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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Climate change could cause a chocolate shortage

Chocolate lovers have two decades to consume all the Godiva they can before climate change drinks their milkshake. After that, global warming will cause production to dwindle in current cocoa-producing regions, like Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, according to a new study by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture. That doesn't necessarily mean that humanity will lose chocolate, though. It just might have to come from somewhere else. And the change is really more problematic for cocoa farmers than for chocoholics: Farmers who depend on the bounty of cocoa for their income will need to diversify to heat-resistant crops, according to …

Read more: Food

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Genius shopping cart gizmo helps you eat local

This shopping cart attachment lets you compare the food miles on your purchases in a way that's quick, easy to interpret, and less complicated than the self-checkout. That is cool as hell! Also, this demonstration video, which was made for a conference, is a complete hoot. (I am a sucker for a British accent, though.)

Read more: Food, Locavore

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Charge your EV in 10 minutes flat

Pretty much no one wants to wait around for their theoretical EV to charge, which is one reason why people aren't buying them in droves yet. But in the near future, charging won't take more than 10 minutes, thanks to Nissan. Along with a Japanese university, the car company developed an EV charger that takes a fraction of the time of current chargers without compromising battery life. Right now, charging an EV generally takes about eight hours, or 48 times as long as this new charger will need. It's still a little bit longer than a stop at the gas …

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Critical List: Leaking New Zealand oil tanker could break apart; EPA to speed Great Lakes cleanup

Eeek. A huge crack has opened up in the hull of the ship leaking oil off the coast of New Zealand, and the ship could break up apart "at any point," according to Maritime New Zealand. In the U.S., the Justice Department had to sue Transocean to force the company to answer government subpoenas related to the Macondo well spill. Can we feed people without killing the planet? Yes, says a new study, but it’ll take money, planning, and eating less meat. The EPA is speeding up Great Lakes clean-up efforts. Offshore wind is doing its thing, trying to get …

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GM: Bikes will make you unattractive to ladies

Enough people thought this was a good idea that the ad made it into print. How did this ad meeting go? "We need to convince the youth to buy giant boat-cars." "Okay, tell them bikes will cockblock them." "Perfect, let's call it a day." Nice work, Don Draper. GM has clearly been getting a lot of blowback for this ad, which presents biking as an embarrassment so profound you'll want to hide your face from the sight of pretty girls. They've been falling over themselves to apologize on their Twitter feed. It's tough for them! Reality sucks, guys.  

Read more: Biking, Cities

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Record heat will rob us of peanut butter

Start getting accustomed to nothing and jelly sandwiches, Fluffernothings, and Reese's Nothing Cups. Record temperatures and droughts are projected to drive the price of peanut butter through the roof, with wholesale costs going up by as much as 40 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal. The heat has made the peanut crop less than impressive, so fewer peanuts are being deemed worthy of butterfication. Inferior legumes get made into peanut oil, so peanut farmers aren't completely screwed. But the weather's been a disaster, so a much smaller percentage of the crop is being deemed edible. That means your ants …

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Doing your wash is hurting the planet, and it’s not because you’re using hot water

Sorry to have to bum y'all out, but here is a new way that we are all destroying the planet without even realizing it: by washing our clothes. And, yah, I know you wash your clothes in cold water, but I'm not talking about the energy your machines use. I'm talking about how whenever you wash clothes made of synthetic fibers, tiny bits of plastic flake off and get flushed with the wash water into the sewage system. Those tiny bits of plastic get washed out into oceans and shorelines worldwide. According to the study that came up with this …

Read more: Animals, Pollution

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Disadvantaged teens build 160 MPG hybrid car

West Philadelphia High School has a dropout rate of more than 50 percent, and 85 percent of students are low-income. But instead of making trouble in their neighborhood, getting in one little fight, or even shooting some B-ball outside of the school, a team of 15 dedicated West Philly students built a badass hybrid car that gets 160 miles to the gallon. Then they entered it in a contest where it beat the pants off cars built by fancy Ivy League engineers. The West Philly Hybrid X Team was the only high school team entered in last year's Progressive Insurance …

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Texas tries to censor climate change information

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is learning the hard way that politicizing a government report is much, much harder after you've hired a reputable and principled scientist to write it. John Anderson, the author of the agency's report on Texas' Galveston Bay, says the agency removed references to humans' contributions to climate change. Anderson and the research center that gave him the assignment are fighting against the release of the edited report. Jim Lester, the VP of the research center, told the Houston Chronicle that the report's release has been held up for a year because of the agency's …

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Cheap, genetically engineered salmon sushi, coming soon!

The only thing that stands between us and eating fish riddled with genes that some dude spliced together in the lab is the Office of Management and Budget. The FDA has finished its evaluation of genetically engineered salmon and recommended that the fish be commercialized. The GE fish grows fast and big, which means more fish for all of us. But it also could have worrisome impacts on the environment, because it's a fish that we programmed in order to bend its entire existence to our will! It probably won’t interbreed with regular fish. The GE salmon is supposed to …

Read more: Animals, Food