The issues of oil spills – an overview and questions to ponder

Oil rig - offshore drillingRight now, somewhere on this planet, an oil spill is occurring. You may not have heard or read about it (yet) but it’s happening – with oil either gushing or seeping unfettered across some waterway or landscape.

There are a myriad of issues involved with oil spills. Unless you have a strong background in this industry – and perhaps even then – you likely won’t know or comprehend many of them. This thorny subject is the focus of an excellent article published today by Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN). Its author  Jyllian Kemsley outlines both the broad strokes and daunting specifics that face scientists and the oil industry in dealing effectively with oil spills around the world.

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The hidden cost of seafood includes the deaths of thousands of marine mammals

Foreign overfishingThe popularity of wild-caught seafood continues to grow. But so too does the devastating cost to marine life.

According to The Killing of Marine Mammals in Foreign Fisheries, a report issued today by the Natural Resources Defense Council, more than 650,000 marine mammals are killed or seriously injured every year in foreign fisheries after being hooked, entangled or trapped in fishing gear.  Enforcement of a U.S. law to protect marine mammals could help prevent tens of thousands of these deaths.

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