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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Critical List: Big trees suffer more from deforestation; Japan’s version of Al Gore

Deforestation is disproportionately killing off the world's largest trees.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif., a.k.a. the Mustache of Justice) wants to subpoena Koch Industries executives to force them to testify about the company's connection to Keystone XL.

The National Academy of Sciences wants to find out more about nanomaterials and their effects on humans, since the tiny particles are everywhere now.

In West Virginia, kids living near a DuPont plant had 44 percent more perfluorooctanoate (the stuff that's in Teflon and waterproof clothing) in their blood than their mothers did.

The Wall Street Journal thinks it's found Japan's version of Al Gore.

Read more: Uncategorized

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Republicans cockblock NOAA appointment because of an oil-drilling snit

You'd think that the main criterion for being named the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's chief scientist would be that you are a scientist. (Lesser criteria: being plausibly chiefly; studying some field related to oceanic and/or atmospheric science.) Turns out, though, that being a scientist can be a real liability for the chief scientist job, at least if Sen. David Vitter is on the case. Vitter successfully blocked the Obama administration's appointment, geochemist Scott Doney, because basically he's just not sure scientists can be trusted with this whole "science" thing.

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New toilet paper is recycled and brown, and that’s not QUITE as gross as it sounds

So if you were going to make a recycled toilet paper, would you make a huge deal about it being brown? Is that really the color that will evoke the most pleasant images when paired with the phrase "recycled toilet paper"? Is anyone even driving this marketing campaign?

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Schoolkids want The Lorax to be more tree-huggy

As Dave Roberts pointed out when the trailer was released, the upcoming Lorax movie is an insult to all that's good and holy. The original Seuss tale is bleak, sure, but bleak with a purpose: it's a parable about greed, exploitation, and the consequences of environmental rapaciousness. It does not feature the Polyphonic Spree.

Well, turns out it's not just thirtysomething curmudgeons like Dave and me who find the Lorax movie plans pukey. A group of fourth graders from Brookline, Mass. has drafted a petition asking Hollywood to reinstate the original book's environmental themes.

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Geoengineering could boost crop production, says study

Adding tiny, sunlight-blocking particles to the upper atmosphere -- a.k.a. the “artificial volcano” approach to geoengineering -- could help crops avoid the effects of global warming, lowering temperatures so that they're more to plants' liking, says a new study appearing in Nature Climate Change. (Here's the press release.)

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Ex-employee says BP fired him for trying to clean up oil

In November 2011, BP fired an employee named August Walter, who had been working on clean-up of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Now, Wilson says the company fired him because he wouldn't help gloss over its clean-up shortcuts. He’s suing BP in federal court.

BP and the Coast Guard are working on the clean-up together, and there's a plan they're supposed to follow. Walter says BP was not following the plan correctly and also hadn't made enough progress to meet scheduled deadlines.

Read more: Oil

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Climate change danger: Arsenic in the water supply

Droughts, climate change, and resource-intensive dairy farming have joined forces to make Mexico's Laguna Region, once well-stocked with ponds, into a semi-arid semi-wasteland. Oh, and the drinking water is full of arsenic and it's giving everyone cancer. Is this the most cheerful post we've ever written? Maybe!

Read more: Climate & Energy

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How two guys turned recycled coffee grounds into a gourmet mushroom empire

Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez were recent grads who were supposed to go into investment banking, but they became obsessed with the idea that mushrooms could be grown in old coffee grounds, reports Sarah Stankorb at GOOD. Faster than you can say "triple bottom line" they'd interested their local Whole Foods in their first batch of mushrooms -- grown in a bucket in the basement of Velez's fraternity.

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What did Obama say about energy last night?

We at Grist List know more or less how your State of the Union experience went last night: You intended to watch it, but oooooh, you forgot there was a new Downton Abbey episode you hadn't watched yet. You started watching the speech, but booooooring! You changed the channel/zoned out/got distracted by YouTube. Or you watched the speech but your drinking game involved a word that no one thought would come up. But then it did! Like a million times! Ugh, now you are hungover.

To help y'all out, we have condensed here the most important energy-related bits of the speech: