Grist List

Critical List: Canadian minister hates tar-sands opposition; airlines charge for free carbon permits

Canada's natural resources minister is not happy that all of you with your "radical ideological agenda" think Canada's turning into a creepy petrostate. Japan is releasing those three whaling activists who boarded a Japanese whaling vessel. Carbon emissions are delaying the next ice age.

David Bowie riding the subway

The Thin White Duke turned 65 (I KNOW) yesterday, and Flavorwire has put together a slideshow of him doing normal stuff, just to prove he can. Here he is making use of public transportation, even …

Mosstika’s living graffiti is amazing

Street art isn't just gang tags -- it can revitalize and beautify urban spaces, increase community identity, and even be a form of nonviolent protest. The work of Edina Tokodi kind of does all of those, plus it's about as green as graffiti can be: Tokodi's studio Mosstika makes street art from living moss.

U.S. becomes first country on Earth to limit catch size for all fish

In a rare bipartisan move -- the policy was initiated under George W. Bush and finalized under Obama -- the federal government has enacted catch size limits in order to prevent overfishing of coastal seas, reports the Washington Post.

Super scrubber turns CO2 into fuel

Boffins at the University of Southern California have created a plastic-based, sand-like solid that absorbs CO2 from the air at room temperature and releases it at 185 degrees F, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Think …

Business & Technology

Trick out your Kindle with solar panels

Screwdriver-and-soldering-iron types have probably already made their e-readers solar powered, but what if you didn’t have any Schottky diodes lying around? SolarFocus has the technologically inept among us covered, with a Kindle cover that charges …

Sports enthusiasts urge you to ditch sports drinks

Professional snowboarders Bryan Fox and Austin Smith have started a "Drink Water" campaign, urging people to stop drinking the $20-a-gallon sugar-juice that props up their industry.

Pollution

Monsanto won’t have to clean up dioxin in West Virginia

West Virginia continues to win the game of exposing human beings to extremely hazardous conditions in exchange for working-class pay, then telling them to deal with it when they get sick. The latest example of this behavior doesn't even have to do with coal, but with Monsanto and Agent Orange. For 30 years, the Monsanto plant in a town called Nitro (named after the chemicals produced there! For real!) produced a defoliant ingredient that would later be used in Agent Orange. But the herbicides made in Nitro were contaminated with dioxin, which meant that Nitro residents were exposed to the toxic chemical beginning in the late 1940s. Dioxin has been connected to every bad health impact imaginable—for adults, problems like cancer and immune suppression, and for kids, problems like birth defects and learning disabilities. And now, because of the way West Virginia law works, the most that the citizens of Nitro can ask from the company is that it covers the cost of medical testing fees.

Cooking grease is now so valuable that people are stealing it

Who says that clean energy policies don't create jobs? The boom in biodiesel has created not only a new commodities market in cooking grease, but a new business opportunities for security professionals -- not to mention providing work for thieves and black-market fences, which is a kind of job? That’s because fryer oil is now such a valuable resource that people are straight-up stealing it. In recent years, a couple of state governments have realized that cooking grease has a use as a biofuel source and have regulated grease collection. At the same time, though, some less-than-savory characters have realized the grease’s value as well and are boosting it, costing some small rendering businesses losses on the order of $750,000 per year. And so the world comes to this impasse, as described by The New York Times: The grease is often stored in black Dumpsters that reek of death, in back alleys, which is why pickups usually take place in the middle of the night.

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