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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Critical List: Ozone fix is warming planet; weighing Thanksgiving’s environmental impact

To fix the ozone, manufacturers of fridges and other products replaced ozone-busting CFCs and HCFCs with HFCs. But now the U.N. is warning that HFCs do a number on the climate. In other words, the solution to the ozone problem could be creating a climate change problem. Oh, and no one thinks that the world could agree to implement any international climate change treaty before 2020. Plus, the U.S. is now saying that some developing countries need to chip in to the fund that's supposed to help developing countries adapt to climate change. Bootstraps, people! Carl Pope, chairman of the …

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Live your tiny house fantasies by renting one on AirBnB

The highest-rated listing on AirBnB, the site that allows you to rent homes, apartments and other temporary quarters as an alternative to staying in a hotel, is a tiny house. The Mushroom Dome Cabin in Aptos, Calif., sports a loft bed under its geodesic dome roof and is in walking distance of a grove of Redwoods. There are plenty of other tiny houses on AirBnB, so if you've ever wanted to find out whether or not you could make the ultimate commitment to radical simplicity, renting one on vacation is probably a good way to start.

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Making federal buildings green cuts costs by a fifth

Paging Ron Paul: Once you're done transforming the U.S. into a neo-feudal patriarchy whose fiefs are ruled by their respective John Galts, you could make a huge dent in whatever government spending is left by simply making the feds' buildings "green." That's the conclusion of a new report [PDF] from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. PNNL evaluated 22 green federal buildings, and found that when compared to the average commercial building, they: Cost 19 percent less to maintain Used 25 percent less energy Consumed 11 percent less water  Emitted 34 percent less carbon dioxide Had occupants who …

Read more: Cities, Infrastructure

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Americans are smarter than they look about extreme weather

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has officially stated that climate change will lead to more extreme weather events -- we all sorta knew that, but it's nice to have confirmation. It turns out, though, that we weren't the only ones who knew. A survey by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication found that even in advance of the IPCC's announcement, the majority of Americans had gotten the memo that climate change contributed to this year's record-setting disasters. When asked about the claim that climate change had contributed to this year's record heat waves, 67 percent of respondants said …

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Whistleblower exposes cruel tuna fishing practices

Warning: This video is kind of intense, and may put you off sushi forever. Greenpeace has been trying to draw attention to cruel tuna fishing practices for a while, and now this anonymous helicopter pilot has footage of whales, rays, sharks, and dolphins being caught and slaughtered as collateral damage. Fish Aggregation Devices, which are intended to make tuna fishing more productive, also attract other marine animals which are then destroyed -- plus, they kill young tuna, thus depleting the tuna stocks.  The helicopter pilot has what sounds like a New Zealand accent plus his voice is distorted for anonymity, …

Read more: Food

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Public school’s rooftop greenhouse teaches kids about food

At New York's P.S. 333, the Manhattan School for Children, science class takes place on the roof. A rooftop greenhouse, built in partnership with Science Barge creators New York Sun Works, houses a year-round farm where kids can learn about plant life cycles, green technology, and sustainable farming practices. This farm is seriously rad, in a way that the younger kids at the school might not even grasp. The greenhouse is chockablock with innovative solutions: rainwater catchment, wind energy, aquaponics, worm composting, solar panels, and a weather station that lets students monitor conditions in the greenhouse. By the time they …

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NYT Mag: Country folk understand fracking better than city folk

The New York Times has a long article in this weekend's magazine about hydraulic fracturing in southwestern Pennsylvania. It tries to capture the culture of the place and to show the tensions for people who have an economic interest in drilling but are at risk of suffering health impacts. But it also manages to glance off some of the scarier tensions in the area among citizens, government, and corporate interests. The story's set in Washington County, which is a rural area south of Pittsburgh. The people populating the story talk about "country folk and city people." They say things like …

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Discovery says they’ll be airing climate change show after all, sort of

We were pretty irritated at the news that Discovery Channel, which bought the BBC's spectacular Frozen Planet documentary for airing in the U.S., would not be showing the series' final climate change episode. Turns out we should have instead been irritated that they're dissing Sir David "So Cool Penguins Nest In Me" Attenborough. Discovery says it's not removing the program's climate change content, but it is recutting the footage into fewer episodes without Sir David's dulcet tones. Discovery said as much to Treehugger, which is owned by Discovery Communications but says that didn't affect its story: As it turns out, …

Read more: Living

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America’s 20 dirtiest cities

California may have the nation's first cap-and-trade program, but it also has seven of the 10 most polluted cities, according to Forbes. Here are the rest of the 20 dirtiest metropolitan areas: 20. Cleveland, Ohio 19. Indianapolis, Ind. 18. Houston, Texas 17. Salt Lake City, Utah 16. Washington, D.C. 15. Knoxville, Tenn. 14. New York, N.Y. 13. Cincinnatti, Ohio 12. Philadelphia, Pa. 11. Louisville, Ky. 10. Sacramento, Calif. 9. San Diego, Calif. 8. Phoenix, Ariz. 7. Birmingham, Ala.  6. Modesto, Calif.  5. Pittsburgh, Pa. 4. Fresno, Calif. 3. Visalia, Calif.  2. Los Angeles, Calif. 1. Bakersfield, Calif. Most of these …

Read more: Cities, Pollution

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Critical List: IPCC says humans causing bad weather; physics causes cyclists to breeze by stop signs

The IPCC is officially saying that human-generated emissions are screwing up the weather. Fukushima rice that was supposed to be safe has unacceptably high levels of radiation. Energy Secretary Steven Chu survived five hours of questioning from Congress about Solyndra. Can we let it go now? The Green Car of the Year is the Honda Civic Natural Gas, which still lets you burn fossil fuel, but a cleaner, cheaper variety. Forget Dixie cups. Now disposable, compostable cups previously marketed to businesses are available to us normal people at Bed, Bath & Beyond. There's a reason you don't stop at a …