Skip to content Skip to site navigation
Grist List: Look what we found.


Comments

Starbucks juice bar: Vegan nirvana or yuppie hellhole?

There are two ways to think about Starbucks' first juice bar, which opens Monday. Either this juice heralds the end of times, or it is a boon to vegans and vegetarians everywhere.

The basic background: Back in November, Starbucks bought Evolution Fresh, a company started by the guy behind Naked Juice. The coffee company is using that business to launch an entirely new chain. It will service fresh fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies, wraps, salads, and soups. The first store opens Monday in Bellevue, Wash., which Reuters describes as "an upscale city just east of Seattle."

Now, for those who believe -- no, are certain -- that Starbucks ruined coffee forever, this is terrible news. People swear by their juice bars: in the East Village, where I live, you're either a Liquiteria fan or a Juicy Lucy fan. We have regular jazz-ballet dance rumbles. For those whose No. 1 priority is having fresh juices and vegan wraps available two to a corner … well, it’s probably still terrible news. Can a giant corporation really get a wheatgrass-spiked kale-apple-carrot-banana smoothie right? It is not unreasonable to fear that the result will be gross and probably full of sugar.

Comments

Engineer wants to stop Arctic warming with a cloud-whitening machine

Painting your roof white can (maybe) reflect enough heat to save a year’s worth of emissions. So painting the clouds white should be able to reflect enough heat to stop global warming, right? At least, that’s the theory recently put forth by an eminent U.K. engineer who wants to “whiten clouds” to prevent Arctic ice loss.

Engineer Stephen Salter wants to build massive “cloud-whitening” towers in the Faroe Islands or on islands in the Bering Strait in order to keep Arctic temperatures from climbing.

Comments

Cloned baby goat is a super-adorable terrifying monster of science

The Kashmir region of south Asia is economically dependent on cashmere (the homophonic name is not a coincidence). But populations of pashmina goats, which produce the expensive wool, have been dwindling. So scientists at Sher-i-Kashmir University decided to hurry the process along, cloning a pashmina goat named Noori with little more than a microscope and crossed fingers.

Read more: Animals

Comments

Low doses of BPA are worse for you than high doses

The pesticide and plastics industry have a lot invested in the safety of chemicals like bisphenol A and atrazine. Such "endocrine-disrupting" chemicals mimic human hormones, and research has tied them to health problems like cancer and infertility. But these industries have always held up studies that look at exposure to huge doses of endocrine disruptors. In massive quantities, the industries point out, these chemicals don’t cause problems. Therefore, they must be safe.

But those huge doses may actually obscure the chemicals' effects, a new study argues. Endocrine-disrupting compounds "can have effects at low doses that are not predicted by effects at higher doses," the authors write. In other words, low levels of exposure to these chemicals -- like the levels that you'd get from, say, drinking water out of a BPA-laced plastic bottle -- can have worse effects than high levels of exposure.

Read more: Living

Comments

Study: GMO crops are killing butterflies

Photo by David Slater.

We’re all familiar with Big Ag’s bad reputation of picking on small-scale and organic farmers. Now Monsanto and its cronies are beating up an even more innocuous set of victims: beautiful, defenseless monarch butterflies.

A new study from the University of Minnesota and Iowa State University fingers Monsanto’s genetically modified corn and soybean crops as the culprit behind monarch butterflies’ declining populations.

Between 1999 and 2010, the same period in which so-called GMO crops became the norm for farmers, the number of monarch eggs declined by an estimated 81 percent across the Midwest, the researchers say.

Comments

Critical List: Chevron execs face ‘environmental crime’ charges; even small doses of BPA are dangerous

Everything about Frozen Planet is awesome, except Alec Baldwin's narration.

Chevron execs in Brazil must surrender their passports and face criminal charges for "environmental crimes" connected to oil spills off the country's coast.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals like bisphenol A and the pesticide atrazine can have significant health effects even for people exposed to only small doses, according to a new study.

Mitt Romney wants Obama to fire Steven Chu, Lisa Jackson, and Ken Salazar because as heads of departments (Energy, EPA, and Interior) that have some responsibility for energy, they "are on a mission to drive up the price of gasoline and all energy."

Scientists have been monitoring Isle Royale National Park's grey wolves for decades, but with only one female left in a pack of nine, the wolves could die out.

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Heartland Institute tried to steal documents from Greenpeace

Photo by Stefan.

Okay, we don't want to beat a dead horse here -- like, say, the way certain organizations kept harping on the Climategate non-scandal -- but allow us just one more instance of pointing and laughing at the Heartland Institute's gross hypocrisy. When we last left our intrepidly two-faced heroes, they were wounded to the core by the fact that climate scientist Peter Gleick had posed as a board member in order to obtain internal documents. Now it turns out the denialist think tank did basically the same thing to Greenpeace.

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Graduation caps and gowns made from recycled bottles

Michigan Tech student Emily Baker. (Photo by Sarah Bird.)

Seniors at Michigan Tech will be sporting the finest in recycled-bottle couture at their commencement next month. The school's graduation caps and gowns just look like the standard Hogwarts-uniform deal, but they're actually made of recycled water bottles. 

Read more: Living

Comments

Fruit flies drink when they can’t get laid

Photo by T. Chapman.

Today in "nature is weirder than you ever thought possible" news: When male fruit flies are deprived of sex, they turn to alcohol. Really.

Read more: Animals

Comments

Navy’s new training area may harm endangered whales

Photo by the Department of Sustainability & Environment.

Right whales may get screwed for being in the right place at the wrong time. That’s because the U.S. Navy wants to build a $100 million offshore training range in the very same area as the endangered whales’ regular swimming zone. Ah yes, the age-old battle of whales versus sailors -- I seem to recall this usually ends with someone getting eaten, and it isn’t a whale.

The Navy wants to install an undersea array of cables and sensors for training warships, submarines and aircraft about 50 miles off the Atlantic coast of southern Georgia and northern Florida. Environmentalists have sued to block the project, saying it's too close to waters where right whales migrate near shore each winter to birth their calves.

A coalition of environmental organizations is suing to block the training range, claiming that the Navy approved the facility before finishing up its study of how often right whales visit the 500-square-mile site. The suit went before a federal judge yesterday, but no decision has been made either way yet.