Grist List

Critical List: Approval coming for two nuclear plants; warrant issued for Nasheed’s arrest

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will give its blessing to two new nuclear power plants in Georgia today. There’s a warrant out for the arrest of Mohamed Nasheed, the Maldivian president and environmental crusader forced to resign at gunpoint. The new president, who deposed him, says the warrant will be used only to ensure Nasheed’s safety. Nasheed was also injured in a protest yesterday. The Lorax (the movie) has commercial sponsors. They’re “green” commercial sponsors (like, um, DoubleTree? It does have “tree” in its name …) But still.

Green Jobs

Study: Green economy lost fewer jobs in the recession

According to a new study by a California think tank, the “core green economy” — industries focusing on sustainable energy, clean transportation, green products, conservation, and recycling — weathered the U.S. recession better than the economy as a whole. In California, at least, the green economy lost only 3 percent of jobs between January 2009 and January 2010, versus a 7 percent loss for the state economy overall.

Climate & Energy

Scientists drill into ancient buried lake

Russian scientists have confirmed that they successfully drilled into Lake Vostok, a subglacial lake that has spent the last several million years isolated from Earth’s surface by a thick slab of ice. And I mean THICK — drilling down to the lake has taken 20 years of work. But the team has finally hit water, and the water could contain clues to (among other things) the mechanics of climate change.

Election 2012

Rick Santorum is literally the worst

Santorum swamped Romney (sorry) at two caucuses and a nonbinding primary yesterday, suggesting that his candidacy is a less funny joke than previously thought. Well whatever, they’ve clearly been playing King of the Mountain all campaign season, knocking each other off the top of the dung heap — at this point, do we care which of the anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-health care climate deniers gets the nod? Yeah, because when it comes to climate change (and everything else), Santorum doubles down on the wild-eyed conspiracy theories.

Biking

In France, cyclists can run red lights legally

Sometimes France is so fricking enlightened it hurts. Lawmakers recently decided to allow “cyclists in some cities to disregard red lights at certain intersections,” Treehugger writes. Paris will be testing the idea at 15 intersections, and Bordeaux, Strasbourg, and Nantes have been running the same experiment for a while. If the pilot goes well, 1,700 Parisian intersections could operate according to these new rules.

Politics

Watch President Obama shoot a marshmallow cannon

Sometimes, even when there’s a Democratic president, I worry about science policy — whether there will be sufficient funding for research and education, whether the administration is soliciting and heeding feedback from scientists on subjects like climate, that sort of thing. And then I see the genuine delight on President Obama’s face as he helps a tiny brainiac shoot a marshmallow cannon, and I worry a little less.