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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Giant snake and giant turtle were besties

Artist's conception.

You couldn't have a one-ton snake today -- the climate's just too moderate for a cold-blooded creature that size. But back when the planet was warmer by nature, all kinds of terrifying mega-reptiles roamed the Earth. So, in anticipation of global warming, maybe we should start preparing for how to coexist with snakes the size of buses. Lesson one: Apparently they pal around with giant turtles.

Read more: Animals, Climate Change

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The Great Billboard War of 2012

Heartland's crazy billboard featuring crazies was quickly pulled down, but climate groups are fighting fire with fire -- or, in this case, billboard with billboard. Forecast the Facts came up with this lovely specimen:

But Clear Channel, which apparently controls the billboard system in Chicago, was having none of it, and would not approve it. The company did, however, give its blessing to a sign from Al Gore's Climate Reality Project, which asks, more tamely, “Who to believe on climate? Heartland … or EVERY National Scientific Academy in the world?” Zing.

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Critical List: Massive tariffs for Chinese solar panels; Bike to Work Day

The Commerce Department announced that the U.S. could put tariffs of up to 250 percent on Chinese solar panels imported into the country.

It's Bike to Work Day!

First the Arizona Congress wanted crazy legislation to ban all government work on sustainability, now it's the New Hampshire Congress. So trendy!

Read more: Uncategorized

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The answer to our fuel woes might be monster sweet potatoes

Corn ethanol is a good idea in theory -- what's more renewable than a fuel source you plant and harvest every year? But corn is such an inefficient energy source that if we wanted to meet our biofuel goals with corn ethanol alone, they'd have to shoulder out every other crop. You know what yields more ethanol per acre than corn, though? Sweet potatoes. And you know what yields more ethanol per acre than sweet potatoes? GIANT MOTHERFUCKING SWEET POTATOES OF DOOM.

Read more: Biofuel

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The only real way to save on car insurance

Oh sure, you could hang around with lizards and cavemen and pink-haired spy chicks and that irritating "Fran" woman, trying to save a few bucks. Or you could cut to the chase.

Read more: Biking

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Butt-driven scooters are like Segways, but lazier

The Segway wasn't always just the transportation of choice for out-of-shape mall cops and tourists who can't be bothered to walk from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. When it was introduced, the idea was that it would render cars obsolete, making "walking" so quick and effortless that urban planners would be forced to start building cities at human scale.

Instead, a decade later, we're asking "hey, is there any way we could have a similar technology, but even lazier?" Honda has your answer. Its Uni-Cub is battery-powered and balance-controlled like a Segway, but instead of steering by shifting weight from foot to foot, you sit down and steer by shifting weight from cheek to cheek. Phew! All that standing still was getting really exhausting.

Read more: Transportation

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Reagan denied disaster funds for cleaning up teenager’s room

The fabulous blog Letters of Note has been delving into the letters of Ronald Reagan, and posted this gem on Twitter. Just look at that disregard for the environment, denying federal relief funds for what is clearly a disaster area!

Read more: Politics, Pollution

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We’ve lost 30 to 70 percent of our wildlife since 1970

We love wildlife! We love watching it in high definition on our TV screens while David Attenborough says something droll to ease the trauma of looking at a whale penis. (SO FLEXIBLE.) But apparently we don’t love it so much that we're dedicated to keeping it around.

A new report [PDF] from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) found that in the past few decades, wildlife populations have declined by about 30 percent:

Read more: Animals

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Critical List: Last 60 years were Australia’s hottest in a millennium; anti-whaling captain detained

Australia just experienced the 60 hottest years in the past millennium, according to a new report. And natural causes don't explain the shift.

China's grid is not set up to deal with renewables.

Anti-whaling captain Paul Watson, president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, was detained in Germany for a decades-old violation of navigational regulations.

Read more: Uncategorized