John Upton

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

Light switch

People save more energy when they know they’re being watched

Utility customers who were told their electricity use was being tracked as part of an experiment reduced their consumption by 2.7 percent.

Grout where it doesn't belong.

Coal company accidentally turns a creek into concrete

Workers dumped tons of grout into a ridge to try to repair damage caused by mining, but the grout poured out the bottom and into a creek.

We can’t blame everything on climate change: Soot melts glaciers too

Why did glaciers in the Alps start melting 40 years before temperatures started to rise? New research blames the air pollution spewed by the Industrial Revolution.

oil cars on train

Safety inspectors target oil-hauling trains

U.S. safety officials have launched a Bakken Blitz to keep closer watch on trains carrying fracked oil out of North Dakota.

Japanese maglev train

Levitating train breaks speed record in Japan

Japan is building a maglev train that moves fast -- it just tested at more than 310 miles per hour. But construction is moving slowly.

Crop-munching pests are traveling north as the climate changes

The beetles, moths, and fungi that chomp on crops and devastate forests are moving toward the North Pole at an average of 24 feet per day.

An orange grove

Farm kills millions of bees with illegal pesticide spraying, gets slap on wrist

One of Florida's largest orange growers is being fined for improper use of pesticides, but the fine is shockingly low.

Antarctic Peninsula moss

Antarctic moss a charming but chilling sign of warming

A clump of moss on the Antarctic Peninsula is ballooning -- a botanical pioneer in a fast-warming region.

Ron Johnson

Climate denier Ron Johnson denies denying climate change

After getting bashed by a TV ad, the Wisconsin senator now says he doesn't "have a belief one way or the other" on global warming.