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Grist List: Look what we found.


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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

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Bill McKibben: 'Wall Street has been occupying the atmosphere'

Here's Bill McKibben speaking at an Occupy Wall Street "mic check," where the crowd repeats back everything he says and acts as a sort of human-powered amplifier. The reason that it’s so great that we’re occupying Wall Street is because Wall Street has been occupying the atmosphere. That’s why we can never do anything about global warming. Exxon gets in the way. Goldman Sachs gets in the way. The whole fossil fuel industry gets in the way. The sky does not belong to Exxon. They cannot keep using it as a sewer into which to dump their carbon. If they …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Coal ash regulations would create 28,000 jobs

Republicans have been arguing that environmental regulations kill jobs. But research keeps showing that it's just not true. An independent analysis of the coal ash industry, for instance, reveals that stricter safety regulations would create 28,000 jobs overall. These jobs come from the need for waste management, wastewater treatment, construction, and the continued operation of clean-up facilities. As long as we're mining coal, they won't go away. Really, environmental regulation is a win-win: we get more jobs, and we get to slow down how fast we’re killing the planet and, by extension, our way of life.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Coal

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America uses more corn for fuel than for food

In America, most corn is no longer meant for eating, at least by humans. Only 20 percent of all the gazillions of ears of corn the United States grows make it into a person's mouth as corn. The rest goes to feed animals (which do make it into people's mouth as beef and other meats) and to brew corn ethanol. In one year, we used more than 5 billion bushels of corn for ethanol, which we don't even use that much of! But it's our corn, and we can do what we want with it, right? Well, a new report …

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Critical List: Australia inches from passing a carbon tax; Rick Perry’s secret economic sauce

Australia's carbon tax bill passed its lower House by a thin majority; it should easily pass the Senate and make it into law. An oil cleanup contest awarded $1 million to the winning Team Elastec/American Marine, which soaked up 4,670 gallons of oil per minute and got to 89.5 percent of the oil, on average. China is going to tax the hell out of oil and gas and reinvest the money in nuclear reactors and wind farms. Rick Perry's secret economic sauce: domestic drilling for oil and gas in ANWR and off the eastern seaboard. Apparently there are whole worlds …

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Obama's jobs council hearts environmental destruction

The Fortune 500 CEOs who make up the president's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness are all about building Keystone XL, reinstating deepwater drilling in the Gulf, and fracking up West Virginia. The idea is that these projects will create jobs and economic growth, at least until there's a disaster of some sort that economically depresses an area for an indefinite period of time. But come on, what are the chances of that? Sure, research out of Cornell says Keystone XL in particular could kill more jobs than it creates, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it will "support 250,000 …

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Virgin Atlantic plans to halve jet fuel’s carbon footprint using industrial gas

Virgin Atlantic is promising that within a few years, they'll be able to make their long haul flights with half the carbon impact that their jet fuel creates now. The key technology here captures gases from steel production and makes them into jet fuel. It's supposedly better than biofuels, in part because it doesn't raise the same land use concerns. Virgin's not making the transition on its own: the company is partnering with Boeing, Swedish Fuels, and New Zealand-based Lanza Tech. The first flight using the fuel could take off within a year or a year and half, but the …

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USDA pushes veggies, but subsidizes meat

The Washington Post reports that the USDA's nutrition guidelines are seriously out of step with food subsidies. The government recommends people eat fruits and veggies as nearly half their daily intake, and protein as less than a quarter -- but they subsidize meat in totally different proportions. We whipped up this little graphic to compare what they think people should eat with what they encourage farmers to produce.

Read more: Food

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Enviros cross out ‘Bush’ on lawsuit, write in ‘Obama’

It's official. Environmental groups are disenchanted enough with the Obama administration that they've decided to hit it with the same tactic they used for Bush, a tactic that the environmental movement has relied on since time immemorial to get done what needs to be done: suing the crap out of the government. Today, a suite of environmental groups that includes NRDC, EDF and Earthjustice revived a 2008 lawsuit they'd first brought against the Bush administration. Its aim is to keep people from breathing nasty, dirty, health-threatening air by forcing the government to tighten smog standards. The Obama administration was going …

Read more: Politics