Thursday, October 21, 2010

Never Underestimate Bacteria

File:Binary fission anim.gif

On June 8th, 2010 on my old blog, "Financial News Express" I wrote a widely read post "This Oil Spill Too Shall Pass" which was linked on Naked Capitalism and featured on Energy Bulletin. I guess you could say that it was another of my contrarian views, as the media and blogosphere were telling us that the spill would be TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) at the time.

My article stated that oil is a natural substance within Gaia's comfortable world and she has oil-eating bacteria suited for the job since it had already been estimated that the oceans gobble up a billion gallons of oil each year. [The Deepwater Horizon's final crude oil spill estimate stands at 185-206 million gallons total.] Additionally, I said that the destruction to the Grasslands ecosystems by industrial agriculture was far greater than the spill, including Gulf-related damage, yet, few are in an uproar about that.

Today, an interesting report from NPR discusses how scientists now think that ocean-dwelling methane-eating bacteria are capable of eating methane at 100 times the rate the scientists had previously expected.

All in all, there is much we don't know about our oceans, yet, and especially the deep areas and the biosystems which exist there.

Here is the 2 minute NPR story.

For those interested in bacteria, don't miss the remarkable article included in yesterday's Ag news Roundup: Bacteria R Us.

As a final note, I'll add that far greater damage has been done by industrial agriculture's assaults to the microbes of our topsoils than has occurred so far in our oceans.