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Grist List: Look what we found.


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New SimCity has SimClimateChange

SimCity is back (or will be in 2013), and looking pretty damn awesome. And now, along with public approval and municipal funds and Godzilla attacks, there's a new factor to juggle: Making lousy energy choices can force your city to contend with climate change.

Read more: Climate Change

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Philippines police to plant 10 million trees in one year

Photo by Todd Shaffer.

Police officers in the Philippines are trading their guns and billy clubs for weapons of mass construction: shovels, watering cans, and gardening gloves. That’s because they’re partnering with the country’s Department of Environmental and Natural Resources to combat climate change and deforestation. Their Green Ops mission? Plant 10 million treesin one year.

The push to reforest the Philippines comes on the heels of a recent executive order by President Benigno Aquino, known as the National Greening Program, which aims to rehabilitate nearly 500 thousand acres of previously cleared forest cover by February 2013.

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Electric scooter version of Zipcar hits San Francisco

Photo by Jake Metcalf.

San Francisco’s hipsters are about to get motorized. Scoot Networks, an electric scooter rental system similar to Zipcar, recently launched in the Bay Area.

The system, which is being rolled out to San Francisco-based companies for private fleets, lets users locate nearby scooters with their smartphone and claim the one they want (as with Zipcar, each scooter lives at a certain location). After it’s docked into the scooter, the phone unlocks the vehicle and acts like a virtual dashboard, providing a map as well as information on speed and range.

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Best light bulb ever will cost you $50

Remember the awesome LED that the government declared the greenest lightbulb ever? Well, you can buy it now. But you probably won't. Because you like to do things like eat and pay rent.

We knew this sucker was going to be expensive. The number that was floating around was $40, and green commentators near and far thought most consumers would have sticker shock at that price.

Turn out, Phillips is selling the bulbs for $50. Fifty bucks! That is HALF OF A HUNDRED DOLLARS.

I know -- rationally -- that the bulbs will last for 10,000 hours and will save money in the long run. But that's a huge investment to make in a light bulb. I just bought shoes that cost less than that! I could splurge on an amazing dinner for that! More topically, I could buy a whole bunch of CFLs for that!

Read more: Living

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Crazy-ass Japanese dub music video hates on nuclear power

Okay, it's possible that this song by Rankin Taxi and the Dub Ainu band is just a teeny bit reductive about nuclear power. It's also possible that it is SUPER AWESOME. Somehow it is simultaneously serious, funny, angry, stylish, and catchy. As. Hell.

Read more: Nuclear

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The world’s most badass bike anthem

No matter what kind of tough customer you are -- the kind in the leather jacket, the kind in the earflap hat, or the kind in the blue button-down -- you will probably love this profane and catchy paean to biking. At very least, it will leave you without a doubt that riding a bike is for rebels.

Read more: Biking

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Critical List: Senate voted against Keystone XL; CSA delivery by sailboat

The Senate voted against approving Keystone XL.

Japan has almost shut down its nuclear industry; next month only one out of 54 reactors will be working.

Those affected by the BP oil spill could get 60 percent of the settlement money they're owed as soon as a new program to pay out claims is set up.

Read more: Uncategorized

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Iceland plans to turn excess carbon into stone

Instead of smokestacks belching carbon into the air, plants and factories in Iceland may soon have well injectors to push the greenhouse gases underground. You might think this would inflate the Earth like a balloon and lift it out of orbit (okay, you probably don't think that, but it's a good image). But in fact, once it's injected into Iceland's basalt bedrock, the carbon combines with other elements to form rock

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Mercury-loaded cosmetics target minority communities

Beauty may only be skin deep, but the damage from cosmetics reaches way down into the kidneys, brains, and other organs -- at least, it does if those cosmetics contain mercury, as several brands do, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). What’s even worse is that these mercury-loaded cosmetics are targeted specifically towards historically marginalized communities.

The recent FDA report found that heavy-metal-filled skin care products, soaps, and cosmetics are found mainly in stores frequented by people of Latino, African-American, Asian, and Middle Eastern descent.

The FDA has counted 35 potentially poisonous products, which include goods made by the brands Diana, Stillman’s, Lusco and Crema Aguamary, that are manufactured abroad and sold illegally in the U.S. They may claim to lighten skin, cure acne and reduce wrinkles.

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Delicious, edible food packaging could curb plastic waste

If you want to know why the earth and waterways are quickly morphing into giant garbage heaps, look no further than your pudding cup. Desserts, sodas, yogurts, and every other processed treat that comes tucked inside a plastic container are creating a slew of plastic pollution. But Harvard scientist David Edwards has an innovative -- and tasty! -- solution: Make packaging as delicious as the goods held inside.