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. just delivered a speech at Murray State University, denouncing nuclear as prohibitively expensive and still unsafe. And E.on-US’s CEO Vic Staffieri told Louisville Rotarians yesterday that coal-fired power plants are much cheaper to build than nuclear plants.