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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Cloning a mammoth: Totally gonna happen

Back in August, a team of scientists uncovered a woolly mammoth's thigh bone, which had been so well preserved in Siberian permafrost that it offered the possibility of creating a mammoth clone. And this weekend, a team of Japanese and Russian scientist announced that, yes, they are going to do this thing. Mammoth clones. They're coming. Scientists believe they can take DNA from the bone's marrow cells and use elephant egg cells and surrogates to birth a mammoth baby. Will those elephant surrogates be the world’s coolest elephants? YES. Also, they will sort of be their own great-great-great-great-great-grandmas. Obviously this …

Read more: Animals

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Efficiency standards are the SINGLE BIGGEST CLIMATE DEAL EVER

The U.S. federal government teamed up with all of the major auto manufacturers and hammered out a deal to double the average fuel efficiency of all vehicles on the road by 2025 -- to 54.5 miles per gallon. New vehicles sold under the program will save "a total of four billion barrels of oil and prevent two billion metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution," reports Tom Friedman, whose most recent stab at being a cleantech advocate almost redeems all that time he spent misdirecting us on foreign policy.  According to Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign of the …

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New study shows three-quarters of global temperature rise is humans’ fault

A study published this weekend in Nature Geoscience has double-checked, and confirmed, the idea that climate change is mostly human-made. It uses "an alternative line of evidence" to prove that most observed climate change -- 74 percent of it -- comes from greenhouse-gas emissions, not natural variability. We basically knew that already, but it's always good to have independent confirmation. That’s kind of the difference between science and just saying shit on Fox News. What's more, the study states unequivocally that a pet climate skeptic theory (not our fault! more solar energy has reached the earth!) is just wrong. The …

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Climate change finally hits Apple geeks where it hurts: Mac shortages

As Bangkok dries out from epic floods that the IPCC says will only get worse as climate change accelerates, its leaders are contemplating moving the entire capitol city to higher ground. But I know what you're thinking: How does this affect me? Answer: It’ll hit you right in the hard drive. Now that supply chains stretch across the globe and electronics can contain components from dozens if not hundreds of countries, it means you won't be able to get an iMac with a 2TB drive, because Apple sources "many components from Thailand," says Apple CEO Tim Cook. Floods have knocked …

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Critical List: 74 percent of warming is human-made; Schwarzenegger takes on clean energy

A study quantified the share of climate change that can attributed to humans and found that at least 74 percent of warming is human-made. 2010 saw the biggest jump in carbon dioxide output, ever. The mission of Occupy Green/Red Chile is to keep the GM industry's hands off of New Mexico's peppers. Ah-nold doesn't think the government is doing enough to help out renewable energy and wants to hear what the Republican presidential candidates are going to do about it. OR ELSE. India's getting cheap solar power by making companies compete against each other at auctions for large projects. Greenpeace …

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Katherine Heigl wants you to neuter your pets, because she hates balls

Sure, there are lots of good animal-welfare-related reasons to spay and neuter your pets. But can we talk about the best reason? BALLS ARE GROSS. At least, that's the contention of Katherine Heigl, who is clearly embarking on some kind of weird image-correction campaign where she embraces her reputation as an ice queen in order to show people that she's actually got a sense of humor. Or I guess possibly she just really, really hates balls. 

Read more: Animals

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Germany is building a park on top of a highway

Germany's A7 Autobahn is like a highway on steroids. The 500-mile, six-lane road runs the length of the country and handles 150,000 bat-out-of-hell drivers a day. That might improve life for traffic fetishists or people who regularly need to get from Denmark to Austria at 100 miles per hour, but people who live alongside the A7 have noticed that it's super noisy and kind of hard to cross. So they're putting a three-mile lid over the part of the A7 that runs through the city of Hamburg, and turning it into a public park. The cars will still run underneath, …

Read more: Cities, Infrastructure

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White House to make $4 billion out of $0 using energy efficiency

Everyone says energy efficiency can pay for itself, and now the White House is out to prove it, by spending zero money to produce $4 billion. Yeah, I'm not making that up. From the administration: The $4 billion investment announced today includes a $2 billion commitment, made through the issuance of a Presidential Memorandum, to energy upgrades of federal buildings using long term energy savings to pay for up-front costs, at no cost to taxpayers. The other half of the $4 billion will come from a consortium of private investors, assuming they all come through. The whole operation has the …

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Has dense living gotten too dense?

Thinkers like Ed Glaeser, whose ideas have been discussed frequently on Grist, assert that density is an unalloyed good, and even Manhattan isn't dense enough. But there is another strand of thought about cities, which is that they are neither green nor sustainable, and it's exemplified by everyone's favorite foul-mouthed catastrophist, James Howard Kunstler. In a new piece in Orion magazine, helpfully summarized by Treehugger's Lloyd Alter, Kunstler asserts that even the reviving urban cores of our cities are doomed. DOOOOMED!!! I see our cities getting smaller and denser, with fewer people. Skyscrapers will be obsolete, travel greatly reduced, and …

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New York City’s new plan to improve street safety: Throw haiku at it

Janette Sadik-Khan, DOT commissioner of New York City seems to think the main challenge to street safety is not enough short poems. Thus, her new campaign: Making bikers and walkers safer through haiku. Not good haiku, either. Certainly not as good as the ones I can write! A sudden car door, Cyclist’s story rewritten. Fractured narrative. Too averse to risk To chance the lottery, yet Steps into traffic. Anyway, go figure: Advocacy groups don't think this plan is enough: Safe street designs: check. But where is the enforcement? It’s your turn, police.

Read more: Biking, Cities