L.A. gets a bad rap for its car culture. But it turns out that Americans’ addiction to milk, cheese, and other delicious dairy products plays just as big a role in the city’s smog problem these days. Scientific American reports that there are 300,000 cattle in the L.A. area, and the bacteria feasting on their waste create the same tiny particles of pollution that make smog particularly nasty.
Arun Majumdar, the head of ARPA-E, the energy equivalent of DARPA, is stepping down next month. Today, Tim DeChristopher is appealing his conviction for disrupting a federal drilling auction. Europeans installed more solar power than any other kind of power last year.
The Kickstarter video for The WATT? An Energy 101 Primer does a good job of explaining why, exactly, people should care about energy: Energy is everything. It’s a part of pretty much every aspect of modern life. wherever you live, whatever you do, however you do it. Unfortunately, most people know next to nothing about how this stuff actually works. The makers of the The WATT? — Focus the Nation, a clean energy youth organization, and Friend of Grist List Ben Jervey — aim to change that by publishing an “users’ manual for energy in the 21st century.” They’re going …
Since the 1970s, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch -- an area of the ocean clotted with plastic microparticles -- has grown 100-fold. And this is very bad news, not only because of the creatures it harms but because of the ones it helps.
In the Netherlands, there are more than 30 "Repair Cafes" -- groups that meet once or twice a month to repair clothes and gizmos and tools that might otherwise be discarded.
Props to Canada for setting an actual carbon emissions goal. Too bad there’s almost no way they’re going to meet it. The World Bank is pushing countries to put a monetary value on the resources their ecosystems provide. A new study shows that monkeys who were exposed to BPA in utero developed unusually dense mammary tissue — in humans, a risk for breast cancer. Those dead pelicans that washed up on the shores of Peru likely starved to death.
OK, I had always understood that Canadians build tree forts with little tiny fridges in them if, and only if, they have a million dollars. But Vancouver-area software developer Joel Allen built his insanely beautiful HemLoft when he went financially bust. And because he was broke, he built it by hand, illegally, on government-owned land.
Woe betide you if you decide to drive your ironic vintage Yugo in Brooklyn instead of your fixed-gear bike with detachable mustache. Park Slope residents have had enough of those bullshit half-spaces that show up in front of cars when someone moves an SUV and it gets replaced by a compact. They’re so pissed off, they’re hauling out their letterpresses and feverishly hand-pulling artisanal parking tickets.
This allergy season has been terrible. It seems like everyone I know has been running around with leaky eyes, even those of us who aren’t typically pollen-sensitive. Granted, there was an unusual amount of tree sperm in the air this year, but it seemed strange that everybody — really, everybody! — was afflicted. But a new study by Finnish researchers explains everything: The reason we’re all so sick is that we live in the city. According to this study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and based on research done in Finland, people who live in cities …