Crews Try Burning Oil as It Nears Shore

via Crews Try Burning Oil as It Nears Shore – NYTimes.com.

Officials estimated that the spill, which has been slowly spreading in the Gulf since an oil rig exploded and sank last week, could hit the coast as early as Friday night.

Officials tried burning some of the oil off today, but waves and wind complicate that procedure.  Although not nearly as much oil is involved as that from the Exxon Valdez, the wind and currents could spread the mess from one end of the Gulf of Mexico to the other, creating one of the worst environmental disasters ever.

Rebellious Mood Takes Root in Rural Thailand

via Rebellious Mood Takes Root in Rural Thailand as Well as in Capital – NYTimes.com.

KHON KAEN, Thailand — Six weeks of demonstrations by red-shirted protesters turned violent this week in Bangkok, but the capital is not the only place with a whiff of insurrection in the air.On this poor and rugged plateau in Thailand’s hinterland, farmers who say they were never interested in politics are donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to the red shirt movement. In at least three northeastern cities, red shirts are holding nightly rallies, sometimes drawing thousands of people.

A Watershed Case | The Texas Tribune

via A Watershed Case | The Texas Tribune.

“This is the water case in the state of Texas. The opinion that’s going to come out of this court — I can’t even think of the superlative to use to describe it,” says Luana Buckner, the chairman of the EAA’s board of directors. “The amount of nail-biting that is going on over it is just phenomenal. This ownership issue is at the heart of every major groundwater issue that’s being talked about across the state.”

Does the moving water beneath someone’s land belong solely to them, or must it be shared with all the people and environments who live above and depend upon the aquifer – that’s the question the Texas Supreme Court will be answering soon.  If the Court rules in favor of the landowners, it could spell trouble for downstream consumers and environments.

Mobile phones are more common than toilets in India

India has 545 million mobile phones (enough to serve about 45 per cent of the population), but only about 366 million people (31 per cent of the population) had access to improved sanitation in 2008.

via Collins Maps Blog: Mobile phones are more common than toilets in India.

Truly globalization touches us all, even if we don’t have indoor plumbing.

The Geography of Chinese Power

via I.H.T. Op-Ed Contributor – The Geography of Chinese Power – NYTimes.com.

China does not take a missionary approach to world affairs, seeking to spread an ideology or a system of government. Instead, its actions are propelled by its need to secure energy, metals and strategic minerals in order to support the rising living standards of its immense population.

Another Kaplan article, with insight into China’s quest to expand it’s economic control of Asia to meet the needs of its people.  How will this strategy affect its relationship with the US, and our relationship with Asia?

Eyjafjallajökull Ash Cloud spreads

Norwegian Meteorological Office’s map of the ash cloud’s spread across Europe.

Your Water Footprint

“We must take account of how our water footprint is impacting on the rest of the world,” said Professor Roger Falconer, director of the Hydro-Environmental Research Centre at Cardiff University and a member of the report’s steering committee.

via BBC News – UK water use ‘worsening global crisis’.

The article has a great interactive feature that allows you to see how much water it takes to produce everything from a sheet of paper to a pair of blue jeans.  What is your water footprint?

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