Jess Zimmerman

Jess Zimmerman was the editor of Grist List.

Rachel Maddow helps us all feel more informed, terrified about deepwater drilling

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Here's Rachel Maddow last week, having a conversation with an anthropomorphic personification of human malevolence known as Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement director Michael Bromwich. (Seriously, the dude is grim. Does the Bureau not have a magical nonthreatening pansexual spokesthing they can send out to talk to the media?) Bromwich had some scary things to say about the recently-rekindled deepwater permitting process. Among other things, he doesn't know nor apparently particularly care why drilling in U.S. waters has such a relatively high fatality rate. …

Here’s what Earth was like last time CO2 was this high

Last time there was this much CO2 in the atmosphere was 3 million years ago, in the Pliocene era. What can that tell us about what we're in for? The world will probably keep warming. Sea levels will probably keep rising. Ice sheets will probably keep melting. Saber-tooth tigers? NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION. Okay, probably out of the question.  

How to solve world hunger by bringing farming indoors

What if the only way to save crops from climate change was taking the climate out of the equation entirely? Researchers in the Netherlands think that artificially lit, carefully irrigated "sunless farming" may have the power to reverse world hunger. With the right crops and the right equipment, researchers think that a space as small as 1,075 feet — roughly a two-bedroom apartment — could feed up to 140,000 people. Indoor farming uses a fraction as much water, too — a little over a liter for a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of tomatoes, versus 16 gallons in an irrigated field. Growing …

Power Shift recap: ‘Stuck on stupid,’ money pollution, and Snuffleupagus

Are you rallying in D.C. right now for the Power Shift 2011? You're NOT? Well, lucky for you we've been posting highlights over the weekend. Here's what you missed, you poor sap: Former White House advisor Van Jones wants to hold both parties to high standards, but he's not sure they'll live up to it. Luckily, the kids are all right. "While they're stuck on stupid in D.C., your generation is rising," he told young activists in his address. Jones, derided by Tea Party asshats as some kind of terrifying liberal Black Panther commie, hit hard on the idea of …

Supreme Court set to weigh in on whether we can hold companies responsible for climate change

Tomorrow, the Supreme Court is set to rule on American Electric Power vs. Connecticut, a case where the state of Connecticut is suing a power company for contributing to global warming. Trying to research the legal details of this case is making me cry, so I hope you people appreciate the following bullet points, which will hopefully spare you having to do the same: At issue, big picture: Can states and private entities sue utilities for contributing to climate change? At issue, smaller pictures: Do states and private entities have a leg to stand on when complaining about climate change? …

What Google predicts for the future of life on earth

XKCD has collated Google's predictions for the next century, and it is dire, and also optimistic, and also weird. Another excerpt and some key findings below the fold, or see the whole thing here. Here's how the future is shaping up, according to Google: Jesus will return in 2018 and again in 2023, and will rule Earth by 2068. That same year, the entire world population will turn gay due to chemicals. Despite the Jesusocracy, religion will be marginalized by 2079. The world population will pass 9 billion in 2043, peak in 2070, then drop to 1 billion by 2082, …

The ultimate hippie mobile: An electric VW bus

Volkswagen has unveiled an electric concept vehicle based on the classic VW bus. The Bulli has a driving range of 184 miles, so if it goes into production, it could get you and your friends to Bonnaroo from as far away as Atlanta. It's smaller than the original bus, but it still seats five — room for Shaggy, Velma, Fred, Daphne, and Scooby.

Nearly half of supermarket meat is tainted, says disgusting new study

Now would be a good time to go vegetarian, or demitarian, or just find a reputable butcher. A new study from the Translational Genomics Research Institute has found that 47 percent of tested samples of supermarket meat and poultry were infected with Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which causes a range of health problems including skin infections and food poisoning. Half of the bacteria found in the study were resistant to at least three antibiotics. So if you buy meat at the grocery store, you've got a one in four chance of bringing home a drug-resistant superbug. As long as you're cooking …

Feed your plants this photosynthetic gourmet meal

Artist Jonathon Keats has cooked up a light meal for plants. The full five-star affair will be showing at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, but here’s the fast-food version, suitable for your houseplants or your urban garden: “My recipes are all based on the scientific study of plant physiology, applied to the fine art of cuisine,” Keats told Wired.com. “I’m publishing the recipe book so gardeners everywhere can prepare gourmet sunlight for their plants at home. For people who are lazier, or keep only a few plants indoors, I packaged my signature recipes for easy consumption by videotaping select …

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