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Grist List: Look what we found.


Texas drought threatens to take away pecan pie

First it came for the wine and bacon. Then it came for the coffee and chocolate. Now, climate change (or, to be specific, the drought in Texas that's consistent with weather patterns that climate scientists have predicted) is threatening to take away pecan pie and RUIN THANKSGIVING. According to the Southwest Farm Press, early reports say that Texas could produce 40 percent fewer pecans this year, compared to last. Nuts are expensive already, and the shortage will mean that pecans will be more expensive this year -- $10 to $12 a pound for in-shell pecans, likely higher for the shelled …


Handy image shows how climate deniers manipulate data

This image from Skeptical Science is a great illustration of how data can be manipulated to serve your purpose. It shows how skeptics point to small declines in temperature by comparing warm years with cold ones seven to 10 years later -- but if you trace the trend over 40 years, you see an obvious warming pattern. Temperatures may cycle over the decades, but each cycle gets a little warmer.


Critical List: Thousands protest Keystone XL; Mongolia shovels coal into China

An estimated 10,000 Keystone XL protesters circled the White House this weekend, as the White House edged towards a decision on the pipeline. The ring of protesters was stacked five people deep. Green groups are threatening the Obama administration with political repercussions if the pipeline goes forward. If environmentalists withhold their support, it could have a serious effect on Obama’s reelection chances. In international relations, the Queen of England's birthday takes precedence over dealing with climate change. In the EPA's pollution program, even plants that are "high priority violators" of the Clean Air Act can end up ignored for more …


China bulb ban will eliminate 1 billion incandescents annually

Joining the U.S. and just about every other country with an economy, China will ban import and sale of incandescent bulbs beginning in 2014, reports the AP. State-run Xinhua News Agency quoted Xie Ji, deputy director of the NDRC's environmental protection department, as saying China is the world's largest producer of both energy-saving and incandescent bulbs and so the plan will also "have a significant impact" in reducing the use of incandescents worldwide. Last year, 3.85 billion incandescent light bulbs were produced in China and 1.07 billion of them were sold domestically, the agency said. Power consumption for lighting is …


Evil mad scientists are clearly behind all energy innovations

Internet hilarity repository Cracked has a roundup of energy solutions that sound more like mad scientist plots. They go from "human body heat" all the way up to "giant invisible energy death ray," and they're pretty awesome. Here, for example, is an electric eel powering a Christmas tree! In perhaps the most uncreative vision of the future in the history of mankind, the eel tree's inventor is quoted as saying, "If we could gather up all the electric eels from all around the world we would be able to light up an unimaginably large Christmas tree." Solve the global energy …


American Idol contestants suddenly AGAINST plastic now

Okay, I don't know who this person is. Her teeth are very white and I think she's 13? But evidently she was on American Idol, and she and her other white-teethed glee club buddies from American Idol season 10 (!!!) are taking up arms against plastic. I was pretty sure American Idol contestants were kind of required to be plastic, but maybe it's some kind of Highlander thing. At any rate, the message here is that you should refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle plastics. The hell? There used to only be three steps to this! This sounds HARD now. If …

Read more: Pollution


Each American consumes as much energy as a 40-ton dinosaur

Yesterday, at the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas, where retired petroleum geologists talk about how we're all going to end up like Viggo Mortensen's character in The Road, emeritus professor William Catton pointed out that every American uses so much fossil fuel energy that if it were food, every day we'd be eating as much as a 90-foot-long Brontosaurus. So enjoy that one-time windfall of readily available, massively energy-dense fossil fuels, my pretties, 'cause before you know it they'll be gone and you'll be cracking your neighbors' skulls open like an ostrich …


Give used furs back to the animals with Coats for Cubs

Grab Granny's fur coat (take Granny out first) and bring it to your local Buffalo Exchange, if you're lucky enough to have one nearby. From Nov. 25 through April 22, their Coats for Cubs program will take your furs (including trims, accessories, and shearling) and use them to "provide bedding and comfort to orphaned and injured wildlife." In other words, FUR BEDS FOR SAD FOREST CREATURES. Seriously, if you have an heirloom fur muff or something lying around, it will NEVER EVER EVER DO ANYTHING THIS CUTE if you just keep it in mothballs. It'll just sit around smelling like camphor …

Read more: Animals


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


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