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Grist List: Look what we found.


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In India, solar-powered ATMs use as much energy as a lightbulb

In urban America, getting money out of the bank means walking a block to the ATM. In rural India, the nearest bank branch might be a day's journey away. But now a company called Vortex Engineering is using solar power to bring convenient banking to out-of-the-way villages.

The key: The company's ATMs are energy efficient. Vortex calls them the "world's lowest power consuming ATMs," and they use just 10 percent of the energy of other banking machines, according to Yale e360. It adds up to about the same amount of energy as a lightbulb. That low energy overheads means that solar panels can provide back-up power and keeping on running even in areas where electricity service is spotty. 

Read more: Energy Efficiency

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Texas college turns football field into awesome urban farm

If your football team can’t hack it on the field, perhaps they can grow some kick-ass kale.

At least that’s the sentiment from Dallas’ Paul Quinn College. After the university cut its football program, President Michael Sorrell decided to transform the unused field into a working farm.

The WE Over Me Farm, which covers 57,000 square feet, was a response to the lack of healthy food options in the economically depressed area. Highland Hills, the neighborhood where Paul Quinn is located, is a designated food desert.

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Critical List: Snow comes in April this year; Obama campaign seeks environmentalists

New York and Pennsylvania are getting hit with an April blizzard.

The United States and Britain are going to collaborate on offshore wind development.

Lithium air batteries could extend an electric vehicle's battery life by a factor of 10 ... if anyone could figure out how to make one.

Read more: Uncategorized

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India flips the switch on world’s largest solar power plant

The Indian state of Gujarat has built the world's largest solar photovoltaic power plant, a field of solar panels the size of Lower Manhattan. After only 14 months of preparation, they've just switched it on, adding 600 megawatts of power to the grid. That's enough to power a medium-sized city's worth of homes. Thing is HUGE.

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The dumbest green bikinis

As the world heats up, it will be increasingly important to have itty-bitty swimsuits to wear (under your voluminous poncho, of course, once the ozone layer crumbles and turns sunlight to poison). So what swimwear best prepares you for an apocalyptic climate-altered future, while simultaneously being low-impact and sustainable? Whatever, that's a boring question; here is the swimwear that does it WORST.

1. Solar bikini

Read more: Living

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8-year-old environmentalist raises $250 in 12 hours after friends’ parents call her ‘stupid’ for caring

Reddit is the internet in microcosm -- it showcases a lot of gross boneheaded stuff, gives space and succor to every flavor of perversion and bigotry, and is simultaneously full of interesting information, funny quips, and the occasional moment of grace. This story is one of those.

Last night, Redditor nervousbreakdown19 wrote that her conscientious daughter Winter had asked for Nature Conservancy donations in lieu of gifts for her eighth birthday, and been mocked to her face by her friends' jerkhole parents. Instead of crumbling under not-even-peer-pressure, though, Winter decided to set up a fundraising page with the kid-friendly site Earth Rangers, collecting donations for the endangered pine marten. (Earth Rangers gives half the raised money to the Nature Conservancy, and uses half for teaching about conservation in schools.) She's already made it more than halfway to her $500 goal.

Read more: Animals, Living

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Let’s replace Earth Day with Destroy the Earth Day

Solar flare. (Image by NASA/GSFC/SDO.)

If you're like us, you're totally burned out on all the absurd, disingenuous ways that marketers are trying to connect their wares to Earth Day. Perhaps part of the problem is that no one really knows what they're talking about when they say they want to “save the Earth.” Save the Earth from what?

We’d have a better sense of our mission if we spent some time contemplating the threats. So in order to breathe some life back into the most worn-out secular holiday since Something on a Stick Day, we’ve decided to expand on Eric Roston's list of ways the Earth could actually be destroyed. Know thine enemy!

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Surreal, weirdly beautiful photo of planetary destruction seen from space

Some things that look awful up close can look kind of beautiful from space. Like this enormous open-pit copper mine in northern Chile.

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287 coastal energy facilities at risk from sea-level rise

Sea levels are rising, which means that there's a greater risk of floods that reach well over the high tide mark. By 2030, the risk that coastal floods will go four feet or more over high tide will have doubled, Climate Central reports. And in that zone lie 287 energy facilities -- power plants, natural gas facilities, and oil and gas refineries -- that now stand a greater chance of getting an unexpected bath.

The state most likely to be screwed by this state of affairs is, of course, Louisiana. Not only is it full of oil and gas infrastructure, that infrastructure has been built on low-lying ground (which they have a lot of down there). More than half of the at-risk facilities that Climate Central identified are in Louisiana.

Read more: Infrastructure

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Critical List: Climate bill passes Mexico’s senate; Bill Clinton tells enviros to ‘chill out’

The Mexican Senate passed a climate change bill that's all set to become law. Reuters reports it was "non-controversial." No wonder Republicans are so set on keeping Mexican immigrants out of the country -- they might bring in science.

Bill Clinton has a message for sustainability advocates: “Chill out – sometimes this stuff takes years." (Unless you're in Mexico, apparently.)

Two years after the BP oil spill, offshore drilling for oil is still a risky business.

And BP is still fighting with the government over how much it will have to pay for damages.

Read more: Uncategorized