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The park formerly known as Glacier

Contest in need of Grist readers and their funny

In a world without glaciers, what would you call Glacier National Park? Tongues firmly in cheeks, National Environmental Trust is sponsoring a contest to come up with a new name for the park. The winner gets a $250 gift certificate to REI, but really, it's about calling attention to the fact that continued inaction on climate change might make the park glacierless by 2030.

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Who's that good-lookin' guy in the commercial?

Hey, that’s me!

Republicans for Environmental Protection have sponsored a TV ad on climate change to run in Austin this week. The goal is to drum up support for the several bills on climate change currently before the Texas Legislature. Here it is: There's also an article about the ad in the Austin-American Statesman here.

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VF on the Tesla Roadster

From the guy who wrote the book on the GM EV1, literally

Michael Shnayerson, who literally wrote the book on the ill-fated GM EV1, has an excellent piece in last month's Vanity Fair about the Tesla Roadster. Quoting is redundant -- the whole article is fun and packed with attention to personal detail. Eventually, someone is going to have to write a biography of Alan Cocconi, who seems to be at the center of all the electric car efforts of the last quarter-century or so.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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Paying to kill ourselves

Just what every taxpayer wants

This is super, super smart: A Depression-era program to bring electricity to rural areas is using taxpayer money to provide billions of dollars in low-interest loans to build coal plants even as Congress seeks ways to limit greenhouse gas emissions. ... The beneficiaries of the government's largesse -- the nation's rural electric cooperatives -- plan to spend $35 billion to build conventional coal plants over the next 10 years, enough to offset all state and federal efforts to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions over that time. Your tax dollars at work!

Read more: Cities, Climate & Energy

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Climate change as national security threat

Yeah or nay?

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) thinks it's silly to use intelligence resources to assess the national security implications of climate change, or as he calls it, the "bugs and bunnies." Meanwhile, Michael McConnell -- the U.S. Director of National Intelligence -- thinks it's "entirely appropriate." Who to trust?

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Bloomberg and the C40 Summit

Bigtime mayors and Bill Clinton meet about climate change

This C40 summit looks like a doozy. You could do worse than having Bill Clinton and Michael Bloomberg as your keynote speakers. If any Grist readers happen to be attending, get in touch. I'd love to hear how it goes. Speaking of Bloomberg, Worldchanging NYC has a whole series of posts on PlaNYC, Bloomberg's plan to green the Big Apple, if you want to really sink your teeth into it.

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Solar: such a tease

It could be fantastic, but nobody’s built any

CNET's summary of its own story perfectly captures the highs and lows of solar thermal: Bottom line: A large-scale solar power plant with a large energy-storage system that is close to other solar-power systems and the customers they serve could produce electricity for about the same cost as that from standard utility plants. Such a system has yet to be built, however. And in other tauntingly suggestive solar news: A new mechanism for focusing light on small areas of photovoltaic material could make solar power in residential and commercial applications cheaper than electricity from the grid in most markets in …

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I wear my solar panels at night

Solar that doesn’t need direct sunlight

Solar that doesn't require direct sunlight: [G24i] uses nano-sized titanium crystals, which turn sunlight into electricity in a process similar to photosynthesis (the method plants use to store the energy from sunlight in sugars). Because G24i's technology is more powerful than other solar cells, it does not need direct sunlight to generate electricity and can work even in rainy Wales. The use of nanotechnology also makes the cells lighter, more powerful and more flexible. Because they aren't made using silicon, which is in high demand, they are also relatively cheap to produce. Traditional solar cells are either mounted on glass …

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Student forced to complete assignment to graduate

Breaking news on Fox

This is one of the most torturous cable TV segments I've ever seen: (via Hugg)

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Well that sucks

Unused mobile power adapters still use energy

As part of an announcement by Nokia regarding new green initiatives and features for future phones, the company revealed a little-known fact about mobile phone adapters: Kirsi Sormunen, Vice-President of Environmental Affairs at Nokia said, "Around two-thirds of the energy used by a mobile phone is lost when it is unplugged after charging but the charger itself is left in a live socket. We want to reduce this waste and are working on reducing to an absolute minimum the amount of energy our chargers use. The new alerts also play an important role, encouraging people to help us in this …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living