Grist List

Food

Queen of England to eat invasive species pie

Enemies of invasive species have been advocating for a diabolical solution to doing away with unwanted species: Eat them! And while most people are not down with eating sautéed iguana or lionfish ceviche, on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee, Queen Elizabeth II will be honored with a gift of lamprey pie — a dish made from a parasitic eel that’s invaded the Great Lakes. Lampreys — which look like eels, suck the blood of other fish, and have a single nostril on top of their heads — used to thrive in the River Severn, near Gloucester. So naturally, it’s …

Living

Galaxy, right ahead! The Milky Way’s on course for a head-on collision

One day, this is what the night sky will look like. Yup, that’s a galaxy (Andromeda, to be specific) headed straight for … our galaxy! Andromeda’s rushing towards us at the crazy fast speed of 250,000 miles per hour. Luckily, it is a galaxy far, far away, and so it will take 3.75 billion years to get close enough to present as it does in the above illustration, which NASA rigged up based on data from the Hubble telescope. 

Climate Change

Global warming could wipe out the goth population

As a former goth, I had to love this article from British satire site NewsBiscuit about the latest species to be threatened by climate change: the normally nocturnal, tree-dwelling Common Goth. Britain’s Goth population, identifiable by its distinctive eye markings, peaked at around 90,000 in the 1970s, but since then has been driven out of urban habitats by more aggressive, faster-breeding species like Chavs. While some Goths are expected to hibernate until the weather gives everyone less to be cheerful about, there are fears that some could spontaneously combust in the summer sun leaving behind only a pair of smoking …

Critical List: Carbon dioxide hits 400 ppm in the Arctic; bedbugs don’t like boozy blood

Carbon dioxide levels in the Arctic have reached 400 parts per million (ppm). Once upon a time, they were 275 ppm. 350 ppm is considered a decent level to aim for these days. Peanut butter and deli meats have traces of flame retardant in them. Fishing fleets don’t care what regulators say — they’ll fish where they want. Last year’s cold summer meant that there were a fifth fewer butterflies around. California’s going to require “solar ready roofs” on new buildings.

Climate Change

Old photographs found in basement help scientists unravel warming patterns

While cleaning out a basement at the National Survey and Cadastre of Denmark, researchers found a box full of glass photo plates from a 1930s expedition to Greenland. The forgotten photos showed detailed aerial and ground-level pictures of 132 Greenland glaciers — which allowed scientists to study how the glaciers changed over a much longer period than was previously possible. The verdict? Many glaciers in the 1930s were actually melting even faster than they are today.

Sustainable Farming

Tyrion Lannister loves farm animals

Tyrion Lannister is my favorite character in Game of Thrones (both the HBO series and the book series, which I refuse to call by its goofy official name), and Peter Dinklage is super-handsome and deserves 300 Emmys. So it’s nice to know that, unlike Tyrion, Dinklage wears his good-heartedness openly — he’s the new national spokesperson for the Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals campaign. Book series fans, maybe don’t tell them about Pretty the Pig.

Animals

Stray dog follows bikes for 1,000 miles (and beats most of the cyclists)

This adorable terrier-looking pup was hanging around a group of cyclists when they took a break, so one of them gave her chicken. Well, you know what happens when you give a dog chicken: She never leaves your side again, even if you’re riding your bike from China to Tibet, covering nearly 40 miles a day and climbing 16,000-foot mountains. The dog, nicknamed Xiaosa, had no choice but to run alongside the bikes for more than 1,000 miles. Because love. And also chicken.

Climate & Energy

Report: Corporations are big fat hypocrites about climate change

Corporations are officially people now, and like people, sometimes corporations will loudly say that they believe one thing while their actions reveal another preference entirely. Like a lady who says she wants to settle down but dates only dudes who are apt to move to Hawaii at a moment’s notice, American companies having been saying they’re concerned about climate change at the same time that they have been fooling around with trade organizations, think tanks, and lobbying groups that have been working to undermine climate action. In a new report, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) calls companies out on …

Critical List: Obama EPA goes easier on oil producers than Bush EPA; NYC could ban large sodas

The Bush EPA was tougher on oil and gas producers than the Obama EPA — enforcement actions are at their lowest level in years. New York City could ban the sale of large sodas. Properties close to national wildlife refuges have greater value.

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