Monday, July 31, 2006

Good news in war against environment

Drunkablog hero the genetically modified tamarisk leaf beetle may be winning the battle against Western river-destroying tamarisk trees.

A year after beetles developed by scientists were released in selected tamarisk infestations at three sites in Colorado, the project is showing encouraging signs that the bugs will significantly defoliate the water-sucking trees that clog most Western rivers.

"It's still wait and see, but so far it's very encouraging," Dan Bean, manager of the Palisade Insectary, which helped develop the tamarisk leaf beetle, said Thursday. "If everything goes well, we'll see significant effects in two years."

I wrote about the tamarisk leaf beetle release in this slightly hopeful post last year. Now it sounds like they're doing better than expected. This would be a huge environmental win, more significant in this idiot's opinion than any alleged solution to (alleged) anthropogenic global warming.

It hasn't been covered like that, of course; in fact, it's hardly been covered at all. Besides the Colorado Department of Agriculture press release from which the Rocky got the story, the only mention I can find is from TV station KKCO in Grand Junction. Hey, environmental reporters! Over here!

(h/t: John W. Doyle)

Update: No doubt the little critters'll get into the uranium tailings outside Moab and mutate into pus-dripping monsters that work humans cruelly in their tamarisk mines until laying eggs in worn-out miners whose bodies are eaten to husks by voracious hatchlings. We don't want to negotiate. We want you to die.

Update II: The blog Colorado Water saw the Rocky story the day it was published.

Update III: The Lovelock (Nev.) Review-Miner had a story back in 2004 about a different but also-successful deployment of the tamarisk leaf beetle.

Update IV: I originally said the Colorado BLM issued the press release. It was the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Fixed now.

No comments: