Here are the top environmental stories folks are Digging today:
— The student who won 22,000 acres of Utah land at a federal auction last month, thus protecting it from the oil and gas companies the auction was intended for, has now raised enough for a down payment. That $45,000 will keep the land in his hands at least until the Obama administration takes over; now he's working on raising the rest of the $1.7 million he bid.
• Red, Green and Blue: "A Bit More Than the Usual Rumbling Hits Yellowstone"
— The recent swarm of Yellowstone earthquakes has been a popular story the past few weeks, and RG&B gets in on the action with this brief summary. While some commenters have pounced on the author's vague suggestion that global warming may be causing the earthquakes, that's actually a scientifically plausible theory.
• Inc.: "Cashing In on Clean Technology"
— Funding for clean technology has been soaring recently, posting an all-time high of $2.6 billion in the third quarter of 2008 and topping $8 billion for the entire year. Following a promise from Obama Thursday that he'll double alternative energy in the United States within three years, that trend may continue.
— There's no shortage of idiotic statements celebrities have made while trying to sound smart about environmental science. But this list smells of filler. Its No. 1 quote is a hoax (which, to its credit, it acknowledges); its No. 7 quote is funny, not "crazy"; and since when are Walter J. Hickel or Lee Iacocca "celebrities"? But, still, the quotes themselves are an entertaining read.
— The Vegawatt, a grease-powered generator designed and built in its inventor's garage, generates 5 kilowatts of energy for every 80 gallons of waste oil poured into it, making it a potential extra income source for restaurants. Its creator says the $22,000 machine saves about $1,000 a month in electricity costs, paying for itself in two years.