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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Critical List: Climate change is happening (no, really!); the gas industry has some weird ideas

A Berkeley scientist who was once critical of climate science did an independent study that confirmed that climate change is happening and that common claims from skeptics are totally spurious. Skeptics are still skeptical. Three-quarters of Americans think that the government should push harder on developing clean energy. Shocker: The government also invested in electric cars and some of them were not perfect, i.e., THIS IS THE NEXT SOLYNDRA. Natural gas companies don't understand why the EPA would want to make rules about fracking wastewater disposal: "We'll do it in a responsible way! Well, at least, we do now, after …

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Sorry, kids: Halloween candy is a human rights nightmare

Here's a really scary story for your Halloween: The candy you're handing out might have been made by foreign students who were tricked into factory labor. Hershey's, which also distributes Cadbury candy in the U.S. and Nabisco candy in Canada, charged students up to $6,000 for a "summer work and travel" program, which actually consisted of drudgery at the packing plant. Students like Mr. Ureche, who had paid as much as $6,000 to take part in the program, expected a chance to see the best of this country, to make American friends and sightsee, with a summer job to help finance …

Read more: Food

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video

Quantum levitation: Probably not the secret to hover-trains, but still amazing

A few places around the internet are calling this phenomenon -- quantum levitation -- the first step to magical hover-trains. This is probably not true, according to my physics source (it's my husband). Maglev trains use superconducting magnets, but that's just a type of electromagnet -- it has nothing to do with the Meissner effect, which is what's being demonstrated here. Also, the disk they're levitating includes a sapphire wafer, which is maybe not a sustainable train-building material. Plus, that smoke's not for show; the effect only works when the disk is very very cold. But who cares, really? This …

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Perry and Paul were for energy subsidies before they were against them

Texas Republicans hate federal energy subsidies. Unless, of course, those energy subsidies are going to Texas! Both presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Texas Rep. Ron Paul pleaded with the energy department in 2008 for a loan guarantee. The project they were supporting was a nuclear facility. (Clean energy!) Here is what Perry had to say about energy subsidies this Tuesday: We don't need to be subsidizing energy in any form or fashion ... The government shouldn't be in the business of subsidizing any form of energy. The project Perry and Paul were pushing for wasn't even a …

Read more: Election 2012, Politics

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Is this outrageous climate denier secretly Borat?

Well, no. He's not. But that's the beauty of this clip, where Australian comedian Craig Reucassel interviews completely over-the-top climate denier Lord Monckton as though he were a Sascha Baron Cohen creation. It's a masterpiece of layered irony -- Reucassel gives a deadpan interview worthy of Ali G while pretending that Monckton is doing the same. We all wish people like Monckton were satirical characters, so this is a refreshing peek into an alternate universe where he's actually a comedy genius who's been punking us all this time. Do Rick Perry next!

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Use peer pressure to make your friends go green

Peer pressure gets a bum rap -- you hear it and you think of vaguely threatening junior high schoolers going “come on man, what are you, chicken?” But it’s not always bad news. For instance, peer pressure works to change the environment -- when people see their friends and neighbors going green, they’re more likely to change their habits. This infographic gives a taste of how that works; for more instructions on the science of peer pressure, check out the whole thing.

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Dems go after $122 billion in oil subsidies

The supercommittee that's supposed to be killing the country's deficit asked the rest of Congress to submit ideas for places to cut. Thirty-five members of Congress submitted a motion that would do away with oil subsidies worth $122 billion. This idea comes from Democrats (and Democrats that Think Progress describes as "progressive climate hawks") so there's not a huge chance that the committee chairs are going to adopt this particular proposal. But $122 billion! If Republicans are serious about getting rid of the budget deficit, oil subsidies would be a good place to start.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Oil

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Scientists are underplaying climate effects

So, talking about global warming is "alarmism"? Hardly. In many cases, it now turns out, climate reality has been much worse than climate scientists predicted. The Arctic now has ice-free summers, 90 years in advance of predictions. Animals are fleeing to higher elevations twice as fast as models said. Extinction rates are double what was expected, too.  Science historian Naomi Oreskes puts these discrepancies down to scientists being overly conservative in their predictions. Conservative estimates are thought to protect credibility, Oreskes says, so scientists tend to understate climate impacts. The peer review process also rewards sober assessments, and the media could …

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This exotic animals story just keeps getting more depressing

We noted yesterday that 48 exotic animals had escaped from an Ohio farm, and that authorities were handling the problem by shooting them. That's enough of a downer, but the more details we hear the worse it gets. There ended up being more than 50 animals running amok, and 49 of them were killed, including 18 endangered Bengal tigers and 17 lions. Local police say they did try to sedate the animals instead of killing them, but they didn't really have tranquilizers suited to 300-pound wildcats. And, as if that's not enough, the reason they were loose in the first place …

Read more: Animals

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Northeastern states build giant electric vehicle network

A consortium of northeastern states stretching from New Hampshire down to Maryland is working together to construct an electric vehicle network. EV infrastructure is only just starting to build up, so it's great that states are coordinating on it, rather than each building their own system and creating a hodgepodge of nonsense that no sensible person could actually use. Instead, the Northeast Electric Vehicle Network is going to work on agreeing what the most sensible places are to locate charging stations and working with owners to help upgrade their home chargers. Commuter rail stations are one idea for plug-in locations; …