John Upton

John Upton is a former Grist news blogger. He tweets, posts articles to Facebook, and blogs about ecology.

Climate & Energy

Coal-plant owner offers to wash cars after spewing ash over city

The utility will pay to clean vehicles, but not houses, yards, or anything else. It claims coal ash is nothing to worry about. Enviros say au contraire.

Climate & Energy

Federal solar auction flops in Colorado

The feds tried to auction off the rights to build solar projects on public land in Colorado on Thursday, but nobody bid.


Barnacles are accidentally eating our plastic trash

Scientists discovered microplastic in one third of gooseneck barnacles hanging out in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Climate & Energy

India blocking efforts to save planet from climate-killing air conditioners

Has India tossed out the Kama Sutra and come up with another way of screwing the world?

Climate & Energy

Russia drops Greenpeace piracy charges, alleges activists are hooligans

Charges have been lowered against Greenpeace protesters who scaled an Arctic offshore platform, but they could still get seven years in jail.

Climate & Energy

Chicago makes it easier to put solar panels on roofs

It will now take just one day to get a permit for a small solar array in the Windy City, down from a month. And the permit fees are falling, too.

Business & Technology

We could detect wildfires faster by using satellites

Scientists have designed a satellite system to spot wildfires while they're still small. Now, to find the few hundred million bucks needed to deploy it ...


Nitrogen pollution from farming lingers for decades

Thirty years ago, scientists applied fertilizer to two test plots. More than 12 percent of the nitrogen is still in the soil, and nearly as much has leached into groundwater.

Climate & Energy

The Northeast is producing more natural gas than Saudi Arabia

The Marcellus Shale fracking boom is pumping out more natural gas than expected.