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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Mercedes mows down Occupy protestors

Where's the mayor of Vilnius when you need him? This video shows a Mercedes nearly hitting two Occupy Oakland protestors at slow speed as they cross the street, causing one of them to first make a "stop" motion and then bang twice on the hood -- at which point the driver decided to just run them over at fast speed. The Mercedes driver got off with a warning, by the way. Oh, cars, you are truly the 1% of the roads.

Read more: Cities

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McRibs are made from the unhappiest pigs

What does the McRib taste like? Gym mats? Or PIG TEARS? Meat farming is kind of the worst, but it seems the pigs who end up in McRib sandwiches are especially in need of a clever spider to rescue them. The McRib pork (who knew it had actual pork in it?!) is sourced from Smithfield Farms, which bills itself as a sort of piggy country club with incidental slaughtering  -- but a 2010 undercover investigation turned up hellish conditions. Female pigs were crammed into gestation crates, preventing movement for most of their lives; many crates were coated in blood from …

Read more: Factory Farms, Food

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Keystone XL backers try to get OWS on their side

Climate leaders like Bill McKibben have visited Occupy Wall Street and put out the message that the movement should oppose the Keystone XL pipeline. But proponents of Keystone XL are also trying to use OWS to press their case. David Dayen caught this bit of politicking on a website called Jobs for the 99%: Hollywood’s elite 1% should stop flying to DC and speaking out against jobs that help the other 99% of America!  But you CAN make your voice heard.  Tell the White House to support Keystone XL. Right … Hollywood. The group behind the website is the Building …

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Whoops: 2010 had the largest-ever jump in greenhouse emissions

Ugh, you guys, we gotta step it up. Carbon dioxide emissions logged the largest increase on record in 2010, putting greenhouse gas levels above the worst-case scenario predicted four years ago. According to ThinkProgress, that could mean 10 degrees F of warming in this century. Carbon dioxide emissions went up by 6 percent between 2009 and 2010, meaning an additional 564 million tons of carbon in the atmosphere. That's more than the CO2 output of any single country besides the U.S., China, and India (the three biggest emitters).  Okay, so this is grim. But here's one bright speck: Developed countries that …

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Critical List: Emissions jumped in 2010; Japan has created the world’s most efficient solar cell

In 2010, greenhouse-gas emissions increased more than they ever had before in one year. Blame the tepid economic recovery. The EPA's going to release initial results from its fracking investigation next year, but the final report won't come out until 2014. Dig into the dysfunction of the Keystone XL approval process and the fighting between EPA, the White House, and the State Department. Obama wants to cut tariffs on green goods. World's! Most! Efficient! Solar Cell! (It converts 36.9 percent of solar energy into power.) Where are the green jobs and clean energy projects? This interactive map knows.

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Some Oakland occupiers have a beef with Whole Foods

Representatives of the less-peaceful element at Occupy Oakland got wind that Whole Foods was threatening to fire employees who participated in Occupy's general strike, so they vandalized a local store. It turns out those rumors were false, but who could turn down the chance to wreck a Whole Foods? The troublemakers spray-painted the front of the store, trapped customers inside, and threw rocks at the windows. But then, who should come to Whole Foods' defense but ... Occupy Oakland! According to the Oakland Tribune, other protestors "enveloped the agitators" and forced them to calm their asses down. Maybe the 99% …

Read more: Food

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Fox, don’t make fun of grad students, they just made a terrible life choice

Since the new IPCC synthesis report isn't coming out until 2014, deniers can't nitpick its findings yet. (Okay, yes, there was a typo in the bit about Himalayan glaciers in the last one, but that doesn't change the fact that GLOBAL WARMING.) Therefore, they've resorted to ad hominem about the graduate students who contribute to the report. The biggest criticism: They're graduate students! Why would we trust them on anything? The Fox News story "U.N. Hires Grad Students to Author Key Climate Report" could basically be subtitled "we've never been inside an academic lab": Grad students often co-author scientific papers …

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NASA’s impressive satellite snapshot of Snowtober

It's not supposed to snow like this in October, but you know, extreme weather is the new normal. And whatever Fox News might think, that also includes more extreme snowfall. Three million people lost power in Snowtober, and more residents of Connecticut were affected by this storm than by hurricane Irene. (More Central Park trees, too.) But at least it made the Northeastern U.S. look like a delicious confection covered in powdered sugar.

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Solar cheaper than fossil fuels in a decade, says Steven Chu

Solar power will be cheaper than fossil fuels at some point between the end of this decade and 2026*, said U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu at the Washington Post's Smart Energy conference this morning. (For more on what Chu said, check out Guardian reporter Suzanne Goldenberg's tweets from the conference.) The date at which solar power reaches "grid parity" with fossil fuels without subsidy has been the subject of heated debate for decades. (If you want the details, just yesterday I had a long discussion with Jesse Jenkins of the Breakthrough Institute about whether or not we're currently on …

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Investors throw money at cleantech companies

The financial turmoil of the past few years has made venture capital financing hard to come by, but clean technology is still raking it in. In this past quarter, cleantech companies raised more than $1.1 billion, according to Ernst & Young. That's a huge jump -- 73 percent -- from last year. Most of the money's going to big projects, like energy storage and energy production. As the government continues to freak out about its own involvement with innovative cleantech companies, it's a good sign that the private sector still has enough faith in renewable energy to put money into …