Business & Technology

California adopts nation's first state cap-and-trade program

In what the L.A. Times calls "landmark" legislation, on Thursday California became the first state in the nation to adopt a classic cap-and-trade system for regulating greenhouse-gas emissions. Cap-and-trade is the centerpiece of AB 32, California's historic climate change law that mandates a reduction in carbon pollution to 1990 levels by 2020. Beginning in 2013 the state's largest carbon emitters will be required to meet the caps or buy credits if they cannot.

Critical List: Climate change is happening (no, really!); the gas industry has some weird ideas

A Berkeley scientist who was once critical of climate science did an independent study that confirmed that climate change is happening and that common claims from skeptics are totally spurious. Skeptics are still skeptical. Three-quarters of Americans think that the government should push harder on developing clean energy. Shocker: The government also invested in electric cars and some of them were not perfect, i.e., THIS IS THE NEXT SOLYNDRA. Natural gas companies don't understand why the EPA would want to make rules about fracking wastewater disposal: "We'll do it in a responsible way! Well, at least, we do now, after the New York Times revealed that we've just been dumping it into a river! But we'll do better! Honest!"

Politics

Politico doesn’t quite get it: The real problem with Solyndra media coverage

Media coverage of the Solyndra bankruptcy has been driven by conservatives, but the bigger problem is that it has completely lost touch with the real world.

Quantum levitation: Probably not the secret to hover-trains, but still amazing

A few places around the internet are calling this phenomenon — quantum levitation — the first step to magical hover-trains. This is probably not true, according to my physics source (it's my husband). Maglev trains …

Northeastern states build giant electric vehicle network

A consortium of northeastern states stretching from New Hampshire down to Maryland is working together to construct an electric vehicle network. EV infrastructure is only just starting to build up, so it's great that states are coordinating on it, rather than each building their own system and creating a hodgepodge of nonsense that no sensible person could actually use.

Critical List: U.S. solar files complaint against China; crayon sculpture melts in Texas heat

American solar companies filed a trade complaint against China for dumping cheap solar panels in the U.S. market. California could pass cap-and-trade. Adrian Grenier from Entourage is opening a pop-up gallery in L.A. that focuses on sustainable living.

Tell us how to Occupy Grist

Occupy Wall Street could be the first step towards a saner, smarter future -- and Grist is there with you to help make sense of it.

E-waste idea: Turn an iMac into an aquarium

The iMac was built to be pretty. So why not sidestep the difficulty of recycling e-waste by making discarded iMac carapaces into something attractive for the home? Jake Harms had the clever idea to make …

New skimmer can capture nearly 90 percent of spilled oil

After the BP oil spill, the X Prize Foundation offered a $1 million prize to anyone who could come up with a better way of cleaning up oil. But the winning team, Team Elastec/American Marine, didn’t merely do better -- they blew other oil skimmers out of the water (ha). Their skimmer sucks up nearly 90 percent of spilled oil. You can check it out in the video above. The details, according to NPR: