John Upton

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

Here’s why privatizing food inspection might not be the greatest idea

Flawed advice and ratings from a private food-inspection firm led to tainted cantaloupe that killed 33 people, say farmers who are filing suit against the firm.

Colorado frackers paying tiny fines for keeping chemicals secret

Frackers have been flouting a Colorado rule that requires them to disclose the chemicals they use. Seven companies have been fined $1,000 apiece.

Gulf fisherman: “There is no life out there”

It's oyster season, but many oyster beds in the Gulf of Mexico are empty. Thanks to the 2010 BP oil spill, lots of other fisheries are suffering too.

Winery plans to chop down California redwoods to make room for vineyards

As the world warms, winemakers are moving into new regions. Along the California coast, that's bad news for redwoods.

Oil and gas train runs off tracks, explodes in Canada — again

A train laden with propane and oil jumped off the tracks in Alberta, triggering a big fire and causing a nearby town to be evacuated.

U.N. lists air pollution as carcinogen

If you want to avoid lung cancer, the United Nation's cancer-research body has some advice for you: Don't breathe.

America to EPA: We missed you, babe

Republicans cheered when EPA workers were furloughed. But poll results show that most Americans wanted those workers back on the job.

Welcome back, federal workers! Look how we screwed up your research

Climate research and other sciences took heavy hits when the federal government shut down for two weeks.

Colorado frackers pump out cash to ward off ballot initiatives

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association has spent more than $600,000 in its effort to defeat proposed fracking bans and suspensions in four cities.