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.

Across party lines

Organic candidate cocktails for your election-night party

Whether you’ll be toasting to triumph or drowning out defeat once the polls close, these four election-night libations will win over even the most partisan of voters. And they come Grist-tested, Grist approved*. *Approval of a candidate’s cocktail does not indicate endorsement by Grist or its employees. Just a drunken good time. Please enjoy (and vote) responsibly. Maverick Martini This straight shooter will have you striking bipartisan deals before you know it. 1 1/2 oz. organic vodka 1/2 oz. triple sec 1/2 oz. amaretto 1 oz. organic pineapple juice Palin Polar Punch Put this frosty party-pleaser on your list before …

In your weatherize, the light, the heat ...

Win money to weatherize your home in The Home Depot’s video contest

You can save energy. We can help. Photo: OsCataleptic. If weatherizing makes you complete, consider entering The Home Depot’s “Save Money. Save Energy. Win Big.” contest by submitting a short video about ways you save energy at home. Grand prize is a hefty $5,000 gift card to The Home Depot. At $6.88 for a 4-pack, you could buy 2,904 CFLs. Plus the big winner can rake in up to $2,000 for installed insulation or radiant barrier products from The Home Depot Home Services. And in these uncertain times (for both the climate and finances), who couldn’t use a few extra …

CSI: Climate Scene Investigation

Enviro-crimes predicted to rise with effects of climate change

Take a bite out of climate. Photo: A Hermida. McGruff, the police dog that takes a bite out of crime, might soon be biting off more than he can chew thanks to an expected rise in crimes related to climate change: The Australian Strategic Policy Institute pinpoints the risk of carbon market fraud, an increase in violent crime, and looting after natural disasters as just some of the challenges police may face as the globe warms. Perhaps another argument for citing climate change as a national security issue?

Global warming's 'winners'

With climate change bringing the heat, take a look at the next tourist hot spots

When we saw this list of so-called “Global Warming’s Winners” on ForbesTraveler.com, at first we thought, “Seriously?” And then we thought, “I sure could go for a cookie!” But after a quick snack, we reconsidered their hot-or-not travel judgments on places that stand to gain or lose from climate change, and made a few assessments of our own. Our conclusion? Look on the bright side. Because, hey, even if the permafrost is thawing, that doesn’t mean you can’t go on a luxe Arctic cruise to see it. Check out some of these places — along with a healthy dash of …

Buck off

Grist poll: Which candidate has bucked his base more on the environment?

Now that we know both presidential candidates are OK with occasionally being unpopular — especially when it comes to the environment — who do you think has differed more from his base on this issue? </object&gt Quizzes by Quibblo.com

Soundbiting the hand that leads you

In series of video spoofs, Grist tries to stump the candidates with tough climate questions

While sitting on a panel about bias in the media, Dan Rather called out the contrived format of the presidential debates, saying, “First of all, these aren’t debates. They are a ‘something,’ but they aren’t debates.” We feel ya, Dan. Which is why we sought out the meatiest environmental questions that talented Grist actors the average Joe Six-Pack is looking to the next president to answer. Check out our video series riffing on the environmental soundbites fed to us each debate: Debated Breath: In video series, Grist tries to stump the candidates with tough climate questions. Your funny bone will …

It's debatable

Could you be the next energy czar?

We could be over-thinking this whole energy crisis. Maybe we need just a wink and the chant, “Drill, baby, drill.” Maybe we need a healthy helping of “clean coal and safe nuclear.” Or maybe what we need is you. What do you think: Could you be the next energy czar? Side note: If the last eight years have taught us anything, it’s that scientifically verifiable facts are overrated. Quizzes by Quibblo.com

Challenging the status quote

Fact-check sound-bites from tonight’s VP debate with Ameritocracy

Call us optimists, but we’re expecting tonight’s much-anticipated vice presidential debate to be littered with sound bites on energy and the environment. After all, Sarah Palin, who “knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America,” will be making her national debut against debate heavyweight Joe Biden. But politicians are known for saying almost anything, so how do you discern the truth from the talking point? Does Alaska really produce 20 percent of America’s domestic energy supply? (Palin was a tad off … it’s only 3.5 percent.) We recommend checking out Ameritocracy.com for a dose …

And bingo is their name-o

A Palin/Biden bingo game to help you veep score during the debate

Looking for a way to veep score on environmental issues in tonight’s VP debate? Grist has got your back with a sure-fire method for determining who really wins these things: Talking Points Bingo. Download printable bingo cards [PDF]. The Rules: Download and print off the Palin and Biden boards (there are 10 different boards in total), and pass them out to all your friends. Mark on your board whenever Palin or Biden says one of the listed words during tonight’s debate. (Doesn’t matter who says what.) If you get five words in a row, stand up on a chair and …