Grist List

Critical List: TransCanada reboots KeystoneXL; the most energy-dense battery ever

TransCanada is going to reapply for a Keystone XL permit and wants to start work on the Oklahoma-to-Texas portion of the pipeline. Envia Systems has created the most energy-dense battery ever, which could bring down the price of electric vehicles and extend their range. Rick Santorum thinks gas prices caused the recession. No, he really does. A direct quote: “The bubble burst in housing because people couldn’t pay their mortgages because they were looking at $4 a gallon gasoline.” A New York court dismissed a case by organic farmers who hoped for protection against Monsanto should the agribusiness giant’s genes …

Animals

Giant prehistoric penguins!

Scientists have spent the past 35 years reconstructing a giant penguin fossil from New Zealand, and here’s the first look at their results. Kairuku (Maori for “diver who returns with food”) lived about 25 million years ago, and it looks a little different from modern penguins. For starters, it’s more than 4 feet tall.

Climate Change

Climate change is screwing up bird migration

According to UNC Chapel Hill researchers who just crunched 10 years’ worth of data, climate change is throwing bird migration patterns just a tiny bit off-kilter — and that small disruption could have major effects on the health of bird populations. 

Renewable Energy

A battery large enough to power the U.S. would be the size of 2,200 Walmart SuperCenters

Renewables are intermittent, so they'd have to be backed up by about 80 gigawatts worth of batteries.

Fossil Fuels

Alaska is about to get fracked up

Alaska’s been coasting on its stores of easy-access oil, but a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that the state has a motherlode of shale oil and natural gas. You know what means — here come the frackers. The numbers are impressive: as much as 80 trillion cubic feet of frackable natural gas and up to 2 billion barrels of shale oil. To put that in perspective, the natural gas resources are smaller than the Marcellus Shale, which underlays Pennsylvania and New York, and smaller than Texas’ Haynesville and Eagle Ford shale formations — but it’s still the …

Climate Change

Climate change could make Mt. Everest impossible to climb

If you’ve got “summit Everest” on your bucket list, better get started now. Apa Sherpa (aka “Super Sherpa”), who’s summited Mt. Everest 21 times, tells Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the trip up the mountain is getting increasingly dangerous as climate change sets in. As Himalayan glaciers melt, bare rock — slippery, treacherous, more prone to rockfalls — has replaced snow and ice.

Election 2012

Newt’s new energy slogan doubles down on the crazy

It's not clear who Newt Gingrich thinks he's fooling, but over the weekend his team unveiled this nifty new graphic on which he apparently plans to hang the entirety of his comeback for the GOP nomination.

Green Cars

DOE-funded battery breakthrough to halve cost, triple range

A new breakthrough from California-based Envia Systems will yield lithium-ion batteries that are less than half the cost of current cells, while also having three times the energy density.

Climate Skeptics

Infographic: The idea of a climate change hoax makes no $)%*@ sense

Here's a graphical representation of why the idea of a vast worldwide climate conspiracy is just silly.

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