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Here’s what we’ll do with your gift

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Thanks for helping Grist end the year with a bang. Donations poured in from over 2,000 people in 26 countries for a grand total of over $66,000 -- and we intend to put your dollars to good use.

Over the last year, reader contributions helped boost Grist to new heights: We added some great new voices to our site; we influenced discussions among politicians, cultural icons, and major media; and more than 65 percent of our readers reported taking action based on our content, from the classroom to the boardroom.

So just how will your donation help? We've already got some big plans for 2014: We’re launching a fellowship program; improving our mobile experience; and looking at new ways to build Grist's green community online and off.

We have a lofty vision: to make green second nature. And we know that's only possible by keeping readers like you informed and invested in these issues. As one of our first-time donors put it, "your writers approach the sobering subject of climate change with enough sport to keep us reading even when the news is painful."

We're honored to have won your hard-earned bucks and we'll use it to keep you and your fellow readers informed on the green stories that matter most -- without making you want to cry yourself to sleep every night.

So thanks again, readers, from all of us on the Grist team. 

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In a nut shell: Only you can help us squirrel away a victory

squirrel
Kelsey Amelia Bates

Delivering green news to 2 million people a month is expensive.

We are 987 donations away from our goal of 2,500 gifts by midnight tonight. Please help us close the gap. Click here to pitch in.

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Video premiere: I, Party Cup

Remember when we talked to you about Solo cups? We wanted to know who made this people’s chalice such a ubiquitous part of our disposable world -- and why. Turns out you were curious too: Grist readers were kind enough to help fund this joint Kickstarter with filmmaker John Pavlus.

You came through, and now we're very excited to share the end result. Behold, I, Party Cup:

Read John Pavlus's essay: "Who cares about this red party cup?"

Read more: Living

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Grist wants to give you this Nest

nest2
Nest

That’s right, Grist is going to give five lucky readers a Nest Learning Thermostat.

We know you don’t need anything in return for supporting our indispensable green journalism, but if you donate by Dec. 17 you’ll automatically be entered to win one of these cutting-edge, super-schmancy, energy-saving devices -- a $249 value.

Sure these Nests are deluxe, but don’t worry. We assure you that every penny of your donation will go straight to helping us deliver the best, most current green news of the day.

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Want to win tickets to Grist’s comedy event? Make us a joke we can’t refuse

Eugene Mirman godfatherEugene Mirman, godfather of comedy.

On Nov. 21, Grist will hit the big city to laugh it up for the greater good. A Beacon in the Smog: Comedy Benefit for Grist will be hosted by hilarious human being and Grist board member Eugene Mirman at the Bell House in Brooklyn. Fellow laughmeisters Wyatt Cenac, David Cross, and Kurt Braunohler will join him, and Fiery Furnaces member Eleanor Friedberger will bring the tunes.

The Bad News: This event is so clearly awesome that all the tickets have been sold out!

The Good News: Grist is giving away two pairs of tickets to two lucky readers! (That is, if you are one of two winners, you can take a +1 to the show with you. Air/train/bike fare not included.)

The Catch: Tell us a joke! Seriously, tweet it with the tag #StandUpForGrist or post in the comments below, and we’ll pick the ones that make us snort the most milk. Bonus points if you manage to make light of impending climate doom, but no subject matter is off limits (though we’ve probably heard the one about the interrupting cow before, so try to show us something new). One entry per jokester, plz.

Even if we don’t select your joke, you’re still a winner in our eyes: Grist will also hold a Happy Hour Extravaganza (prizes! good times for all!) before the show, at the Bell House’s Frontier Room from 6 to 8 p.m. This extracurricular event is open to the public — no ticket required. Crowd in and get your Grist on!

Read more: Living

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Obama alums press their ex-boss to bar pipeline

A 2011 protest at the White House.
Ben Powless
A 2011 protest at the White House.

Life doesn't stop just because the federal government has shut down. And sooner or later, President Obama will have to tell the world where he finally comes down on building or killing the Keystone XL pipeline.

While he continues to mull that important choice, the New York Times reports, a network of more than 150 former aides is pushing him to say "no."

The Times tells the story of Elijah Zarlin, an aide during Obama's first presidential campaign, who was later arrested during the 2011 Keystone protests outside the White House.

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slideshow

Park, get set, go: Here’s what it looks like when the weird and the car-free steal your spot

Did you miss Parking Day 2013? If you live in a participating town, especially San Francisco, the city that started it all, how could you? There were goats, for goodness sake. Well, never mind your unperceptive eyes -- here's a chance to take it all in.

Read more: Cities

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Cancelled: Live chat with Ernest Moniz and Gina McCarthy is off

"sorry" bubble
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Alas, due to scheduling conflicts, we've had to cancel our planned Google+ Hangout with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

Many thanks to all of you who submitted thoughtful questions for them ahead of time. We hope to be able to reschedule in the future and get those questions answered.

Still, we did get a chance to interview McCarthy last week, so you can read what she had to say about President Obama's attitude toward climate change and the EPA's new proposed carbon standards for power plants (plus her thoughts on ice cream and the Red Sox).

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What are your climate questions for Ernest Moniz and Gina McCarthy?

UPDATE: Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, the Google+ Hangout with the energy secretary and EPA administrator has been cancelled. We will try to reschedule. Thanks to everyone who left thoughtful questions below in comments; we hope we'll be able to ask them in the future.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader and Joshua Roberts
Ernest and Gina want to hear from you.

President Obama laid out his Climate Action Plan in June, and now, with the release of new rules for power plants and other steps, it's getting rolling.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy -- key players in implementing that plan -- want to answer your questions about it. Grist will be moderating a White House Google+ Hangout with Moniz and McCarthy on Monday, Sept. 23, at 9:15 a.m. PT / 12:15 p.m. ET.

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David Roberts’ top 20.5 parting insights

Grist's climate and energy blogger (and most prolific tweeter) David Roberts is now off on a year-long sabbatical, aiming to recharge, get fit, and maybe even write a novel. But before he signed off from Twitter and exited the news hamster wheel, he left us with his top 10 thoughts on climate politics, which actually turned out to be 20.5 thoughts. Here they are: