Grist List

Critical List: The return of the loan-guarantee program; Texas least prepared for climate change

The Energy Department is reviving its loan program. (AAAH! SOLYNDRA! AAAAAAAH!…say Republicans. We’re pretty sure this will all work out fine.) Environmental groups want final rules governing coal ash and are suing the EPA to get them. Texas: not very prepared for climate change. California: doing better than everyone else, at least. In China, drought means that 7.8 million people and almost 10 million acres of farmland lack adequate drinking water.

How the new NYC taxi is bike-friendly

New York City's new taxis have sliding doors, so that there's no danger that a tourist from the flyover zone will thoughtlessly door a passing cyclist when he or she hops out.

If everyone used as much energy as Americans, we’d run out of oil in 9 years

Unlike gluttonous American industry, Europe's most profitable companies plan to make even more money by getting ahead of this whole peak oil trend.

Google saves energy by cooling its buildings with ice

Google's new $700 million data centers in Taiwan will make ice at night, when electricity is significantly cheaper, and use it to cool the buildings during the day. It's called thermal storage, and it's basically a battery, but for air conditioning.

Terrified by peak oil, FedEx turns to biofuels, efficiency

FedEx owns 700 planes and tens of thousands of trucks, which is why CEO Fred Smith is crazy for energy efficiency.

Animals

Forest Service employee traps and tortures wolf, doesn’t get fired

When wolves came off the endangered species list in western states like Idaho, wildlife advocates worried how the species would fare without protection. Ranchers aren’t known to be particularly fond of wolves, for starters. In March, a disturbing story confirmed some of advocates’ worst fears: A Forest Service employee had trapped and tortured a wolf in northern Idaho. The Center for Biological Diversity is asking for an investigation into the incident, Environmental News Service reports. The employee, Josh Bransford, “posted online photos of a wolf he had trapped that was then non-fatally shot by people who saw the animal from …

Critical List: A feathered cousin of T. rex; a solar panel thinner than spider silk

The Yutyrannus, a newly discovered dinosaur, was huge, related to Tyrannosaurus rex, and covered in feathers. Thousands of dead dolphins have been washing up on Peruvian beaches. Austrian and Japanese scientists teamed up to make a solar panel that’s thinner than a thread of spider silk. Drought in England means that anyone caught using a hose faces a fine equivalent to more than $1,500.

Green Cars

Four cars, built by teenagers, that get over 1,000 miles per gallon

The Shell Eco-Marathon is sort of a weird contradiction: It's all about challenging students to make hyper-fuel-efficient cars, i.e. kind of the opposite of Shell's goals.

Climate & Energy

Monster hailstone will eat your family

Man alive, check out the hailstone that fell in sunny Hawaii earlier this month. It’s four inches long and it has TEETH. I’m not actually convinced it’s not an embryonic yeti.

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