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Grist List: Look what we found.


Oh for chrissakes,, you did not seriously just take a helicopter to a climate change meeting

It's great when celebrities get the green bug and decide they want to use their fame to tell people “hey, this climate change thing? It's a problem.” But guys, GUYS, as much as we appreciate the support, we’re REALLY going to need you not to pull stunts like the one just did: showing up to a meeting about climate change in a goddamn gigantic helicopter.

The rapper was paying a visit to climate change expert Myles Allen, who apparently is not as exasperated about this as we are. I do believe that, as Allen put it, is "committed to the issues." He's written a whole song about this stuff! But. BUT. Riding in a helicopter and then BIKING to your meeting? Does not make sense. Sure, sure, every little bit counts. But that little bit of carbon you saved by biking was pretty much made irrelevant by the gigantic pile of pollution that helicopter dumped into the air.


Critical List: China says U.S. violated trade rules; ‘artificial leaf’ won’t be commercialized

Now China's accusing the U.S. of violating free-trade rules in clean energy development.

Radiation from Fukushima won't increase the risk of cancer for any Japanese people -- except a bunch of babies from a nearby town. Whatever! Just babies!

Making hydrogen with an "artificial leaf" isn't any cheaper than making hydrogen from fossil fuels.

Read more: Uncategorized


Attention, renewable energy supporters: You worship Satan

Are you against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, seizing family farms for risky oil pipelines, or opening more offshore real estate to operations like Deepwater Horizon? Do you think there are better ways to get energy than by tearing up the land and sea and endangering all who live there? Well, then you are a Satanist, or at very least some kind of spooky heathen. Focus on the Family's James Dobson and I just thought you would like to know.


New documentary is like ‘The Real World’ for farming

Photo by Ben Williams.

Filmmaker Hailey Wist's documentary The Garden Summer is the true story of five strangers picked to live on a farm, work together, and have their lives taped. Wist recruited four other good-looking 20-something suburbanites to spend the summer on an Arkansas farm, getting all their food (except booze, coffee, and cooking oil) either from their own garden or from within a 100-mile radius.

So what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real on a farm? Well, like the original MTV reprobates, they drink, get in arguments, and have romantic entanglements, sometimes with the same people. But they also learn about where their food comes from, and about wasting less and living simpler.


The best comic about industry and ecosystems you’ll ever read

Stuart McMillen, who wrote and drew that cool comic about reindeer on St. Matthew Island, has a new comic comparing human industry to ecological development after the Mt. St. Helens eruption. I know, it's no gay X-Men wedding, but it's really interesting! I promise!


Heartland adviser: Heat waves only kill people who were basically dead already

The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg is actually braving the Heartland Institute conference this week. And it's totally worth it, because she's coming out with quotes of horrifying callousness, like this one, from Heartland policy adviser John Dunn:

"Warm is good for people, and it's particularly good for people as they get older," said Dunn. "The people that warm spells kill are already moribund." He went on to say that only extreme cold caused extra deaths.

Let us translate: Hey, old people! Sorry about that heat wave that killed you. You were going to die anyway, so no sweat, OK?

The next speaker wanted to revive the use of DDT.


High school seniors suspended for biking to school

On Monday, 64 Kenowa Hill High School seniors biked to school in Walker, Mich. Nice, right? Well, the principal didn’t think so. She suspended the kids for the day and threatened to keep them from walking in their graduation ceremony. Somehow, this one story manages to encapsulate everything that is wrong with American attitudes towards biking.

The group ride was conceived as a less-destructive alternative to the traditional vandalize-the-school, get-everyone-out-of-class brand of senior pranks. Skipping lightly over the fact that a few dozen students riding bikes qualifies as a “prank” rather than a “Monday,” these kids actually deserve a lot of praise for organizing a group activity that’s healthy for them, the planet, and the community, instead of just pulling fire alarms.

And indeed, they got some praise -- the mayor even showed up to hand out donuts. But when the “bike parade” arrived at school, the principal had a major freakout and sent the kids back home.

Read more: Biking


Critical List: Keystone XL could raise gas prices; Italy earthquake threatens cheese

Counter to everything Republicans say, building the Keystone XL could raise gas prices.

Please, parents, don't buy your children trendy pets in imitation of popular book characters. In England, hundreds of Harry Potter-inspired pet owls are being dropped off at animal shelters after their owners realized that they're expensive to care for and don't actually carry mail.

A magnitude-6 earthquake in Italy may have damaged 300,000 ripening wheels of Parmesan cheese -- 5 percent of Italy's supply.

Read more: Food


Giant mice are eating all the endangered baby birds

Considering all the threats facing endangered seabirds -- extreme weather, pollution, oil spills -- I would not guess that "giant mice" would really rate concern. But on Gough Island in the South Atlantic, 10-inch mice have been decimating Atlantic petrel populations by eating the birds' young. This is especially bad news because Gough Island is the only known place where Atlantic petrels breed -- meaning that the young of the entire species are at risk of ROUS attack.

Read more: Animals