Grist List

Coal

This coal-plant snow globe could be yours for only $3,100

The world inside a snow globe is usually pretty idyllic — just pure white snow falling lightly on famous landmarks. Not really an accurate reflection of the environmental toll of mass-produced tourist kitsch. So the artists of the Dorothy collective have produced a limited run of two coal power plant globes, complete with ash-flake “snow.” One has already been sold — but the other can be yours for £2,000, or a little over $3,100.

Animals

The top 10 new species of 2011, including a walking cactus and Spongebob Squarepants

The International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University has convened a committee of scientists to determine the 10 best newly discovered species of 2011, and some of them are doozies. Even the monkey, which by all rights should be the cute one, is a noseless Voldemortian horror — and that’s not even to mention the spongy fungi, blue tarantulas, devil worms, and six-inch “leg sausages.” Please enjoy this trip through our weird, weird world of biodiversity — or, alternately, read this and then crawl under the bed with a can of Raid. Both seem legit.

Living

Oh for chrissakes, will.i.am, you did not seriously just take a helicopter to a climate change meeting

It’s great when celebrities get the green bug and decide they want to use their fame to tell people “hey, this climate change thing? It’s a problem.” But guys, GUYS, as much as we appreciate the support, we’re REALLY going to need you not to pull stunts like the one will.i.am just did: showing up to a meeting about climate change in a goddamn gigantic helicopter. The rapper was paying a visit to climate change expert Myles Allen, who apparently is not as exasperated about this as we are. I do believe that, as Allen put it, will.i.am is “committed …

Critical List: China says U.S. violated trade rules; ‘artificial leaf’ won’t be commercialized

Now China’s accusing the U.S. of violating free-trade rules in clean energy development. Radiation from Fukushima won’t increase the risk of cancer for any Japanese people — except a bunch of babies from a nearby town. Whatever! Just babies! Making hydrogen with an “artificial leaf” isn’t any cheaper than making hydrogen from fossil fuels.

Climate & Energy

Attention, renewable energy supporters: You worship Satan

Do you think there are better ways to get energy than by tearing up the land and sea and endangering all who live there? Well, then you are a Satanist. Focus on the Family's James Dobson just thought you would like to know.

Sustainable Farming

New documentary is like ‘The Real World’ for farming

Filmmaker Hailey Wist’s documentary The Garden Summer is the true story of five strangers picked to live on a farm, work together, and have their lives taped. Wist recruited four other good-looking 20-something suburbanites to spend the summer on an Arkansas farm, getting all their food (except booze, coffee, and cooking oil) either from their own garden or from within a 100-mile radius. So what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real on a farm? Well, like the original MTV reprobates, they drink, get in arguments, and have romantic entanglements, sometimes with the same people. But they …

Sustainable Business

The best comic about industry and ecosystems you’ll ever read

Stuart McMillen, who wrote and drew that cool comic about reindeer on St. Matthew Island, has a new comic comparing human industry to ecological development after the Mt. St. Helens eruption. I know, it’s no gay X-Men wedding, but it’s really interesting! I promise!

Climate & Energy

Heartland adviser: Heat waves only kill people who were basically dead already

The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg is actually braving the Heartland Institute conference this week. And it’s totally worth it, because she’s coming out with quotes of horrifying callousness, like this one, from Heartland policy adviser John Dunn: “Warm is good for people, and it’s particularly good for people as they get older,” said Dunn. “The people that warm spells kill are already moribund.” He went on to say that only extreme cold caused extra deaths. Let us translate: Hey, old people! Sorry about that heat wave that killed you. You were going to die anyway, so no sweat, OK? The next …

Biking

High school seniors suspended for biking to school

Sixty-four high school seniors biked to school in Walker, Mich. Nice, right? Well, the principal didn’t think so. She suspended the kids for the day and threatened to keep them from walking in their graduation ceremony.

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