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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Animated guide to building a Keystone XL

Who knew the Keystone XL pipeline was this simple? Turns out it's just a long concrete tube buried three to four feet under ground, rambling on for mile after mile, narrated by a guy with an adenoid problem. All this fuss over whether or not it will be built, and it's barely more complicated than a sewage outflow.

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Why do we suck at building subways?

At Salon, Will Doig asks why American public transit projects have decades-long time lines, while in China, new transit projects open in a heartbeat. And as Matt Yglesias points out, American transit projects are also more expensive than comparable build-outs in other big, rich cities, like London.

So what's our problem?

Read more: Transportation

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You can make fuel cells out of cockroaches

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have figured out how to make cockroaches into creepy-crawly batteries. Finally, living in filth can pay off by lowering your electrical bill!

Read more: Biofuel

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The world’s most environmentally outspoken president steps down

Mohamed Nasheed, the Maldives leader whom Foreign Policy called "the world's most environmentally outspoken president," stepped down from his office on Tuesday.

In international circles, Nasheed attracted attention for his climate campaigning. The Maldives are a low-lying chain of islands in the Indian Ocean, and climate-driven sea level rise could consume them. In 2009, Nasheed promised his country would be carbon-neutral within a decade. He held a cabinet meeting underwater as a publicity stunt calling attention to the danger of climate change. He also looked into a plan to relocate Maldives citizens to less threatened islands, although he faced some public opposition, as he told Foreign Policy in 2010. After a woman bit and kicked him at the suggestion of moving to a neighboring island, he was forced to conclude that "Maldivians do not want to leave their homeland."

Read more: Politics

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How to cut carbon emissions: Get rid of middle-aged people

Don't trust anyone over 30 (or under 70) when it comes to carbon emissions. According to data from the Max Planck Institute, your individual emissions rise steeply from birth through the early 20s, then keep rising a little less sharply for the next 40 years. Your carbon footprint doesn't peak until after age 60, at which point you may be responsible for 16,500 tons of CO2 per year. Conclusion: Baby Boomers ruin everything. 

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Watch a jaw-dropping northern lights display

Here's the upside to a massive solar storm: Absolutely astonishing aurora borealis.

Christian Mülhauser shot this film in Norway at the height of January's solar storm, and it is spectacular.

Below, some screenshots, because I'm obsessed with this video.

Read more: Living

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How to make meat underwear

Do you have a surplus of humanely raised meat from your DIY slaughter? Alternately, have you been trying to go vegetarian but can't quite shake the cravings? Either way, these instructions on making your own beef jerky briefs have you covered. Barely covered.

Read more: Food

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Critical List: Australia floods break records; industrial agriculture is booming

Floods in Australia are rising to record levels. We told you Australia is screwed.

Guys. GUYS! Mitt Romney also gave out renewable energy loans as governor of Massachusetts OMG WTF SOLYNDRA BRAIN EXPLODES.

San Francisco is working to integrate electric bicycles into its car share service.

Russian scientists have drilled a hole through two miles of ice to reach Antarctica's largest subglacial lake.

Why are so many dolphins being found stranded on Cape Cod?

Read more: Uncategorized

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The Gulf of Mexico’s seven-year oil spill

Whatever, BP; Taylor Energy Company was spilling oil in the Gulf of Mexico way before it went mainstream. A broken Taylor wellhead has been leaking as much as 4,000 gallons a day into the Gulf for the last seven years, according to a lawsuit filed by water conservation groups Apalachicola Riverkeeper and Waterkeepers Alliance.

Read more: Oil

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Here’s what the night sky ought to look like (i.e. AMAZING)

Here's your nature porn for the day: a long exposure of the night sky over the aptly named Very Large Telescope array in Chile.

Read more: Clean Air