There's a sneaky bill that has just passed the California State Senate and is awaiting a vote in the Assembly, and it's really rocking geologists' boat:
Empirically speaking, geologists are not a particularly irascible group. But those who make their living studying rocks, minerals and gems in California — and increasingly those scientists beyond the state’s borders — are enraged over a bill in Sacramento that would knock serpentine, the official state rock, off its mantel.
The lawmaker and others who would like to see serpentine stripped of its title say the olive green rock found all over the state is a grim symbol of the deadly cancers associated with asbestos, which can be found in the rock. Geologists, who have taken to Twitter on behalf of the rock, assert that serpentine is harmless and is being demonized by advocates for people with asbestos-related diseases and possibly their trial lawyers, too.
State Senator Gloria Romero who authored the bill has this to say, "California is health conscious," she said. "This is not about being anti-rock. But why do we need a rock?"
Jennifer Steinhauer of the New York Times has the scoop: Link (Photo: Monica Almeida/NY Times)