Grist List

Wind Power

Wind-powered opera slightly less extravagant than regular opera

For many people, the opera is just a chance to nap in a $300 chair under a $1,500 chandelier while wearing $2,000 worth of clothes. But one opera festival in the U.K. is making sure that its extravagance is at least powered by clean energy.

Climate Change

Global warming could explode ‘compost bombs’ all over the planet

When the compost pile in your backyard revs up, it starts producing heat, as the microbes in it do their work breaking down organic matter. On a small scale, that’s great for your garden. On a grand scale, though, this same process can create a “compost bomb” — a burst of carbon into the atmosphere. And as the planet warms up, this is going to happen more often.

Food

Monsanto picture book teaches kids about the wonders of biotech

A kids' activity book funded by Monsanto and other biotech firms explains how biotechnology is "a really neat topic [that is] helping to improve the health of the Earth and the people who call it home."

Critical List: EPA to release draft rules for power plant emissions; Keystone XL’s doppelgangers

The EPA’s going to release draft rules governing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Environmental writer and advocate Sandra Steingraber is using her Heinz Award prize money ($100,000) to start New Yorkers Against Fracking. The world’s going to pass a few climate change tipping points very soon. Republicans and Democrats agree: They should spend some time publicly fighting over oil industry tax breaks. Bipartisanship! Keystone XL won’t be the only pipeline connecting Canada and the Gulf Coast. TransCanada’s competitors are planning pipelines, too.

Climate & Energy

Climate scientists: It’s basically too late to stop warming

If you like cool weather and not having to club your neighbors as you battle for scarce resources, now's the time to move to Canada, because the story of the 21st century is almost written.

‘Point Nemo’ is the farthest you can get from land without being in outer space

The Pacific Ocean’s Pole of Inaccessibility, aka Point Nemo, is 1,670 miles from the nearest land. It’s the furthest you can get from terrestrial lifeforms without launching yourself into space.

Organic Food

The only funny music video ever about organic, gluten-free hipsters

The subspecies of hipster that's into self-righteous eco-consciousness has been parodied before. But it has no more savage (or funnier) critics than Dom and Adrian, a pair of personas put on by Australian dudes who work in advertising.

Cleantech

DIY printable furniture ships as information, not parts

If your modular furniture from IKEA was fashioned from wood harvested on one continent, cut and finished on another, and shipped to yet a third, that’s not exactly sustainable. That’s why design firm Filson and Rohrbacher decided to replace actual furniture with its evanescent, Platonic ideal: pure information. Download the computerized machine-ready plans at their website and you can use them to build just about anything out of anything.

Green Home

Your next house could be made of pot

This North Carolina house is made of eco-friendly hemp-based bricks, and the company that makes them wants to start building a similar house in California. Throw in a natty hemp suit and Cheech and Chong’s marijuana-resin car, and you’ve got most of the recipe for an entirely pot-based suburban idyll.

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