Grist List


Help name this baby polar bear

The Toronto Zoo is having a contest to name its new baby polar bear. Here are my entries, based on my initial responses to seeing the above photo (from the zoo’s Facebook page):

Climate & Energy

The oldest living thing on Earth is 6,000 tons of grass

Meet Posidonia oceanic, a type of Mediterranean seagrass that is also the longest-lived thing on Earth. What’s its secret? The usual — clean living, plenty of exercise, asexual reproduction, being 6,000 tons of grass, and not getting …

Critical List: GM seed plantings expand; restaurants for vultures

Last night’s caucus put GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum back in the game, so we could be hearing a lot more about how global warming is a “hoax.” The total area planted with GM seed …


Why buildings haven’t gotten more efficient in 20 years

Everything single part of a building has become significantly more energy efficient over the past 20 years, yet buildings are using the same amount of energy they always have. Why?


Australia contemplates rewilding with elephants, rhinos

Good luck containing these giant herbivores with an "elephant-proof fence."

Climate & Energy

Animated guide to building a Keystone XL

Turns out it's just a long concrete tube buried three to four feet under ground, rambling on for mile after mile, narrated by a guy with an adenoid problem.


Why do we suck at building subways?

At Salon, Will Doig asks why American public transit projects have decades-long time lines, while in China, new transit projects open in a heartbeat. And as Matt Yglesias points out, American transit projects are also …


You can make fuel cells out of cockroaches

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have figured out how to make cockroaches into creepy-crawly batteries. Finally, living in filth can pay off by lowering your electrical bill!


The world’s most environmentally outspoken president steps down

Mohamed Nasheed, the Maldives leader known for his international climate campaigning, stepped down from his office on Tuesday.