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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Chevron on Brazil spill: ‘Oh whoops, our bad’

Earlier this month, an oil well that Chevron was drilling off the coast of Brazil sprung a leak, and as many as 110,000 gallons of oil have spread over the sea bed and into the ocean. Chevron didn’t even notice at first -- Brazil's state oil company had to sound the alarm about the spill, the Associated Press reports. Now the company is saying it "takes full responsibility for this incident." One of the mysteries of the oil world is the inconsistency with which companies decide to own up to their misdeeds. Back in February, for instance, Chevron professed confusion …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Oil

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Watch Jamie Oliver say something unprintable to McDonald’s on TV

One of the greatest things among the many great things about British accents is how classy they generally make swearing sound. This works best if you're, say, Stephen Fry; it's a little less effective for Jamie Oliver and his mockney pronunciation, but it's still pretty funny to watch him cuss at McDonald's on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Oliver also has things to say about pizza, school lunches, Congress, and the cost of a beastie.

Read more: Food, School Lunches

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Climate change pantry raid: Oysters

Here's the current list of delicious foods that climate change is going to take away: pecan pie, chocolate, coffee, wine, bacon, peanut butter. Now, a new addition: oysters. This list does sound like the grocery list of a 1 percenter who shops only at a Dean & Deluca in Park Slope. (Wine-filled, coffee-flavored, bacon-flecked chocolate is a thing, right? Well NOT FOR LONG.) But the die-off of oysters heralds a serious environmental problem and indicates how quickly the climate is changing. Oysters are dying because of ocean acidification. As Elizabeth Grossman explains at Yale e360: Colder, more acidic waters are …

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Critical List: Ozone fix is warming planet; weighing Thanksgiving’s environmental impact

To fix the ozone, manufacturers of fridges and other products replaced ozone-busting CFCs and HCFCs with HFCs. But now the U.N. is warning that HFCs do a number on the climate. In other words, the solution to the ozone problem could be creating a climate change problem. Oh, and no one thinks that the world could agree to implement any international climate change treaty before 2020. Plus, the U.S. is now saying that some developing countries need to chip in to the fund that's supposed to help developing countries adapt to climate change. Bootstraps, people! Carl Pope, chairman of the …

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Live your tiny house fantasies by renting one on AirBnB

The highest-rated listing on AirBnB, the site that allows you to rent homes, apartments and other temporary quarters as an alternative to staying in a hotel, is a tiny house. The Mushroom Dome Cabin in Aptos, Calif., sports a loft bed under its geodesic dome roof and is in walking distance of a grove of Redwoods. There are plenty of other tiny houses on AirBnB, so if you've ever wanted to find out whether or not you could make the ultimate commitment to radical simplicity, renting one on vacation is probably a good way to start.

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Making federal buildings green cuts costs by a fifth

Paging Ron Paul: Once you're done transforming the U.S. into a neo-feudal patriarchy whose fiefs are ruled by their respective John Galts, you could make a huge dent in whatever government spending is left by simply making the feds' buildings "green." That's the conclusion of a new report [PDF] from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. PNNL evaluated 22 green federal buildings, and found that when compared to the average commercial building, they: Cost 19 percent less to maintain Used 25 percent less energy Consumed 11 percent less water  Emitted 34 percent less carbon dioxide Had occupants who …

Read more: Cities, Infrastructure

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Americans are smarter than they look about extreme weather

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has officially stated that climate change will lead to more extreme weather events -- we all sorta knew that, but it's nice to have confirmation. It turns out, though, that we weren't the only ones who knew. A survey by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication found that even in advance of the IPCC's announcement, the majority of Americans had gotten the memo that climate change contributed to this year's record-setting disasters. When asked about the claim that climate change had contributed to this year's record heat waves, 67 percent of respondants said …

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Whistleblower exposes cruel tuna fishing practices

Warning: This video is kind of intense, and may put you off sushi forever. Greenpeace has been trying to draw attention to cruel tuna fishing practices for a while, and now this anonymous helicopter pilot has footage of whales, rays, sharks, and dolphins being caught and slaughtered as collateral damage. Fish Aggregation Devices, which are intended to make tuna fishing more productive, also attract other marine animals which are then destroyed -- plus, they kill young tuna, thus depleting the tuna stocks.  The helicopter pilot has what sounds like a New Zealand accent plus his voice is distorted for anonymity, …

Read more: Food

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Public school’s rooftop greenhouse teaches kids about food

At New York's P.S. 333, the Manhattan School for Children, science class takes place on the roof. A rooftop greenhouse, built in partnership with Science Barge creators New York Sun Works, houses a year-round farm where kids can learn about plant life cycles, green technology, and sustainable farming practices. This farm is seriously rad, in a way that the younger kids at the school might not even grasp. The greenhouse is chockablock with innovative solutions: rainwater catchment, wind energy, aquaponics, worm composting, solar panels, and a weather station that lets students monitor conditions in the greenhouse. By the time they …

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NYT Mag: Country folk understand fracking better than city folk

The New York Times has a long article in this weekend's magazine about hydraulic fracturing in southwestern Pennsylvania. It tries to capture the culture of the place and to show the tensions for people who have an economic interest in drilling but are at risk of suffering health impacts. But it also manages to glance off some of the scarier tensions in the area among citizens, government, and corporate interests. The story's set in Washington County, which is a rural area south of Pittsburgh. The people populating the story talk about "country folk and city people." They say things like …