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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Why all promises to make gas significantly cheaper are fantasies

It speaks to the gross ignorance of the overwhelming majority of Americans -- or else the deep cynicism of our politicians -- that we even have to address this, but for the nth time ever, here we go!

Unless the world economy crashes or intercessory prayer starts working, no one on the planet has the power to significantly lower the price of gasoline at the pump. Especially not Newt Gingrich.

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Suck it, Gingrich, you CAN put a gun rack on a Chevy Volt

At a campaign event in Georgia, Newt Gingrich told supporters that he would maaaaaagically lower gas prices because "you can't put a gun rack on a Volt." Shows what the hell he knows.

Read more: Green Cars

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Urban farming in Detroit gets the documentary it deserves

Urban Roots is a documentary about farming within the city limits of Detroit, and as such, it’s a handy way to get an education on the subject in something like 90 minutes.

It's showing March 6 at the San Francisco Green Film Festival.

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In Germany, solar will be as cheap as conventional electricity by 2013

Solar probably won’t really take off until it makes more economic sense to slap some photovoltaics on your roof than to continue paying your utility company for their dirty, probably mostly coal-fired power. That day has arrived in parts of sunny California and Hawaii, and it's coming to (not-so-sunny) Germany by 2013, reports Michael Coren at Fast Company.

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Giant snow art turns the ground into a canvas

All images by Cedar Beauregard

Sometimes it's nice to stop worrying about the fate of the planet and just appreciate it for its beauty -- and it doesn't hurt if its beauty is slightly enhanced by being part of a massive environmental art project. Sonja Hinrichsen's snow drawing looks like it could be a Marimekko fabric design, but it's actually a large-scale arrangement of snow crop circles that took five people three hours to complete.

Read more: Living

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Activists get Amazon to stop selling whale meat

Photo by cfdls.

Weird things available on Amazon.com in the U.S. include wolf urine, fresh rabbit, canned unicorndeer butt, and (fake) horse heads. But until yesterday, the company's Japanese subsidiary was selling something a lot more grisly: whale bacon, whale stew, whale jerky, and canned whale meat. Now, only a day after the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) put out a call to action to boycott Amazon, whale meat products have disappeared from the site. 

Read more: Animals, Food

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Here’s what a crowdsourced bicycle looks like

This combination bike and scooter is nominally the work of fancypants designer Philippe Starck, but that's partly because "everyone in Bordeaux, France" doesn't have as much label cachet. (More than "everyone in Normal, Illinois" or something, but still.) Before Starck got his hands on the brief for the bike, which will be part of Bordeaux's bikeshare system, the city government solicited comments from more than 300 citizens on how their ideal bike would look and function.

Read more: Biking, Cities

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Test tube burger will cost more than $331,000 to produce

Sometime later this year, a yet-to-be-named guinea pig very lucky culinary pioneer will take the first bite of the first hamburger grown in a lab. At that point, the cost of making that burger will have totaled more than $331,000 (an estimated 250,000 euros). The meat will be grown from bovine stem cells that produce muscle and fat -- and if that sounds less than appetizing, keep in mind that the burger will be prepared by famed chef Heston Blumenthal.

Read more: Food

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Ultimate tiny house is suspended 40 feet in the air

Via the Dish, this art installation in downtown San Francisco is the ultimate tiny house. It's seven by eight by 11 feet, and it's suspended 40 feet in the air. Plus, it’s recycled AND green: It's made of 100-year-old reclaimed barn wood, and powered by off-grid solar.

Among other ideas, the project is meant to communicate "a new home front in the remaining voids of San Francisco" and "the arrogance of westward expansion," according to designboom. While we now think it's awesome and perhaps necessary to inhabit tiny spaces, for pioneers, it was just practical.

Read more: Cities

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Critical List: Court upholds local fracking ban; New York could ban shark fin sales

A New York state court upheld the town of Dryden's ban on fracking.

Republicans are trying to pin rising gas prices on President Obama.

Apple could allow independent environmental reviews of two factories in China.

Chinese air pollution is visible from space.

Read more: Uncategorized