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Jess Zimmerman's Posts

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The last Keystone pipeline had a record number of leaks

The Huffington Post has posted one of those giant infographics on the subject of Keystone I, the last TransCanada pipeline in the U.S. and progenitor to the proposed Keystone XL tar-sands pipeline. It's crazy big, beacuse apparently infographics these days are more like abridged children's books, but here's the take-home message: Keystone I had more spills in its first year than any other first-year pipeline in U.S. history. It was predicted to leak once every seven years, but instead it leaked 12 times in the first 12 months. But, you know, Keystone XL will probably be fiiiiiiiine. You can click …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Oil

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Secretary of Energy is a Keystone XL booster

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu hasn't said definitively whether he supports the Keystone XL pipeline. But he's heavily implied that he's a fan, laying out the project's potential benefits in an interview with energyNOW!. "It's not perfect," said Chu of the pipeline, which would increase greenhouse-gas emissions and quite probably leak to boot. But he argues that extraction technology is improving, so someday in the future maybe it won't increase greenhouse-gas emissions and probably leak? It's a trade-off, says Chu, between having a reliable oil supply and having an oil supply that isn't super-polluting and gross. He apparently knows that …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Oil

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Super-charming sustainable farming video, featuring Willie Nelson

Okay, so this video was sponsored by Chipotle, but if you can ignore a small amount of logo placement and posturing, it's really adorable. Look at the little propane-canister-looking pigs! Listen to Willie Nelson make a Coldplay song sound genuinely emotional! Watch the rotund farmer guy have a change of heart and let his animals go free-range! RUN FREE, PROPANE PIGGIES!

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Snooki has a call to action on global warming

New Jersey natives, think fast: Who's your most embarrassing resident, your governor or your reality TV stars? Personally I think the scales are tipping in favor of the Jersey Shore cast. Chris Christie basically hates the environment, but Snooki believes in global warming! She may be constructed mostly of tanner and hair, but she knows what's up. Sort of. You probably don't want to watch this whole video, since it's characteristically shrilly-pitched and almost aggressively dumb. If Snooki's persona is made up, which it has to be, it's very close to being brilliant-stupid in the manner of Beavis and Butt-head, …

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Biodegradable cigarettes: Because why should everything else die with you?

Just because your lungs are blackened doesn't mean you can't be green. San Diego-based company Greenbutts makes cigarette filters that not only biodegrade, but sprout when buried into what have to be the world's least healthy plants. The filters are made out of organic cotton, hemp, and wheat flour, and the company says they "can be combined with a variety of seeds including grass, flower, fruit, herb, or even trees." Hey, if you make them sprout tobacco plants, you can have a fully self-sustaining terrible fucking habit! Greenbutts is looking for investors and also selling panties and dog bandanas to …

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Get ready for Hurricane Eggbeater

XKCD tackles a neglected aspect of the new climate normal: What are we going to call all these new hurricanes? Here's the comic's alt text: After exhausting the OED, we started numbering them. When overlapping hurricanes formed at all points on the Earth's surface, and our scheme was foiled by Cantor diagonalization, we just decided to name them all "Steve." Your local forecast tomorrow is "Steve." Good luck.

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Daryl Hannah gives you her [lawyer's] number

Here's Daryl Hannah preparing to be arrested at the Keystone XL protests -- she's writing a contact number, probably for her lawyer, on her arm so she doesn't forget it. And that's a nice hand-lettered sign! Hannah was arrested today outside the White House gates, and I originally was going to lead with that video and title the post "Daryl Hannah in handcuffs" but then I felt dirty about it. Here's the video, though! It's been a big week for celebrities at the protest -- NASA scientist James Hansen was arrested yesterday.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Oil

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Fox News viewers 'confused' by Bill Nye, science in general

Watch the latest video at video.foxbusiness.com You'd think Fox News would already be mildly embarrassed by the fact that their outside consultant on science is the host of a children's program. ("And now, to discuss transportation infrastructure, Mr. Rogers!") But what's even more embarrassing is the fact that they can't understand a word he's saying, and they readily admit it. Here, Fox's Charles Payne ostensibly wants to ask the Science Guy whether hurricanes could be the post-climate-change new normal. But he gets peeved when the answer is "yes," so he starts asking Nye to defend Al Gore for comparing talking …

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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.  How cute is this guy, seriously? Here's an animated gif of him flapping around, because I just learned how to make these.

Read more: Animals

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James Hansen arrested at tar-sands protest

Prominent NASA climate scientist James Hansen, a vocal proponent of climate change action who has long warned about the greenhouse gas effects of tar-sands development, has been arrested while protesting outside the White House. Hansen went down there intending to be arrested, and it worked! So good job, Jim. Hopefully your message gets through.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Oil