Grist List

Critical List: How red meat will kill you; Bo Obama photobomb

Eating red meat is really, REALLY bad for you, according to a study conducted by cows. I mean researchers at Harvard Medical School. Twin Creeks Technologies can make thin, bendable layers of silicon just 20 microns thick. So what? So cheaper solar panels, that’s what. In northern states, the amount of land covered in forest is increasing.

Nuclear

5 stories about the Fukushima anniversary that you really need to read

This weekend marked the one-year anniversary of Japan’s earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear accident. While thousands of residents fell victim to the natural disasters, countless others are still living in fear of radiation poisoning from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant’s triple meltdown. There’s a cornucopia of news in light of the March 11 anniversary, but lucky for you, we’ve broken it down into digestible morsels. Here are five stories about the Fukushima anniversary that are not to be missed:

Biking

Watch mildly offensive national stereotypes promote biking

The Dutch are not always bastions of political correctness (cough cough blackface Christmas). So it’s kind of a relief that when they chose three national stereotypes to feature in this mid-1980s pro-bike campaign, they went with the proper English lady, the American cowboy, and the horndog Italian. Coulda been worse.

Transportation

This train can launch you into space

Getting into space via shuttle is difficult and expensive. So why not take a train? Startram is a magnetic levitation train that could — theoretically — launch people into orbit for a fraction of the cost.

Living

Instead of hacking the planet, should we hack our babies?

S. Matthew Liao, a philosopher and bioethicist, has some incredible ideas about how to deal with climate change. Instead of resorting to geoengineering, he suggests, why not consider engineering humans to cause less damage to the planet? Ross Andersen interviewed Liao, and one of the most fascinating ideas that they discussed is the possibility of selecting embryos that will grow into “smaller, less resource-intensive children.” Here’s Liao’s argument: It’s been suggested that, given the seriousness of climate change, we ought to adopt something like China’s one child policy. There was a group of doctors in Britain who recently advocated a …

Climate Change

Study: Even a small temperature increase will obliterate Greenland ice cap

If you’ve been enjoying the recent unseasonably warm weather, prepare for a buzzkill: A study published on Sunday by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research found that even a teensy global temperature increase could turn the Greenland ice sheet into the world’s largest puddle. Previous research has suggested it would need warming of at least 3.1 degrees Celsius (5.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, in a range of 1.9-5.1 C (3.4-9.1 F), to totally melt the icesheet. But new estimates, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, put the threshold at 1.6 C (2.9 F), in a range of …

Animals

Baby sloths pooping

The next installment in your continuing Grist List coverage of baby sloths being incomprehensibly adorable:

Climate Change

Nicaraguan military builds a battalion of climate-change-fighting soldiers

In Nicaragua, the military has a new mission — fighting climate change and, specifically, the illegal loggers that are exacerbating deforestation in the country. The Ecological Battalion’s 580 soldiers are currently engaging in Operation Green Gold, finding and intercepting loads of illegally logged timber.

Critical List: Japan marks Fukushima anniversary; politicians agree fracking causes earthquakes

Japan marked the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster this weekend. The Americans who are paying the highest gas prices live in blue states, so everyone else quit yer bitchin’. Meet ten families who live right next a nuclear plant — and love it.

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.

×