Grist List

Pollution

A tire fire so big it can be seen from space

Tire fires are a nasty business, and in Kuwait yesterday, a fire broke out at a dump that held more than 5 million tires. The fire was so big that the smoke plume was visible from space: A tire fire this big is an environmental disaster. It won’t just pollute the air with hazardous materials — it will create a small oil spill as well. Burning just one passenger car tire can produce two gallons of oil, according to the EPA, and 5 million tires could spill about 275,000 gallons of oil on the ground.

Critical List: Americans link climate change to hot weather; yet another Keystone XL bill

The majority of Americans are convinced that climate change had something to do with the warm winter and last year’s super hot summer. Good news: They believe climate change has consequences. Bad news: When it gets cold, they’ll be convinced we fixed it. House Republicans are going to vote today on yet another bill that would require federal approval of Keystone XL. (The White House has said it will veto the bill.) Apple and Amazon have the dirtiest data centers, Google has the most energy-efficient, according to a new Greenpeace report.

Cities

Politically conservative cities suck for pedestrians

Walkin’ in politically conservative cities, walkin’ in politically conservative cities, nobody walks in politically conservative citiiiiies. Okay this is not very catchy, but Will Oremus at Slate has noticed that it’s true. The most walkable cities are reliably politically liberal — the 19 most walkable are all in states that voted for Obama in 2008, and even the largest conservative cities didn’t crack the top 20.