Grist List

Critical List: Fracking fluids reach aquifers in only a few years; Heartland’s weird campaign

According to a new study, it only takes a few years for fracking fluids to migrate from deep in the ground into aquifers. We know we should ignore this sort of campaign from Heartland, but seriously? Climate change advocates are like the Unabomber?? Could senior BP officials get caught in the Justice Department’s criminal probe?

Animals

30,000 bees found in New Jersey attic

Turns out the honeybee colonies we’ve all been so concerned about didn’t collapse after all — they just moved to New Jersey. Specifically, they went to stay at a former bed and breakfast in Cape May, where 30,000 bees were just taken out of the attic.

Living

Video game based on Thoreau’s ‘Walden’ promises to be extremely ironic

Thoreau went to the woods because he wished to live deliberately and suck all the marrow out of life. But if you don’t want to go outside to do that, don’t worry: The Walden experience now comes in video game form! The digital Walden Pond will showcase a first-person point-of-view where you can wander through the lush New England foliage, stop to examine a bush and pick some fruit, cast a fishing rod, return to a spartan cabin modeled after Thoreau’s and just roam around the woods, grappling with life’s unknowable questions. Oh yes, this is going to be the …

Climate & Energy

It’s almost impossible for Pa. landowners to find out about fracking violations

Fracking companies might be violating drilling rules all over the place, but in Pennsylvania, landowners who leased their property to gas companies likely have no idea. CNN Money reports: That’s because the state agency charged with regulating the wells — the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) — does not have to notify landowners if a violation is discovered. Even if landowners inquire about safety violations, DEP records are often too technical for the average person and incomplete.

Living

The coolest church you’ve ever seen is inside an 800-year-old tree

This oak tree in Allouville-Bellefosse, France, up near the country’s north coast, has been alive for at least 800 years. In the late 1600s, a bolt of lightening hollowed out the center, but the tree survived and kept putting out leaves and acorns. And when they see something like that, 17th-century Frenchmen think about the same thing as the Insane Clown Posse: MIRACLES.

Critical List: Other countries manage to pass climate change laws; Greenpeace is busy

Plants are freaking out about climate change: Their timing for flowering and leafing is even more off than climate models predicted. Also, species extinction could be a major driver of climate change and keep the environment from producing awesome resources like … food. South Korea’s parliament approved a cap-and-trade plan. Kenya and Peru are also working on climate change laws. A judge granted BP preliminary approval of its plan to settle Deepwater Horizon claims. The company could pay out nearly $8 billion to settle private claims for injury or economic loss from the spill.

Animals

Sharks with actual frickin’ laser beams

Oil spill? Pff, whatevs. The new undersea menace is considerably more dangerous, where by “more dangerous” I mean “less dangerous, but  more awesome.” That’s right, folks: I’m talking about sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads.

Living

SUV with built-in stationary bike: It’s like biking to work, except stupid as hell

Introducing the most bougie car possible: the Becker Cadillac Escalade ESV.

Food

Beautiful chart tells you how to eat seasonal (in the U.K., at least)

This beautiful interactive chart from U.K. organization Eat Seasonably may not apply precisely to your climate, and it’s pretty British in other ways too — “courgettes” are zucchini, FYI. But I love the concept — a handy calendar showing you what fruits and veg are in season at what times — and I love the idea of having a star vegetable or three for every month.

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