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Grist List: Look what we found.


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George Bush’s hometown is running out of water, thanks to climate change

Here's a theme we're going to see a lot in the 21st century:

Payback is a bitch.

The president who nixed America's commitment to the carbon-reducing Kyoto protocol, whose administration censored reports on climate science, and whose State Department thanked Exxon executives for their "active involvement" in helping to determine climate change policy, is watching the town in which he grew up squirm in the grip of Texas' epic, climate change-enhanced drought.

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Starbucks strawberry Frappuccino dyed with crushed insects

Photo by Ben Adams.

Here's a Starbucks order to try out: a Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino with soy milk and a shot of crushed parasitic insects.

Actually, you don't need to order the bugs -- they come standard with the drink, in the form of the red dye used to give the frap that special strawberry color.

Yes, the insects are crushed, and yes, they are a commonly used natural food dye. Enjoyed a strawberry PopTart lately? Yeah, those use crushed critters for coloring, too.

So you may have already eaten your peck of bugs, and besides, insects are nutritious. Still, there's obviously a bit of an "ew" factor here. It's one thing to eat bugs knowingly, but when a gigantic corporation sticks them into a sugar bomb without asking, I think one is entitled to feel at least as miffed as when one's parents snuck broccoli into a perfectly good Kraft macaroni-and-cheese dinner. There are some health impacts, too, for the factory workers who produce the dye.

Read more: Scary Food

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How successful cities are like marijuana

Photo by Spreng Ben.

If you've got an acre of land, and a magical get-out-of-jail-free card, which cash crop do you grow -- wheat, soybeans, or marijuana?

That’s a good metaphor for a city's decision to invest in its downtown versus sprawl, says Joe Minicozzi, the new projects director at Public Interest Projects. Minicozzi uses the pot-vs.-soybeans hypothetical because people intuitively grasp the value of cash crops -- that an acre of high-grade weed throws off 10 or 20 times as much income as a food crop.

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Maple syrup-pocalypse arrives 20 years early

Maple syrup farmers have "never seen a season like this," and as a result, maple syrup production has cratered. If you like the stuff, it's time to start stockpiling it.

Scientists have been saying that maple syrup production could be devastated in 20 to 30 years, but this season's warm temperatures are so extreme that we're getting a taste of that state of the climate now. Or maybe climate change is two decades ahead of schedule and we are even more screwed than we thought.

Read more: Uncategorized

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Critical List: Pesticides are killing bees; North Sea gas leak only sort of dangerous

Pesticides are killing honeybees and bumblebees, two new studies show.

A chemist who reviewed the results of the EPA’s water testing in Dimock, Pa., says the levels of methane they found were dangerously high, despite the EPA’s statements that the water was safe.

The FDA has to decide by this weekend whether BPA is safe.

The North Sea gas leak might not be as dangerous as it could have been.

The Obama administration cut a deal on approving offshore windfarms for the Great Lakes.

Read more: Uncategorized

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Mark Ruffalo on Colbert Report

Mark Ruffalo went on The Colbert Report to talk about fracking, and Stephen yelled at him -- even though he acknowledged later that it's probably a bad idea to yell at the Hulk.

Read more: Natural Gas

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Jose Canseco schools Twitter on climate change

Jose Canseco knows as much about global warming as I know about Jose Canseco, which is to say, not much. I'm told he's "the total train wreck of baseball" and I'm willing to believe it, now that I've seen him take his Twitter followers to school on climate change.

Are you ready for this? You're not. You can't be. But at least he gave you fair warning.

Read more: Climate Change

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Easy, reversible, 100 percent effective birth control is for men only

One of the best things we can do for the planet is stop putting new humans on it, which means promoting safe and effective birth control for people who want to keep their offspring levels between zero and "get that, would you, Deirdre." But hormonal birth control comes with side effects like weight gain, mood swings, blood clots, and Rush Limbaugh. Luckily, there's a birth control option that's safe, quick, easy, reversible, and 100 percent effective for 10 years. But back off, ladies: For once in our lives, this birth control's just for dudes.

Read more: Childfree, Population, Sex

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Tim DeChristopher out of solitary

Climate activist Tim DeChristopher, who has been in solitary confinement since March 9 for confusing reasons that might have to do with a "threat" to give someone their money back, was released back into regular old prison Wednesday night.

Read more: Uncategorized

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Wilderness therapist: Good job or BEST job?

If you're like me, when you're finished reading Noah Davis's interview with "wilderness therapist" Brad Reedy, you're going to be thinking "yeah, I could use a month or two of that."

Wilderness therapy involves taking kids out into nature. Which, some studies suggest, is not only beneficial for children with difficulties like ADHD, but might actually be necessary for most of us to remain productive and functional human beings.