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Sarah Laskow's Posts

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The best green action plan we’ve ever seen

It is possible that we are suckers for this North Face campaign because it instructs participants to read Grist every day. But even before we noticed that part, we thought it was one of the best templates for taking green action we've come across.

The Protect Our Winters (POW) pledge has seven ways to fight climate change. And, no, Jon Meacham, none of them involve composting shredded tote bags. They are:

1. Get political
2. Educate yourself
3. Find your biggest lever
4. Be vocal, bug your friends
5. Talk to businesses
6. Change your life and save money
7. Join POW

Read more: Climate Change

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Rich white dudes: Environmentalists are out of touch with the working class

MSNBC's Morning Joe is a font of conventional wisdom, so I don't feel bad restating this old maxim: Everyone on Morning Joe is a jerk. Here's the evidence, starting at 3:10 or so:

The ever-wise Joe says that Obama's "environmental base" is holding him back because the only type of energy environmentalists like is "getting granola and grinding it up and hoping sparks will come off of it." Oh, and wind and solar matter so little, we might as well just give up on them now. Apparently, according to ex-Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, enviros also think composting shredded tote bags is a way to get energy.

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Critical List: Lucy Lawless occupies oil ship; Maine fisherman catches child-sized lobster

Lucy Lawless, best known for her role as Xena, Warrior Princess, teamed up with Greenpeace to occupy an oil drilling ship.

The panel on Morning Joe posited that environmentalists think the alternative to fossil fuel is granola. (In case this wasn't clear already, everyone on Morning Joe is a jerk.)

A Pew Research Center poll found that 66 percent of people who've heard about Keystone XL want to build the pipeline.

Gas prices are going up because of tensions with Iran tightening the supply of gasoline.

Read more: Uncategorized

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The sky is falling! (No, really.)

Photo by Shaun Wamal.

This is not a joke: The sky is falling. Or technically, the height of clouds, the average of which decreased about 1 percent from 2000 to 2010. Researchers at the University of Auckland, who collected the data, attributed the change to a drop in the number of clouds formed at high altitudes.

Read more: Climate Change

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High school boys record green rap video

Man, this video really induces high school flashbacks. A group of seniors at Atlanta's Marist School created it as part of the Green School Alliance's Green Cup Challenge. These fine, upstanding young fellas won the video part of the challenge by adapting Outkast's So Fresh, So Clean to a greener message. The part where they hug trees is the best. Also this part:

Read more: Energy Efficiency

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Critical List: Selenium dumping gives fish two heads; Germany to cut solar subsidies

A mining company in Idaho wants to keep dumping selenium into local creeks, even after its scientific study turned up these two-headed trout and other deformed fish.

A judge found BP liable for civil damages in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, meaning the company could pay billions in penalties.

Germany is cutting solar subsidies … because they have so much solar power already.

Four out of five wolves that were released near the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a reintroduction program are now dead.

Read more: Uncategorized

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Test tube burger will cost more than $331,000 to produce

Sometime later this year, a yet-to-be-named guinea pig very lucky culinary pioneer will take the first bite of the first hamburger grown in a lab. At that point, the cost of making that burger will have totaled more than $331,000 (an estimated 250,000 euros). The meat will be grown from bovine stem cells that produce muscle and fat -- and if that sounds less than appetizing, keep in mind that the burger will be prepared by famed chef Heston Blumenthal.

Read more: Food

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Ultimate tiny house is suspended 40 feet in the air

Via the Dish, this art installation in downtown San Francisco is the ultimate tiny house. It's seven by eight by 11 feet, and it's suspended 40 feet in the air. Plus, it’s recycled AND green: It's made of 100-year-old reclaimed barn wood, and powered by off-grid solar.

Among other ideas, the project is meant to communicate "a new home front in the remaining voids of San Francisco" and "the arrogance of westward expansion," according to designboom. While we now think it's awesome and perhaps necessary to inhabit tiny spaces, for pioneers, it was just practical.

Read more: Cities

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Critical List: Court upholds local fracking ban; New York could ban shark fin sales

A New York state court upheld the town of Dryden's ban on fracking.

Republicans are trying to pin rising gas prices on President Obama.

Apple could allow independent environmental reviews of two factories in China.

Chinese air pollution is visible from space.

Read more: Uncategorized

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Prove climate change doesn’t exist, get an awesome gun

Okay, but dogs CAN look up. (Photo by Casey Morris.)

Todd Tanner will give you his gun when you pry it from his cold, convinced-of-the-nonexistence-of-climate-change hands. Tanner, the chair of the new group Conservation Hawks -- sportsmen (i.e. hunters) who don't want climate change to ruin their fun -- has challenged anyone to prove to him that climate change shouldn’t be a concern. If you win, he will give you, the Conservationist's Hal Herring reports, "his most prized possession: A Beretta Silver Pigeon 12 gauge over/under that was a gift from his wife, and has been a faithful companion on many a Montana bird hunt." (Grist List doesn’t know that much about guns but this one looks pretty much like the gun we’d want to own, if we owned a gun.)

Lest deniers think the man is joking, Herring assures us, "I know the gun, and I’ve hunted and fished with Todd for years. He’s not kidding. You convince him, he’ll give you the gun."