Grist List

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.

Food

Critical List: Keystone XL could raise gas prices; Italy earthquake threatens cheese

Counter to everything Republicans say, building the Keystone XL could raise gas prices. Please, parents, don’t buy your children trendy pets in imitation of popular book characters. In England, hundreds of Harry Potter-inspired pet owls are being dropped off at animal shelters after their owners realized that they’re expensive to care for and don’t actually carry mail. A magnitude-6 earthquake in Italy may have damaged 300,000 ripening wheels of Parmesan cheese — 5 percent of Italy’s supply.

Animals

Giant mice are eating all the endangered baby birds

Considering all the threats facing endangered seabirds — extreme weather, pollution, oil spills — I would not guess that “giant mice” would really rate concern. But on Gough Island in the South Atlantic, 10-inch mice have been decimating Atlantic petrel populations by eating the birds’ young. This is especially bad news because Gough Island is the only known place where Atlantic petrels breed — meaning that the young of the entire species are at risk of ROUS attack.

Animals

Here is a dog riding a bike (all by himself!)

And here is my face right now: 8O

Green Home

Wooden light bulb is the most magical-looking LED bulb we’ve seen

There are all kinds of futuristic-looking energy-efficient light bulbs on the market — not just the traditional piggy-tail model, but liquid-cooled bulbs that look like glass jellyfish, and bulbs with gills like a mushroom or fins like a Cadillac. But for our money, this wooden bulb by artist Ryosuke Fukusada is the most beautiful energy-efficient light fixture going. (And yes, it really is a light fixture.)

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.

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