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Grist List: Look what we found.


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The sky is falling! (No, really.)

Photo by Shaun Wamal.

This is not a joke: The sky is falling. Or technically, the height of clouds, the average of which decreased about 1 percent from 2000 to 2010. Researchers at the University of Auckland, who collected the data, attributed the change to a drop in the number of clouds formed at high altitudes.

Read more: Climate Change

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High school boys record green rap video

Man, this video really induces high school flashbacks. A group of seniors at Atlanta's Marist School created it as part of the Green School Alliance's Green Cup Challenge. These fine, upstanding young fellas won the video part of the challenge by adapting Outkast's So Fresh, So Clean to a greener message. The part where they hug trees is the best. Also this part:

Read more: Energy Efficiency

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Submarine data will be declassified for climate science

The British Royal Navy's nuclear submarines regularly cruise under the Arctic ice cap, looking for Russkie subs lost since the Cold War or bumping into whales or whatever. While they tool around, they’re recording environmental data with sensitive instruments all the while. Now some of that data is going to be declassified in order to aid climate scientists' study of the polar oceans, which are melting and wreaking havoc on global weather patterns already.

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Google’s seven-person conference bike

Photo by conferencebike.com.

NPR's Marketplace did a story yesterday about how tech companies encourage bike commuting, which: duh. But Google apparently goes a step further and encourages bike conferencing, via a giant pedaled monstrosity with seven inward-facing seats. The "conference bike" is set up so that all participants contribute to making the bike move forwards -- but nobody is looking where they're going. Man, has there ever been a better visual metaphor for work meetings?

Read more: Biking

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Map shows avalanche of cellulosic ethanol projects on the way

In the battle between food and fuel, cellulosic ethanol might not be a great idea or even a viable solution to our energy woes, but enzyme company Novozymes says it's coming, regardless. (Cellulosic ethanol is different than the regular kind -- it's produced from "leftover" crop waste that is first digested by enzymes.)

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Critical List: Selenium dumping gives fish two heads; Germany to cut solar subsidies

A mining company in Idaho wants to keep dumping selenium into local creeks, even after its scientific study turned up these two-headed trout and other deformed fish.

A judge found BP liable for civil damages in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, meaning the company could pay billions in penalties.

Germany is cutting solar subsidies … because they have so much solar power already.

Four out of five wolves that were released near the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a reintroduction program are now dead.

Read more: Uncategorized

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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.