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Unintended consequences & environmental engineering

The Chicago River was essentially the city of Chicago's cesspool until the construction of the Chicago Ship & Sanitary Canal, which connected the Chicago River to the Mississippi Basin in 1900. Now there's serious talk of intentionally returning a section of the river to a cesspool-like state, by dumping untreated sewage and (possibly) toxic chemicals into the river. The purpose: to prevent invasive species such as the Asian Carp and the Round Goby from using this connection to cross between the Great Lakes and Mississippi basins. Is it ever possible to avoid unintended consequences in environmental engineering? And is it necessary to "go nuclear", so to speak, to try to correct them?
[Second link RealAudio; transcript here.]
posted by Johnny Assay on Mar 4, 2003 - 9 comments

"We have entered the Century of the Environment,

"We have entered the Century of the Environment, in which the immediate future is usefully conceived as a bottleneck: science and technology, combined with foresight and moral courage, must see us through it and out."

Or so says Edward O. Wilson in February's Scientific American. Consumption and production can NOT be infinite, no matter what "near-horizon timelines" predict. But will capitalism rise to the occasion and will the free market fix the wrongs it's committed?
posted by taumeson on Jan 16, 2002 - 18 comments

"I think that first world environmental groups

"I think that first world environmental groups (who oppose development of genetically modified crops) should put on the hat and shoes of farmers in Mali who are faced by repeated crop failure." -- Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, lead author of the U.N. Development Programme's annual Human Development Report. (Here's another report on the same issue which includes a great deal of background information about the problems which still need to be solved, and why genetic modification of food crops is an essential part of the solution.)
posted by Steven Den Beste on Jul 12, 2001 - 35 comments

I hope you'll consider participating in the "Roll Your Own" Blackout tonight. Just shut off all the lights and appliances that you (reasonably and safely) can between seven and ten p.m. your time.
posted by sudama on Jun 21, 2001 - 49 comments

Another right wing rant about California's predicament.

Another right wing rant about California's predicament. By one of my favourite right wing ranters. But I never knew about this... Kinda cool.
posted by BGM on Jun 15, 2001 - 14 comments

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