Grist List

Fossil Fuels

Stunning photos drive home the destructiveness of tar sands

We all know, in the abstract, that tar-sands oil is something we should oppose. But seeing the destruction that tar-sands mining wreaks on the landscape really brings it home. Business Insider took some spectacular photos at the Alberta tar sands, and they make the impact viscerally clear.

Climate Change

G8 summit might have actually done something about climate change

There’s a bit of news from the G8 summit that might have escaped notice: International leaders agreed to take collective action to decrease greenhouse-gas emissions. And pigs do fly. The agreement (which, unlike flying pigs, is real — we promise) could be “the biggest step in years in tackling climate change,” as The Telegraph’s Geoffrey Lean says. The catch is that it has nothing to do with carbon dioxide. Instead, it focuses on “short-lived climate pollutants” — all those other pesky carbon-based greenhouse gases, like methane, soot, and ozone.

Biking

Inflatable bike helmet is like an airbag for your head

Like other stuff that is good for your health (not smoking, sobriety, living slow, and dying old), bike helmets are uncool. But you can’t really enjoy your coolness with a giant crack in your skull. How do you protect your noggin without sacrificing your mojo? Swedish company Hovding has the answer: airbag bike helmets. Unless it’s called upon to perform, this helmet stays safely stowed in a futuristic-looking black collar that you can pretend is a scarf. (Hovding also offers printed shells that go around the collar, to make it even more chic.) But if you get hit, presto, it …