There’s something of an ecological theme to today’s linkery.
Scientific American asks whether the oil industry will be changed by the BP spill (I doubt it – Exxon Valdez didn’t make much change, and Bhopal didn’t change heavy manufacturing in the third world. And BP have been bastards in the developing nations for decades). The ESA Blawg notes that this spill is going to have major knock-on effects for generations. I like this comment:
A generation from now, everyone may simply adapt to and accept the lower numbers of sea turtles, reefs, pelicans and other wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico. The disturbing shifting baselines trend will continue, with future generations considering places to be “pristine” that their ancestors would have scoffed at — the same ancestors who destroyed those same places.
And Hugh Possingham (a Very Smart Man) has an entire talk up on why we should monitor our ecosystems.
In taxonomic matters, Kevin Zelnio asks what Chaetognaths are, given that they were defined in molecular, not morphological, terms. And the same question was asked by the researchers of a study into South American warblers, concluding that “the picture painted by these methods may be false, and only a creative combination of classical field-based ecology, museum-based systematics and DNA-based phylogenetics, can lead to right conclusions”.
On a personal note, I have received a preliminary acceptance of a proposed philosophy book on classification from the editor. Now it has to get past the editorial committee, and for that I have to write two chapters with my co-author Malte Ebach. Great news, more work! Always the way…