Animals

Google gets carbon offsets from hog poo

In its recent report on the company's carbon footprint, Google said that it offsets its emissions with high-quality offsets. We are happy as a pig in shit about that. Which is appropriate, because here's one example of what that means: energy powered by pig poop. The company has invested in a North Carolina project which collects the methane from the waste of 9,000 hogs. A power plant burns the methane to create power for 35 homes a year.  

Kiss your snorkeling trip goodbye: We're wiping out coral

Environmentalists are always looking for allies who can blast away treehugger stereotypes. They should consider reaching out to the community of anyone who's ever gone snorkeling in a coral reef. (You remember that part of your Cancun vacation, don't you? It happened sometime between the margaritas and the … margaritas.) According to a new book called Our Dying Planet, humanity is on track to wipe out all coral reefs. No more bright, awesome fish and crazy plants. Ever.

Meter-long king crabs invade Antarctic waters, eat everything

On the seafloors of Antarctic basins, the water has warmed by just 0.27 degrees C — but that’s enough to allow giant king crabs to take over the ecosystem and eat everything they find. These suckers are more than three feet across, and they're gobbling up sea urchins, sea lilies, sea cucumbers, and starfish. They're also messing with the make-up of the sea floor. Check out the (terrifyinggggg) video above: The crab looks like an invasive vehicle in a Star Wars movie that's launching a sneak attack on an unsuspecting, peaceful civilization.

Critical List: Obama admin backs more solar projects; Kiribati president wants a new island

The Obama administration provided a loan guarantee to a SolarCity project that would put solar panels on 160,000 military homes — "the larger domestic residential rooftop solar project in history," Energy Secretary Chu said. Rick Perry thinks he's a smart as Galileo. Or at least that some climate-denying scientists are. So he’d be pretty irked to see yet more evidence that global warming is real, if he actually read newspapers.

Bear steals Prius

Here's a cautionary tale for hybrid owners: A Prius-owning family in California lost its car to a joy-riding bear. 

Nothing says eco-tourism like a 21-foot crocodile

What do you do with a suspected man-eating crocodile the size of a small aircraft? Make it the highlight of an eco-tourism park. At least, …

Raising chickens is totally rock and roll

Jenifer Jourdanne has expensive tastes, expensive shoes, and "designer chickens." In an essay in xoJane, she talks about how her long-standing backyard coop didn't dent her rocker cred: I will have you know I was a maverick. I was the girl in the early 90s at Viper Room where people would say things like “Slash, come over here, no really, this chick has pet chickens!" I mean I am sure they probably thought I used them in an adult act but sorry to bore you, they just walk around my herb gardens looking for snails.

Noise pollution ruins the sex life of tits

Pickup artists among the great tits (a species of bird, ok?) know how to get chicks: They sing at low frequencies just before females of their species begin laying eggs. It's a great technique! Unless they happen to be hanging out near sources of noise pollution, like highways, which force the tits to change their tune to a higher pitch so that the girls can hear their song in the first place.  But that's when things start going wrong. 

Stranded penguin is going home

Here's your awesome for the day. A penguin named Happy Feet washed up on a New Zealand beach in June, and promptly made himself sick by eating a bunch of sand that he mistook for snow. It's not clear how he wound up 2,000 miles from his Antarctic habitat, but Happy Feet is now well and is getting a lift back home.