Grist List

Critical List: Wind farms cause temperature changes; the problem with sardines

Wind farms can lift local temperatures. President Obama made a couple of jokes about eating dog meat at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Eating sardines may not be the best idea for the environment. Germany’s clean jobs initiative is flagging. Cute animal code red! The koala’s a threatened species in Australia.

Animals

Mosquitoes fingered for killer whale deaths at SeaWorld

It’s hard to imagine a teensy mosquito taking down an animal as mighty as the killer whale. Yet that’s exactly what some folks suspect happened at two SeaWorld locations. Representatives from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) say that orcas that died at SeaWorld parks in Orlando and San Antonio succumbed to encephalitis, a virus transmitted by mosquitoes.  WDCS argues that these deaths could have been avoided if whales weren’t kept in captivity.

Climate & Energy

This crazy bill could eliminate Arizona’s ability to do any environmental work

The Arizona House is about to vote on a totally insane bill that could prevent that state from doing even the tiniest smidgen of environmentally friendly work. Solar and wind projects that used a dollar of government funding would be made illegal. State universities could have to stop all sustainability-related research. State buildings wouldn’t even be able to use CFL lightbulbs. The bill, SB 1507, has already passed the Senate, and the House has given it initial approval. The final House vote is coming on Monday. The bill would make it “illegal for any government entity in the state to abide …

Business & Technology

Ad men illegally hack down trees for billboards

Watch one episode of Mad Men and you’ll see just how shady the advertising biz can be. But apparently the red-headed stepchildren of the advertising industry — outdoor billboard companies — are taking douchebaggery to new lows. An investigative report from Fair Warning details how billboard agencies illegally chop down trees to ensure that potential viewers get unobstructed looks at their signage. Don Draper’s womanizing and debauchery isn’t looking so bad now, eh? Take Robert J. Barnhart, a former employee of Lamar Advertising Company, the largest outdoor billboard company in America. When trees got in the way of the company’s Tallahassee, …

Critical List: More droughts and floods coming; Koch super PAC hits Obama on green energy

The earth’s water cycle is speeding up twice as fast as climate models predicted, which means more droughts and more floods. The Kochs’ super PAC spent $6.1 million — more money than it’s ever spent before on a single ad — on this ad criticizing the president’s green energy spending. Now Peru has a domestic climate change policy. Soon it’ll just be the U.S. holding out. In Africa, foreign investors have bought up land of an area the size of Kenya.

Pollution

Six Flags’ Magic Mountain caught polluting a California river

Most folks associate Six Flags’ Magic Mountain with water parks, games, and thrilling roller coasters. Turns out the amusement park produces more than just smiles and old fashioned family fun — a whole mess of water pollution. A coalition of local environmental groups recently accused Magic Mountain of spewing pollutants and trash into the Santa Clara River, a waterway that flows 45 miles from the park before emptying into the ocean. The coalition says that if the amusement park doesn’t clean up its act within 60 days, they’ll sue — just in time for summer vacation season.

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