Berkeley may be back, considering the veritable flurry of recent protests.Between GSI near-strikes, tree people and the last few years’ worth of ruined convocations at the hands of picket-sympathizing speakers, there seems to be little room left in our overextended hearts to care about protests over the BP deal or I-House working conditions.And while we do care about trees and alternative energy research and living wages and other liberal hippie crap like that, we feel we are lately simply inundated with protests.At this rate, it looks like people in Berkeley are protesting for no other reason than to be contrary about everything in this world that has wronged them.The Clog (or at least this Clogger) could likely find ways to care less about whether the athletic department gets new facilities or the GSI’s union pressures the university for more money. We fully support free speech and human rights and all the rah rahs that come with that, but we find ourselves commiserating with the sentiments of Dangierre, who suggests the protesters “get their heads out of their asses.”Maybe we wouldn’t be quite so harsh on our activist brethren. But the medium’s message these days is just so … Free-Speech-Movement cliche. Perhaps “ration the rally call” or “choose battles wisely” is more our style.Image Sources: Justin Gonzaga, Yaou Dou, Daily Cal; edited by Krista Lane40 protest UC Berkeley research deal with BP [SF Gate]Employees Protest I-House Conditions [Daily Cal]Hundreds Rally In Support of ‘Jena Six’ [Daily Cal]

First there was the BP deal. Now the U.S. government is throwing money at UC Berkeley for its biofuels research.

The Department of Energy announced Tuesday that the Lawrence Berkeley Lab will host a new energy consortium in the Bay Area. Two other research centers will include the Oak Ridge Lab in Tennessee and a lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

How much is DoE pledging to give Cal? How about $125 million over the next five years? Add to that the $500 million the university got from BP, and you know that the university can afford some bling now.

Joining the university in these efforts will be UC Davis, the Livermore Lab, Stanfurd and Sandia National Laboratories.

And no matter how much people hate the BP deal, or may hate this new deal, you’ve got to admit–$625 million just for bioscience research is huge. If the university can find some sensible alternative to fossil fuels, then maybe we’ll see student fees drop. Right. That’s as likely as Stanfurd giving Cal more tickets for the Big Game, meaning not very likely.

Biofuels Group Secures U.S. Grant [Daily Cal]
New project puts UC Berkeley at forefront of biofuels research [SF Gate]