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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Secret Heartland Institute memos map a climate-denial campaign

Looks like someone has pulled a Climategate on denialist think tank the Heartland Institute. (Is "think tank" the correct term for an institution devoted to spreading misinformation? Maybe "lie tank" is better.) Turns out that -- surprise surprise -- they take donations from the Koch brothers, as well as tobacco companies and Microsoft. And then they pay off pundits and scientists to publicly wage war on facts.

Read more: Climate Skeptics

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Insanely catchy song urges you to poop in a bucket

Okay, I'm not sure I'm convinced that pooping in a bucket will save the world, but this is definitely going to be stuck in my head for a while:

Read more: Green Living Tips

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French judge: Monsanto poisoned farmer

In 2004, Paul François, a French farmer, breathed in the vapor of Monsanto's Lasso weedkiller while cleaning out the tank of a crop sprayer. He lost consciousness and later suffered from memory loss and headaches. Monday, a French court found that Monsanto could be held liable for poisoning François.

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Did fracking turn this squirrel purple?

One of the explanations being floated for the purple squirrel recently captured in Pennsylvania: An organobromide overdose caused by fracking. Yeah, it sounds a little far-fetched, but doesn't it sound more interesting than "it fell in a port-a-potty"?

Read more: Animals

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Bill McKibben discusses his 700,000 anti-Keystone emails on Colbert

This week, the Senate is considering a highway bill with a rider attached to it that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline, the tar-sands project that just won't die. Yesterday, 350.org led a charge to send 500,000 emails to the Senate asking elected leaders to "block any efforts to revive the dangerous Keystone XL pipeline." The push started at noon and will end at noon today. The pile of emails hit the 500,000 mark after about seven hours, and this morning was closing in on 700,000.

350.org founder Bill McKibben appeared on The Colbert Report last night to discuss the campaign and explain to Stephen Colbert why his view that "everything we're extracting from the ground is natural" isn't quiiiiite right:

Read more: Oil, Politics

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This app gets rid of your junk mail

Free app iOS/Android/WP7 app PaperKarma purports to unsubscribe you from junk mail and catalog lists with just a snapshot. You take pictures of your junk mail haul, and PaperKarma identifies the senders and notifies them to leave you the hell alone.

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How ancient humans killed off Africa’s rainforests

Three thousand years ago, Africa was covered in evergreen forests that were slowly transforming into savannah and grassland as the climate warmed. But even 3,000 years ago, natural variation in climate was apparently not enough to wreak serious habitat havoc. For that you need humans. And as it turns out, humans radically accelerated the loss of Africa’s forests, reports Rachel Nuwer at ScienceNOW

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Why the 21st century will see migration back to the Rust Belt

In the 20th century there was a mass migration to the Sun Belt, because everyone thought that living in a warm climate and having a big house would make them happy, even though actually it made us diabetic and addicted to oxycontin.

But now that climate change means the Sun Belt is becoming the Drought Belt, you might want to go north, says NRDC's Kaid Benfield -- unless you like living in a desert slum made out of crumbling McMansions and ruled over by teen superpredators whose street-legal assault rifles sport Ron Paul stickers, that is.

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Happy Valentine’s Day, here’s a sheep and a deer getting married

Image by AFP

Oh look, it's Rick Santorum's worst nightmare. Changmao the ram and Chunzi the doe are engaging in some sheep-on-deer marriage at China's Yunnan Provincial Wildlife Park today, because true love knows no species, especially when you're both even-toed ungulates who are too dumb to understand taxonomy.

Read more: Animals

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Earth is losing 39 cubic miles of ice per year

Oh lord, is the planet ever melting. And thanks to the GRACE satellite, we now know that the planet is shedding 150 billion tons of ice annually, like some gigantic glass of lemonade left out in the sun.

Melted down, just seven years of that lost ice would cover the entire United States in a foot and a half of water.