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Weekly Environmental Updates
Head of the E.P.A., Scott Pruitt is reportedly operating in secrecy as he works to roll back environmental regulations, reduce staff, and close offices. Access to the floor that houses his office are often locked and employees have to have an escort before entering. Cell phones and note-taking are often banned at meetings and, in a first for an E.P.A. head, Mr. Pruitt is protected by armed guards around the clock. A former E.P.A. director has expressed concerns that agency secrecy could lead to another crisis like the contamination of drinking water in Flint, Michigan.
The first "clean coal" plant in the U.S. is laying off employees, a move that doesn't bode well for the administration's vow to revive the industry. The Kemper power plant in Mississippi has announced plans to lay off 75 employees at its mine and possibly another 250 elsewhere in the plant. The company, which announced last week that it lost billions, stopped working on clean coal in June in order to burn natural gas.
An unusually active hurricane season due to the absence of El Nino is predicted by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. The odds of an above-average season have risen to 60 percent, up from 45 percent in May. Hurricane season spans June 1 to November 30.
Plant identification? There's an app for that. Actually, there are many now and they're available for iPhones as well as Android devices. Click on the above link to read brief descriptions of eight apps that allow you to take a picture of a plant and try to identify it.
Phony "eclipse glasses" are being sold online and possibly in other places, prompting the American Astronomical Society to warn consumers. Looking for the right information on the label helps, but some companies are using fake logos. For a list of reputable companies and more information on choosing the right glasses to avoid eye damage, click on the above link.
Danish cooks are hopeful that jellyfish chips will one day become the new trendy cuisine, but still have some way to go before they perfect the product. Long eaten in Asia, where their taste and texture is akin to "salty rubber bands", the Danes are experimenting with a new process that produces a wafer-thin chip by soaking the jellyfish in alcohol and then cooking it off. Whiskey-flavored jellyfish chips may or may not be in the offering.
8/14/17
Roman Hills