EcoNews Round-up: Jan. 20, 2013

I thought it might be fun to share with you guys some of the stuff I have been mulling over this week.  I listen to the radio…a lot, so you will notice a certain bias toward NPR.  Please excuse me, but I was quite literally raised listening to NPR every time I got into the car, everyday while prepping meals, and while drinking coffee in the mornings.  So, here is some of the ecology/environment/science related news and media I’ve been thinking about this week:

Airpocalypse!!!  For once, it seems that the media’s crazy names for things aren’t that off the mark.  This looks and sounds nasty.  I think China always causes an interesting debate in my own head.  Obviously, I think that they should be doing more for the environment (among other things, but that’s a little off topic).  However, other countries use so many of the raw materials produced in China, it’s hard for environmental regulations to keep pace with demand.  One quotation from the article really brings that point home:

“Meanwhile, the Global Times has been pointing out China’s role as the global factory and the “biggest construction site in the world”…Seventy percent of global iron and steel, and about half of the world’s cement is produced in China,” it says in an editorial. “Against this backdrop, it is impossible for China to be as clean as the West.””  

This story about scientists sharing the internal details of their scientific methods really intrigued me.  It does a lot to bring out the more human side of what we do.  My first “overly honest methods” tweet would probably involve how I am listening to a constant stream of history/science podcasts while doing all my lab work.  For example:  “I ground up plant matter until I literally couldn’t stand to listen to another episode of Stuff You Missed in  History Class.”  I, personally, don’t think that admitting that scientists are real people who have to deal with real equipment and time constraints impacts the view of science by popular culture.  Maybe others disagree?        
Last, I loved this story about right whales!  I happen to be a secret nut for marine mammals.  I think this sighting is amazing, concerning, and uplifting all at the same time.  Anytime an endangered species with only about 500 members is seen with an infant, that’s amazing.  But why is this whale so far from the normal spawning grounds?  More questions than answers concerning this article in my opinion.  
Last Word:  I’m always on the outlook for good science news, especially if there is a study linked to the news article.  Scientific reporting is a big interest of mine, and I like to see if I agree with the high points the reporters have drawn from the studies.  I’ll try to keep a running list of articles I’m interested by each week and share.
What do you think?  Would you like to see more science news on the blog: