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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Keystone XL shot down, Republicans whine about it

The State Department has recommended that the Keystone XL pipeline application be "determined not to serve the national interest," and President Obama has agreed -- not even because it's a disaster waiting to happen, but because (just as Dave Roberts predicted!) Republicans just could not sit down and shut up for five minutes.

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Biggest output of U.S. oil and gas industry is dirty water

The bad news:

"Every day, U.S. oil and gas producers bring to the surface 60 million barrels of waste water, with a salt content up to 20 times higher than sea water and laced with hazardous chemicals," reports John Kemp of Reuters. In an aging well, as much as 98 percent of the stuff that comes to the surface can be water.

Read more: Oil

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Pop-up Starbucks made of shipping containers

Photo by Starbucks

Recycling shipping containers into houses and environmental centers has been the new architectural hotness for a while, but what good are houses and environmental centers when you can't get coffee? This four-carton Starbucks near Seattle (go fig) offers a recycled alternative to your strip-mall Starbucks.

Read more: Living

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Clean energy policies create more jobs than Keystone

Obama is poised to reject Keystone XL this afternoon, so brace for a lot of Republican bellyaching about how he obviously doesn’t care about jobs. There is a problem with this line of argument, and it’s that it is nonsense. Don't believe us? Check out this graph, from ThinkProgress, which shows how Obama administration policies like the much-maligned loan guarantee program and the EPA toxic pollution rule will create many, many more jobs than Keystone construction:

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Obama will reject Keystone XL

Politico is reporting that Obama is planning to reject the Keystone XL pipeline this afternoon. Here's a quick roundup of some reasons why that's awesome:

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An inhabited apartment inside a subway station

Image from the IKEA France Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/ikea.france

French advertising agency Ubi Bene wanted to show Paris residents that IKEA furniture was the ideal solution for their small-space living. So they set up two 581-square-foot apartments in the middle of a Métro station. In one of the apartments, they installed five roommates, to show what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. (Assembled Parisians: "What's polite?")

Read more: Cities, Living

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Almost all U.S. car use is within an electric car’s range

Because it takes longer to fill up an electric vehicle than to fill a gas tank, and because EV infrastructure is still limited, the most common criticism of EVs goes something like "OMG RANGE ANXIETY." And, sure, no one wants to get stuck in their big metal bucket on the side of a highway until a tow truck can haul your ride to the nearest charger. But two Columbia Ph.D. students have parsed real actual data (from the National Household Travel Survey) to show that, in the daily lives of most people, range anxiety just shouldn't be a thing.

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Critical List: Military could produce 7 GW of solar; British survey hedgehogs

Solar projects at desert military bases could produce 7,000 megawatts of solar energy -- a huge amount.

EVs have more than enough range to make 95 percent of the trips we take by car.

Scotland aims to source 100 percent of its power from renewables by 2020, but to reach that goal, it needs the price of offshore wind power to drop.

A hedgehog survey is the most British endeavor ever, right?

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The hagfish defeats its predators with slime

This video from National Geographic will make any self-respecting maritime predator think twice before attacking a hagfish, an eel-like creature that secretes slime from its pores. Also, fair warning, you may not want to watch this with food in your mouth. (Click the image below to watch the video on the NatGeo site.)

Read more: Animals

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Orangutans will eat adorable lorises if they have to

Guess what will happen if orangutans' habitats are compromised to the point where there isn't sufficient fruit? THEY WILL EAT SLOW LORISES, THAT'S WHAT. Dude, we need to do everything we can to prevent this from happening.

Read more: Animals