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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Antarctica’s about to lose a New York City-sized chunk

A NASA photograph of the crack across Pine Island Glacier.

Normally when icebergs split off from glaciers, it's called "calving," but I think it would be fair to say that Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier is about to have a cow. Pine Island Glacier, which is the continent's fastest-melting glacier and unusually well-situated to contribute to sea level rise, is getting set to shed a chunk of ice larger than all five boroughs of New York City combined.

Read more: Climate Change

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10-year-old discovers new energy-storing molecule by accident

Fifth-grader Clara Lazen was just messing around with a molecule modeling kit in class, trying to construct a stable molecule that followed basic chemistry rules. What she ended up with was a completely novel molecular structure, and a coauthor credit in the resulting journal article. Man, what were YOU discovering when you were 10? Masturbation and Faith No More?

Read more: Climate & Energy

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‘Smart paint’ warns you when stuff’s about to break, so you can fix it

Someday we'll fix infrastructure and the environment in the same way that Arizona suburbanites fix their lawns: By slapping on a coat of paint. Science has already made great strides on carbon-eating paint, and the kind of paint that can make windows into solar panels. And now researchers at at Glasgow's University of Strathclyde have developed paint that can detect underlying structural problems in bridges, mines, and turbines, allowing engineers to head disaster off at the pass.

Read more: Cleantech

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How the Sierra Club and the natural gas industry broke up

Yesterday, TIME published the news that the Sierra Club had taken more than $25 million dollars from the natural gas industry -- specifically, from employees and subsidiaries of Chesapeake Energy, one of the largest natural gas companies around. The donations came at a time when the environmental movement was rallying behind natural gas as a "bridge fuel" -- an energy source cleaner than coal that could lead to a renewable energy future.

But in 2010, the Sierra Club's new executive director, Michael Brune, decided to end the financial relationship, forgoing an additional $30 million in funding — an amount equal to a quarter year's budget for the club.

Read more: Natural Gas

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Critical List: Sierra Club took natural gas money; solar panels made from grass clippings

The Sierra Club's executive director, Michael Brune, revealed that from 2007 to 2010 the environmental group took more than $26 million of donations from people and companies connected to the natural gas industry.

The Obama administration is moving forward with offshore wind development.

Warming oceans are encouraging the growth of coral … for now.

Read more: Uncategorized

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Mitt Romney ‘sings’ ‘America the Beautiful,’ ironically

Mitt Romney really likes "America the Beautiful," as he says in this video compiled by ThinkProgress, but it's not clear what he likes about it. It's not the music, since he obviously has no fidelity to that. It's not the message, which is all about purple mountains and fruited plains, which Romney's oil-greedy policies would undermine.

Read more: Election 2012

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Government will develop wind energy off the Atlantic coast

The federal government has opted to move forward with wind energy development off the coast of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia, and Virginia's Republican governor for one could not be happier. Sure, the party line might be that alternative energy is stupid -- but when you have the federal government actively hunting down corporate investors for development in your state, it tends to make you pretty optimistic about new technologies.

Read more: Wind Power

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Brad Pitt on why cars are stupid

Brad Pitt explained the premise of his film Moneyball to Jon Stewart by way of analogy to gas-guzzling cars. Most of the interview wasn't about green stuff at all (his Celebrity Cause is building houses in New Orleans, which is sort of related but not totally related), but Comedy Central did get a pretty good meme out of this:

Read more: Fossil Fuels

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Why Apple should pour money into clean energy

In the last five years, Google has poured more than $700 million into financing for clean energy projects. That's not the kind of thing you do just to burnish your "green" credentials for a credulous public -- it's serious money, deployed with the express aim of diversifying the company's holdings with "businesses that can earn good returns and that aren't correlated to other investments," says Rick Needham, Google's director of green business operations.

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Austin gets a super swank zero-energy suburb

How do you build a (nearly) net-zero-energy suburb in 2008, at the nadir of the economic crash, when no bank in the country is convinced you'll be able to sell your more energy-efficient but pricier homes?