Yolanda Crous

Yolanda Crous is a Grist contributing writer based in Santa Barbara, Calif.


In which I finally come around to this whole video pod idea

I've mostly resisted the siren call of viewer-created video content. (One of the most-watched files on YouTube this month was of a guy sledgehammering a PS3 in front of a Best Buy. Really, America? Really?) And then Thursday night I went to the Seeds of Tolerance Awards in Los Angeles, co-sponsored by the Third Millennium Foundation and Current TV. Current TV is Al Gore's just-over-a-year-old cable channel, and a third of its programming is viewer-created content. Now, way back in 2005, everyone seemed to be talking about how crazy Al was for letting the public and its digital video cameras run amok on cable television. Then You-know-who-Tube exploded into pop culture in all its OK Go-breaking, PS3-smashing glory. Who's crazy now, suckas?

An interview with Mary Beth Stanek, General Motors energy director

Trucks with a green hue? GM is in heaven. What a difference three bucks a gallon makes. In the past year, General Motors has rallied state and federal support to get more E85 (an 85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline blend) pumps at U.S. gas stations, launched a corn-hued marketing blitz, and announced that it is increasing production of its flex-fuel vehicles by 25 percent. Mary Beth Stanek, GM’s director of environment and energy, talked to Grist about ethanol’s role in GM’s fuel portfolio, SUVs’ bad rap, and future eclecticism at the pump.   How did E85 become one of …

An interview with Missouri farmer and ethanol co-op member Brian Miles

Cultivating change? Photo: iStockphoto Like his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather before him, Brian Miles spends his days working the family farm. Unlike his forebears, however, he also sits on the board of Mid-Missouri Energy, a farmer-owned ethanol cooperative in Malta Bend, Mo. Grist talked to Miles about the present ethanol boom, the potential for an ethanol bust, and the many splendors of fresh corn on the cob.   How did you get involved in the ethanol biz? Our state corn growers association had a meeting a few years ago, because they had isolated this area as a good spot for …