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Jess Zimmerman's Posts


How Tim Pawlenty ditched his Arctic explorer bestie and turned his back on climate change

This is like something out of Mean Girls: Former Minnesota gov Tim Pawlenty used to pal around with this amazing Arctic explorer dude, Will Steger, having slumber parties and plotting how to get the GOP to believe in climate change. Then Pawlenty fell in with a clique, the GOP Presidential Hopefuls, and if he wanted to impress his new friends, he had to turn his back on his old one. And they didn't even talk anymore! And they sat at different lunch tables! And Pawlenty wrote mean things about climate change anonymously on the bathroom wall! Seriously, Steger seems like …

Read more: Election 2012, Politics


Celebrate Earth Day with free stuff that isn't just more crap

HuffPo and Re-Nest both have roundups of Earth Day free sh*t and deals, and the implication is clear: The best way to celebrate the Earth is to CONSUME, CONSUME, CONSUME. This is hella depressing. Some places are offering free shipping as their Earth Day deal, which ... just go away, I will be over here under this desk. A few celebratory freebies we will get behind: A free-today app that helps you eat local may require an energy-hog iPhone (or Android phone), but it can also help you green your lifestyle, not just today but permanently. New York City is …

Read more: Living


150 MPH bus is basically a public transit Batmobile

Hey, life imitates Onion! A physicist in the Netherlands has designed the "Superbus," a sleek 23-seater that can go up to 150 miles per hour. And it's electric! You're not drunk, the video is in Dutch, but we assume he's saying "dude, this thing is fast as BALLS, and look at all the Delorean doors! Seriously, it's like Batman meets Speed meets Back to the Future." Okay, so there's the teeny problem where if you don't live in Europe, a vehicle on the highway going 150 miles per hour is kind of cause for alarm. The inventor is envisioning the …


Texas governor launches bold prayer-based climate initiative

Texas is facing unprecedented droughts and wildfires that have consumed more than a million acres. Combating climate change could mean staving off conditions that would make droughts and fires on this scale much more common. So Rick Perry, the Texas governor, is taking swift action to remediate the climate by ... calling for three days of "prayer for rain." No, he's not a Cure fan. Well, maybe he's a Cure fan. But he means actual prayers for actual rain: WHEREAS, the state of Texas is in the midst of an exceptional drought, with some parts of the state receiving no …


Biofuel from pond scum could replace 17 percent of imported oil

Good news: Growing algae for biofuel could allow us to replace almost half our oil imports! Bad news: It would take a ginormous amount of water and land. Better news: Even if we plan the algae farming in a water-conscious, environmentally responsible way, we can still replace 17 percent of imported oil with biofuel. That's a pretty good compromise! Algae makes for a better biofuel alternative than corn -- it can produce 80 percent more oil per hectare, it uses roughly the same amount of water, and using it for fuel doesn't mean taking food out of anybody's mouth. Plus, …


BP spends restitution money on lawsuits and lobbying

By now, we all know BP has been painfully tightfisted about helping to rebuild the lives and livelihoods ruined in last year's oil spill. They agreed to pay $20 billion in damages but have only squeezed out $6 billion so far. But what do you expect them to do? They need that money to spend on lobbying and litigation! The anniversary of the spill brought two fun announcements from the company about their priorities. First, they've already spent $2 billion this year lobbying the government -- including nagging them to end the offshore drilling moratorium, speed up the permitting process, …


How green is your iPhone?

Carbon emissions? Energy overuse? Sketchy labor relations? There's an app for that, and it's all of them. This infographic from Geekaphone (there's way more, it's huge -- click on our excerpt to see the rest) illustrates that the iPhone, like basically any modern convenience, is probably going to kill us all sooner or later. (What up, Skynet?) There's some good news, though. Reductions in packaging for the iPhone 4 have led to a 14 percent reduction in the amount of fuel used for shipping, and the phone itself emits 18 percent less carbon than the earlier model. And while iPhone …


Rupert Murdoch is totally against the global warming he told you not to believe in

It's probably not the first time Rupert Murdoch has been on a list with Charles Manson and Osama bin Laden. Turns out that media mogul/plutocrat Murdoch's company, News Corporation, is deeply and explicitly committed to reducing its carbon footprint, combating global warming, and encouraging its audiences to do the same. You know, except for the 63 million people who get their information from its noisiest product, Fox News. Murdoch's stated position is that climate change is serious, and that the company's energy initiative is a good start but public outreach is critical: "We can set an example, and we can reach …


Yesterday’s fracking blowout: What happened, and will it happen again?

Yesterday, on the one-year anniversary of the BP oil spill, a natural gas well in Bradford County, Pennsylvania -- perhaps suffering from an overload of irony -- ruptured and leaked "thousands and thousands of gallons" of fracking fluid over the surrounding farmland and into a nearby creek. Officials say no gas was released, but local land and waterways were contaminated in a community that depends on farming for its livelihood. We don't even know for sure what's in this fluid, but it probably sucks, says the Huffington Post: The chemicals used in fracking fluids have been a contentious subject, as …


How much could climate change cost your state?

No idea why they got someone's dad to narrate this video, but the information in it is pretty startling. According to this group, the American Security Project, costs racked up by climate change could include: $9.3 billion a year in lost agriculture revenues in the Plains states $3.6-$6.1 billion over 20 years in infrastructure costs in Alaska $60 billion by 2100 in increased energy costs in the Southeast $2.3-$12.1 million in lost revenue in the Northeast just from losses to the maple syrup trade $200 billion in repairs if a catastrophic hurricane flooded lower Manhattan Now, a lot of this …