Jess Zimmerman

Jess Zimmerman was the editor of Grist List.

GM: Bikes will make you unattractive to ladies

Enough people thought this was a good idea that the ad made it into print. How did this ad meeting go? "We need to convince the youth to buy giant boat-cars." "Okay, tell them bikes will cockblock them." "Perfect, let's call it a day." Nice work, Don Draper. GM has clearly been getting a lot of blowback for this ad, which presents biking as an embarrassment so profound you'll want to hide your face from the sight of pretty girls. They've been falling over themselves to apologize on their Twitter feed. It's tough for them! Reality sucks, guys.  

Record heat will rob us of peanut butter

Start getting accustomed to nothing and jelly sandwiches, Fluffernothings, and Reese's Nothing Cups. Record temperatures and droughts are projected to drive the price of peanut butter through the roof, with wholesale costs going up by as much as 40 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Disadvantaged teens build 160 MPG hybrid car

West Philadelphia High School has a dropout rate of more than 50 percent, and 85 percent of students are low-income. But instead of making trouble in their neighborhood, getting in one little fight, or even shooting some B-ball outside of the school, a team of 15 dedicated West Philly students built a badass hybrid car that gets 160 miles to the gallon. Then they entered it in a contest where it beat the pants off cars built by fancy Ivy League engineers.

Bill McKibben: 'Wall Street has been occupying the atmosphere'

Here's Bill McKibben speaking at an Occupy Wall Street "mic check," where the crowd repeats back everything he says and acts as a sort of human-powered amplifier. The reason that it’s so great that we’re occupying Wall Street is because Wall Street has been occupying the atmosphere. That’s why we can never do anything about global warming. Exxon gets in the way. Goldman Sachs gets in the way. The whole fossil fuel industry gets in the way. The sky does not belong to Exxon. They cannot keep using it as a sewer into which to dump their carbon. If they …

Obama's jobs council hearts environmental destruction

The Fortune 500 CEOs who make up the president's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness are all about building Keystone XL, reinstating deepwater drilling in the Gulf, and fracking up West Virginia. The idea is that these projects will create jobs and economic growth, at least until there's a disaster of some sort that economically depresses an area for an indefinite period of time. But come on, what are the chances of that? Sure, research out of Cornell says Keystone XL in particular could kill more jobs than it creates, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it will "support 250,000 …

USDA pushes veggies, but subsidizes meat

The Washington Post reports that the USDA's nutrition guidelines are seriously out of step with food subsidies. The government recommends people eat fruits and veggies as nearly half their daily intake, and protein as less than a quarter — but they subsidize meat in totally different proportions. We whipped up this little graphic to compare what they think people should eat with what they encourage farmers to produce.

This is where your plants will come from after the Ecopocalypse

Wired has posted a series of photos of seed vaults, storage units that bank tens of thousands of seeds in an attempt to preserve biodiversity against threats of extinction and climate change, and we can safely say they're the creepiest way of ensuring that species survive. This is some mad-science stuff!

The Dead Sea may not be so dead after all

The planet is kind of amazing sometimes. Researchers have discovered plumes of fresh water at the bottom of the Dead Sea, deeper than any previous plumes that had been found. And around the plumes: life. Even though most microbes that live in salt die in fresh water and vice versa, some tough little buggers are hanging on in a space where salinity shifts constantly.

Talking motorbike runs on poop. That is all.

Here's a bike that runs on biogas from human poo, writes messages in the air, plays music, and features a talking toilet. Is it even worth making jokes about this? Is it even POSSIBLE?

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