Jess Zimmerman

Jess Zimmerman was the editor of Grist List.

Mark Ruffalo at Occupy Wall Street

Our favorite indie darling/anti-fracking activist was down at Occupy Wall Street last week, looking extremely handsome and encouraging people to join up with Tar Sands Action's planned protest at the White House next month. We like the "mic check" thing, where speakers at OWS use the surrounding crowd as a human amplifier — it keeps ideas and phrases simple and clear.

Obama administration hires former TransCanada lobbyist

Apparently the Obama administration has given up on even pretending it can make an unbiased decision on Keystone XL. After hiring a TransCanada-affiliated firm to do the environmental assessment for the pipeline — a move so corrupt that even Congresspeople noticed — the administration has now taken on a former TransCanada lobbyist as a senior advisor. This time, at least, the incestuous connection might not directly taint the Keystone XL approval process. The lobbyist, Broderick Johnson, will be working on Obama's reelection campaign. But it's fishy, and it looks like the administration knows it's fishy. Their press release about the …

Too lazy to go green? Hire an eco-concierge

Have you ever been sitting around the Drones Club, throwing rolls around, and thought to yourself, "gosh, going green is very hot right now, but it sounds hard! I wish I could use my gobs of money to pay someone else to do it for me." Well, if you have, you're probably not reading this at all; you're probably having your personal eco-butler read it for you. According to The New York Times, people with a little conscience and a lot of cash can now hire "environmental concierges" to green up their lives, without them having to lift a finger. …

Solyndra, schmolyndra: The Obama administration’s hit rate is better than the private market’s

Making loans is a tricky business — sometimes you bet on the wrong horse. For example, there's the Obama administration, which doled out 1.4 percent of its Recovery Act cleantech investments to failed solar company Solyndra, in a move that everyone and their uncle is now calling a giant embarrassment. And then there's private venture capital, which invests in green energy companies that fail at least 30 percent of the time. According to Susan Kraemer at CleanTechnica, the Obama admin's hit rate far outperforms venture capitalists: The US government guarantee of a private loan to Solyndra, at $535 million, represented …

Dangerous levels of warming could happen in your lifetime

It's easy for a lot of people to ignore climate change, because it's not going to affect them, it'll only affect their children. If they don't have children, all the better! Who cares! Well, two new research papers in the latest Nature warn that most of the world could be seeing dangerous levels of global warming — 3.6 degrees or more — by 2060. In other words, very plausibly within the lifetime of most of the people reading this. A lot of places, including Europe, Asia, and Canada, could be seeing a similar increase by 2030. Things aren't completely screwed — …

Climate deniers refuse to accept skeptical scientists’ results

So you know how we kind of use "climate change deniers" and "climate change skeptics" interchangeably, because news stories get super boring if you don't mix it up? We're not wild about doing that, because skepticism is in fact a great scientific value that people should embrace, whereas denialism is just sticking your fingers in your ears and going "la la la." And nothing has made that clearer than the skeptical scientists who, despite their Koch funding, found evidence of global warming — and the dogmatic deniers who refused to accept their results. Richard Muller and his team at Berkeley …

It is shockingly easy to own exotic animals in the U.S.

The depressing news from Ohio -- where the owner of a large and mismanaged personal exotic animal park let the animals loose to be shot by police, then killed himself -- has led a number of people, such as me, to wonder, "where do you even get 18 endangered Bengal tigers in this day and age?" Turns out it's easier than you might think. New Scientist has rounded up info on U.S. exotic animal laws, from their comfortable position outside the U.S. where they can freely be appalled.

Occupy your money

The Occupy movement has been going green, so why not make your green get Occupied? Occupy George has some pretty stark money-based infographics, and templates for printing them onto your own bills. Chances are any bill in your possession will eventually end up in the pocket of the 1 percent, so why not let it educate them while it's there? (We checked, and this is legal — you're not allowed to deface a bill "with intent to render such item(s) unfit to be reissued," but these are clearly still circulable.) 

Jon Bon Jovi opens pay-what-you-can ‘soul kitchen’

Does anyone else remember those Ben Stiller Show sketches where Bruce Springsteen would, like, deliver a baby? Jon Bon Jovi is basically that, but for real. He's opening a community kitchen in New Jersey where patrons pay what they can afford -- or, if they can't afford it, they can get gift certificates in exchange for volunteer work in the kitchen, the kitchen garden, or elsewhere in the community. (And don't act like you're too good to work in the kitchen. You know who works in the kitchen? JON BON JOVI works in the kitchen. No fooling, he washes pots and stuff.)

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