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Grist List: Look what we found.


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One Million Lights trades kerosene for solar in developing countries

Photo by One Million Lights.

For kids in developing countries, it's crucial to have a reliable light source -- otherwise you can't see to read or do your homework. But many homes and villages don't have electric light, and the cheapest alternative -- kerosene -- is an environmental nightmare on both large and small scales. It pollutes the environment at large, but it also pollutes your home and potentially lights it on fire in the bargain.

The nonprofit One Million Lights is trying to change that one light at a time.

Read more: Cleantech

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Rich white dudes: Environmentalists are out of touch with the working class

MSNBC's Morning Joe is a font of conventional wisdom, so I don't feel bad restating this old maxim: Everyone on Morning Joe is a jerk. Here's the evidence, starting at 3:10 or so:

The ever-wise Joe says that Obama's "environmental base" is holding him back because the only type of energy environmentalists like is "getting granola and grinding it up and hoping sparks will come off of it." Oh, and wind and solar matter so little, we might as well just give up on them now. Apparently, according to ex-Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, enviros also think composting shredded tote bags is a way to get energy.

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Help build New York’s first underground park

The Low Line, an underground urban paradise on the Lower East Side, is soliciting funds through Kickstarter, which means that you can be part of the development of the city's first underground community green space/zombie fortress. 

Read more: Cities

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Critical List: Lucy Lawless occupies oil ship; Maine fisherman catches child-sized lobster

Lucy Lawless, best known for her role as Xena, Warrior Princess, teamed up with Greenpeace to occupy an oil drilling ship.

The panel on Morning Joe posited that environmentalists think the alternative to fossil fuel is granola. (In case this wasn't clear already, everyone on Morning Joe is a jerk.)

A Pew Research Center poll found that 66 percent of people who've heard about Keystone XL want to build the pipeline.

Gas prices are going up because of tensions with Iran tightening the supply of gasoline.

Read more: Uncategorized

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Chihuahua-size horses caused by climate change

Sifrhippus and modern horse. (Illustration by Danielle Byerley, courtesy University of Florida.)

After they first appeared in the fossil record, horses got smaller as a result of a warming planet, says a study just published in Science. Thing is, proto-horses weren't that big to begin with -- Sifrhippus, the first horse, only weighed 15 pounds -- so by the time the climate was done with them, they'd shrunk down to 8.5 pounds, or about the size of Paris Hilton's dog Tinkerbell.

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If people got rid of their extra cars, they could afford an extra house

The average American family owns 2.28 cars, and even in genuinely car-dependent areas they could probably get away with one. How much does that excess auto capacity cost? Enough that if everyone ditched their unnecessary vehicles, they'd save an average of $186,425.03 over 30 years. In a lot of places, that's enough to buy another house. At very least, it's more than enough to move to a more expensive area that's more transit-accessible or requires a shorter commute.

Read more: Sprawl

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Right-wingers and greens agree: The Lorax movie sucks balls

It takes some real skill to simultaneously make Fox News think you're seeding children's brains with liberal time-bombs, AND piss off environmentalists with your transparent pandering to the auto industry. But the upcoming Lorax movie has managed it. We SAID it was an abomination.

Read more: Living

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The sky is falling! (No, really.)

Photo by Shaun Wamal.

This is not a joke: The sky is falling. Or technically, the height of clouds, the average of which decreased about 1 percent from 2000 to 2010. Researchers at the University of Auckland, who collected the data, attributed the change to a drop in the number of clouds formed at high altitudes.

Read more: Climate Change

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High school boys record green rap video

Man, this video really induces high school flashbacks. A group of seniors at Atlanta's Marist School created it as part of the Green School Alliance's Green Cup Challenge. These fine, upstanding young fellas won the video part of the challenge by adapting Outkast's So Fresh, So Clean to a greener message. The part where they hug trees is the best. Also this part:

Read more: Energy Efficiency

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Submarine data will be declassified for climate science

The British Royal Navy's nuclear submarines regularly cruise under the Arctic ice cap, looking for Russkie subs lost since the Cold War or bumping into whales or whatever. While they tool around, they’re recording environmental data with sensitive instruments all the while. Now some of that data is going to be declassified in order to aid climate scientists' study of the polar oceans, which are melting and wreaking havoc on global weather patterns already.