Grist List

Organic Food

Does organic food make you a jerk?

New research says organic food makes you rude and selfish. We investigate this "provocative" study.

Climate Skeptics

Heartland Institute going broke due to dickish billboard campaign

After a year fraught with hardship, the climate-denialist Heartland Institute is being rapidly abandoned by its friends and supporters, doomed to wind up friendless and alone, wandering the streets clad only in rags, hawking matches to indifferent passers-by. It would be straight-up Dickensian if they weren’t such jerks. But most of this ill will is coming from the organization’s over-the-line billboard campaign comparing climate scientists and other global warming believers to legendary mass murderers.

Living

Tree poachers steal 800-year-old red cedar

A decade ago, British Columbia had 40 full-time park rangers who monitored 1,000 parks. Today, it only has 10. And they don’t often make it out to faraway parks like the Carmanah-Walbran Provincial Park, which is on the southern end of Vancouver Island. With no one around regularly, it must have been easy for poachers to come into the park and hack away at an 800-year-old red cedar tree. Well, “easy” is relative, because we’re talking about a lot of sawing — this granddaddy cedar was so old, its stump measures almost 10 feet in diameter. But there was so …

Climate & Energy

Wisconsin hospital is powered by beer and cheese

Gundersen Lutheran Hospital, in La Crosse, Wis., aims to be energy independent by 2014. Hospitals use a ton of energy, so that’s a tough goal to meet. But Gundersen is getting there by piggybacking on Wisconsin’s best-known industries: beer and cheese. Beer and cheese, while delicious, both slough off a lot of gas while they’re being made. (Not to mention after they’re consumed.) The hospital system has been sourcing biogas from a local brewery and from a dairy farm that makes mascarpone and fresh mozzarella cheese. And recently the system started getting gas from a La Crosse landfill, as well.

Critical List: Eating organic makes people judgey; U.S. selling drones to Iraq to protect oil

Eating organic food makes people more judgmental about others’ actions and less altruistic, according to a totally bogus study. The U.S. is selling drones to Iraq to protect oil exports. White-tailed deer are eating so many leaves, they’re keeping migratory birds from being able to build their nests.

Climate Change

Global warming makes syrup taste gross

We’ve known for a while that climate change will threaten supplies of our favorite foods, like wine and bourbon. (Oh, and bacon, coffee, chocolate, oysters, and pecan pie.) But the optimists among us took this news with good humor. “Oh sure, our favorite foods and intoxicants might be a little scarcer,” these imaginary chirpy little shits said, “but that will make every mouthful more precious.” Well, not when it comes to maple syrup, sucker! Climate change isn’t just making it scarcer — it’s making it taste way worse.

School Lunches

9-year-old’s lunch blog shames school into making changes

Martha Payne had some sad-ass lunches at her school in Scotland -- unsatisfying food that sometimes had more hair than vegetables. So the 9-year-old decided to start a blog with photos and vital statistics about her meals.

Climate Change

Giant snake and giant turtle were besties

Researchers from the University of Florida announced they've found an eight-foot-long prehistoric turtle in the same Colombian mine where the one-ton "Titanoboa" snake was discovered.

Climate Skeptics

The Great Billboard War of 2012

Heartland’s crazy billboard featuring crazies was quickly pulled down, but climate groups are fighting fire with fire — or, in this case, billboard with billboard. Forecast the Facts came up with this lovely specimen: But Clear Channel, which apparently controls the billboard system in Chicago, was having none of it, and would not approve it. The company did, however, give its blessing to a sign from Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, which asks, more tamely, “Who to believe on climate? Heartland … or EVERY National Scientific Academy in the world?” Zing.

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