Breed More Bacteria?
After the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, a type of hydrocarbon-loving bacteria consumed a large proportion of the extra oil. They had already been there in modest numbers, living off the oil that seeps into the gulf naturally. But these opportunistic organisms propagated explosively in response to the oil leak disaster, offering a striking example of nature’s sometimes self-regulating qualities. Is there a way for us to harness the power of these bacteria to continue fixing our mistakes? And if so, is the manipulation of such a complex ecosystem without its risks? Oceanographer Sophia Earle and marine scientist David Guggenheim discuss the potential pros and cons of tinkering with Mother Nature’s intrinsic balance sheets.
Recorded June 2010; Posted September 2010