Jess Zimmerman

Jess Zimmerman was the editor of Grist List.

Germany is spending its climate change money on coal plants

Germany is raiding its clean energy piggybank to pay for dirty coal. The country is looking to withdraw millions of euros from a fund for promoting clean energy and climate change mitigation, and wants to spend that money on new coal-fired power plants.

Beautiful short film imagines a radioactive Japan

This short film, called "Blind," imagines what would happen if the gas masks that so many Japanese bought after Fukushima had ended up being necessary in Tokyo. It shows the mundane realities of a radioactive life — the blinged-out schoolgirl respirators are a particularly nice touch — but also touches on the bigger issues of what a nuclear accident can do to lives and families.

Here's what we can do with all the tires after the carpocalypse

In the post-peak-oil, post-automotive world, we'll have to do something while we're huddled around our campfires in Bartertown. And we'll need to do something with the parts of our now-useless vehicles. Sure, we'll have to build shelters with the metal carapaces, and we'll need some of that tire rubber for shoes and things. But there are a billion cars now! Surely we'll have more spare tires than the survivors will have feet. Belgian artist Wim Delvoye has a vision for the art we can make from this extra rubber. His tire carvings are sort of a miracle of creative reuse …

Energy genius wins MacArthur grant

Shwetak Patel is revolutionizing home energy use, and people are noticing. Patel was just awarded a MacArthur Fellowship -- affectionately known as a "genius award" -- for his work creating user-friendly ways for people to monitor and control their utilities consumption. In other words, this is what certified energy genius looks like.

Global warming makes Russia militarize the Arctic

There has not traditionally been a lot of military presence in the Arctic, given as how it's mostly ice and seals. But now that the ice is melting, it's just mostly seals, and those little buggers are shifty. So Russia is sending in the troops.

This park would turn an abandoned subway into an underground paradise

Sure, the High Line is great and all -- abandoned rail line turned into a beautiful outdoor leisure area, what's not to love? (Plus, reportedly you can see people getting undressed in the windows of one of the hotels that straddles the park.) But what it's really missing is an element of Neil Gaimany beautiful creepiness. I know! Let's put it UNDERGROUND. That's the thinking behind the Low Line, a proposed park that would turn two acres of abandoned Lower East Side trolley terminal into an underground Eden.

FDA: It's corn syrup, now shut up and own it

The Corn Refiners Association has noticed that "corn syrup" is becoming kind of a dirty word. They could improve the product, perhaps, but that would be hard, so they decided to just rename it "corn sugar." But the FDA, which is in charge of things like what counts as "sugar," is having none of it. 

Car crashes into bike store

Jesus, is nowhere safe from cars? On Tuesday, a woman drove her Cadillac right into a California bike store at 30 to 40 miles per hour. Nobody was seriously injured, but as the video shows, it was a close shave. Perhaps literally. The two people standing my the counter may actually have had the hair scraped off their legs. Here's another point in favor of bikes: Think about what a video of a bike running into a car dealership would look like.

Scientists rush to save minnows from Texas drought

Here's the thing about apocalyptic droughts: They are bad for people and livestock and all other living things, but they are ESPECIALLY bad for fish. Texas minnows can't wait for Rick Perry's prayer meetings to alleviate the state's record dry spell -- they're already in dire straits as the water shortage robs them of their ability to eat, move, respirate, and reproduce. So scientists are evacuating them, moving the tiny fishlets from the shrinking Brazos River into safer fish hatcheries.

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