Ashley Braun

Ashley Braun is Grist's News Producer and (unofficially) its Official Puntificator. She's also a science nerd, a lazy runner, an organic container gardener, and an accidental "expert" on topics like cross-country relationships and social media.

Notable Quotable

Obama administration officials grateful for early spring

“The good news is spring is coming earlier and earlier [thanks] to climate change.” – An anonymous White House official, on the prospect of the Senate debating a climate and clean energy bill in the spring of 2010.

CRU cut

Skeptics claim global warming is fake after top scientists’ emails hacked at CRU

Shucks, we shoulda known!Photo courtesy Andrew Ciscel via Flickr With the Copenhagen climate talks upon us we learn that hackers recently broke into thousands of emails and internal documents from a leading climate research center and dumped them onto an anonymous Russian server. The hacked emails (160 MB worth, unzipped) came from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU). They allegedly include 10-year’s worth of exchanges between top U.S. and British climate scientists who were debating the latest developments in climate research. Global warming skeptics, the internet over, are using the (illegal) hacking to claim that global warming …

things that go pumpkin the night

The most frightening story this Halloween is … pumpkintop removal

I want to draw attention to one of the gravest — but least publicized — environmental crimes of our times. It is one of brutal violence, utter waste, and total disregard for the planet’s resources. Millions of unwitting Americans are complicit in the destruction each year, as evidenced by the burning lights spread across the otherwise dark night. Worse, the devastating effects on the surrounding communities and ecosystems are hushed by the cruel corporatism wrapped around this crime. Once beautiful curves rising out of the landscape, now at their peak in breathtaking seasonal colors, are chopped off, their “fill” dumped …

Polluting and young minds

Sen. Kerry to youth on climate bill: We’re gonna need your help

When John Kerry speaks, the kids listen up.Photo: Cliff1066 via Flickr Creative CommonsOn a conference call Tuesday night with young climate activists, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) served up several newsy tidbits, starting with his hint that sort-of climate news will come out of President Obama’s upcoming trip to China and that getting a bill through Congress will mean compromising with Republicans who want more nuclear energy. Kerry’s comments came on a call organized by Green For All focusing on how young people can help up the ante in demanding a clean energy future. Kerry, Green For All CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, …

Action pact day

Find an action. Shout 350. Tell us about it!

Will getting to 350 ppm be the great barrier to saving the Great Barrier Reef? Poppy and Jarrah via Flickr Creative CommonsIn parts of the world, today is already the first-ever International Day of Climate Action in places like New Zealand, but it’s not too late for millions of you to find the biggest, weirdest, adorablest, most inspirational, or flat-out nearest demonstration of support for the goal 350 ppm CO2 emissions. We found a few such events worth noting — some which have already happened and others which you can still join: Students and faculty at Ithaca College are …

1Tweet to rule them all

1Sky looks to Twitter for climate movement’s next rallying cry

Here at Grist we’re fans of (at least) two things: Climate action A snappy call to get people’s bums off the couch to make that happen Lucky for us, our buddies at 1Sky are working to bring about these two things with their 1Climate, 1Tweet contest. It’s a campaign to purge Twitter of annoying climate deniers flood Twitter with a single rallying message to strengthen and support the Kerry-Boxer climate bill currently wending its way through the Senate. All you have to do is: Sign up for the 1Sky contest here Craft and tweet a superlative, retweetable call for strong …

Beware of 'BAD' puns

Bloggers of all stripes grab a piece of the climate pie for Blog Action Day 2009

Maybe you’re a medical student in Hungary who finds release by detailing your daily life online. Or you’re an avid chronicler of the latest baby-name trends. Whatever your background or topic of choice, you’re a blogger — and you probably have an audience of at least one. Now multiply your blog times 9,000 others across the world. Now imagine all of these blogs agreeing to post about the same important topic on the same day, in order to raise awareness and create a dialogue for change with their millions of readers. Bingo: you’ve got Blog Action Day. The theme for …

Now you see them, soon you won't

WWF finds tons of new species about to be wiped out by climate change [SLIDESHOW]

We’ve got some good news, some less-than-awesome news, and some killer eye candy. The good news is that 163 wild-and-crazy new species of animals and plants were discovered last year in a single jungle-y region — known as the Greater Mekong — which stretches through six countries, from China’s Tibetan Platueau all the way to the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam. The less-than-awesome news, as delivered by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) via a new report, entitled Close Encounters [PDF], is that most of these fanged frogs, pedestrian birds, and alien-esque geckos are probably on their way out (if not …

Did Melissa Etheridge need to "wake up" too?

Thousands send Global Climate Wake-Up Call to world leaders, leave messages

Avaaz.orgThousands of activists Monday called out world leaders for their loads of lip-flapping and foot-dragging on climate action. Literally. The voicemail message they left? Quit hitting snooze and wake up to the threat of climate change. This “Global Climate Wake-Up Call” — a part of Climate Week NYC — is targeted at the gobs of Very Important People flocking to New York City this week for the 2009 U.N. Summit on Climate Change, as well as the G20 leading economies meeting in Pittsburgh. The hope is that actions taken this week by the aforementioned VIPs will set the agenda for …

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