Monday, November 9, 2015 Blog

The beauty of plankton, transportation priorities explained, Cole Porter on climate change.

by Dana Beach

Folks,

Sunday’s Post and Courier includes a delightful interview about a beautifully obscure but profoundly important subject: plankton. McClellanville author Billy Baldwin talks to molecular biologist and McClellanville native, Raphael Rosengarten (son of Ted and Dale Rosengarten), about Raphael’s new book, Plankton: Wonders of a Drifting World.

Plankton is nothing less than the foundation of life on earth. It is also essentially invisible to humans and therefore completely unappreciated. Rosengarten’s book, which he coedited with his similarly accomplished uncle, Christian Sardet, may change that by revealing this strange, elegant world through photographs and text.

For this week’s installment on transportation, Natalie Olsen, the Conservation League’s land use director, writes in Sunday’s Post and Courier that the burden of repairing roads and bridges after the flood and improving the road system for future storms could be partially funded by the S.C. Transportation Infrastructure Bank (STIB). This is possible by reallocating money already on hand and designated for costly, non-essential projects, like extending I-526 to rural John’s Island ($420 million available) and four-laning S.C. 51 to Pamplico ($150 million project cost).

My article in last week’s Florence Morning News responds to Senate President Hugh Leatherman, who last week accused the Conservation League of trying to hijack Florence transportation funds for Charleston. I explain that our goal is to ensure that state funds from the STIB are spent on state priorities, which don’t include the lightly travelled S.C. 51, but that we have no objection of Florence County taxpayers covering the costs of projects like S.C. 51. Indeed, it is essential that the state turn over responsibility for much of its vast road network, the 4th largest in the U.S., to local governments, where the ownership of local roads, like Lockwood Blvd and Meeting Street, belongs in the first place.

Finally, CNN reports on a new study linking warmer weather with reduced birth rates. This research restates, 70 years later, and considerably less artistically, a truth from a 1948 musical by Cole Porter in the blockbuster song “It’s Too Darn Hot.” Here’s the article, followed by Ella Fitzgerald’s incomparable rendition.

 

Have a great, damp day!

Dana


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