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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Critical List: Bachmann goes after Pawlenty on cap-and-trade; a bubble shield for wind turbines

At last night's Republican debate, Michele Bachmann tried to stake Tim Pawlenty on his support for cap-and-trade. The EPA wised up and banned DuPont from selling Imprelis, the herbicide that was killing trees. San Francisco could require businesses to let bikers bring their ride inside. Offshore wind turbines could damage whales’ hearing, but a ring of bubbles around the noise pollution could keep whales safe. If you have a ton of old CDs and a yearning for your very own DJ booth, Peter Gabriel has a great recycling idea for you. (Or you could just use them to make an …

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Six of seven fracking committee members have ties to natural gas industry

The government is convening a panel of experts to weigh in on how (and whether) fracking can be made safer. Yay! Six of the seven committee members have financial ties to the natural gas industry -- including the chairman, who's a board member of two energy companies and has received $1.4 million from them over three years. Boo! A group of concerned scientists has written a letter to the Secretary of Energy in which they object to the panel's skewed composition:  The committee appears to be performing advocacy-based science and seems to have already concluded that hydraulic fracturing is safe. We …

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Must-see photo essay about the drought

George Steinmetz' photo essay in Time about the drought in Texas, New Mexico, and Georgia is absolutely gasp-inducing. That's thanks to the beauty of the images, sure. But it's also the magnitude of the disaster (crops fail, waterways recede or disappear) and the shocking evidence of wastefulness (homeowners irrigate their lawns despite the record-setting drought; a golf course stays green in the middle of destruction).

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Buy an electric car, get a steep discount on the rooftop solar panels required to charge it

Ford has teamed up with SunPower to offer buyers of its forthcoming Ford Focus Electric a significant discount on SunPower's home solar power systems. This is more than just two companies teaming up to target a demographic likely to want to be interested in both their products: It also makes sense in terms of helping families get off of oil and coal at the same time. The partners estimate that the SunPower system on offer will produce enough electricity to drive the Focus Electric 1,000 miles per month. That's almost as many miles as the average driver puts on his …

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Wall Street Journal uses infrastructure as excuse to tell Tea Party to shove it

If you thought the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal couldn't possibly become any more backward or retrograde, the good news is, you're right! Today, the editors of the only newspaper opinion section to occasionally defeat Fox News in terms of sheer mendacity finally turned the corner and found a reason to break with the Tea Party notion that government should just go away already, so the country can turn into Somalia or Pakistan as quickly as possible. The surprisingly powerful op-ed, written by Ed Rendell (Democrat, former governor of Pennsylvania) and Scott Smith (Republican mayor of Mesa, Ariz.), advances the notion that …

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How we know we're causing global warming, in one handy graphic

There is a set of phenomena we would see happening if human-emitted greenhouse gases were causing climate change. There is a set of phenomena that are happening. THEY ARE THE SAME PHENOMENA. That is all. (But if that's not enough for you, Skeptical Science has more.)

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Meet the new water toxins, same as the old water toxins

Assuming it doesn't get cockblocked by industry or shut down by Michele Bachmann, the EPA is going to start regulating some gross stuff that hangs out in your water -- not because these are new toxins, but because they're finally being allowed to do something about the old ones. Forbes has a rundown on what you've been drinking, and how to stop drinking it anymore. Perchlorate: It's an ingredient in rocket fuel! Yum. Under the Bush administration, the EPA decided not to regulate it, but the Government Accountability Office cast doubt [PDF] on the validity of that decision (because the scientific …

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Congress doesn't believe global warming is a security threat

Climate change will shift the equation of global power and craziness, and the intelligence community is trying to place for those situations. But Congress isn't interested in that. Mother Jones' Kate Sheppard gives this example: In 2008, [Thomas] Fingar, [former chairman of the National Intelligence Council] now a fellow at Stanford University, took the lead in drafting the first national intelligence assessment on the security challenges presented by climate change. It found that global warming will further destabilize already-volatile parts of the world and should be considered in national security planning. But congressional Republicans dismissed the report as "a waste …

Read more: Politics

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Sing along to this awesomely cheesy theme song for energy wasters

The musical "Seein' the Light" was written in 1978, but nothing has really changed: People still deny there's a fuel or climate crisis, and they still put on their Serious Thespian black turtlenecks and sing about it. The guy singing is kind of super-intense -- he regularly goes 20 seconds or more between blinks -- and the song is wicked cheesy, but it's amazing that they were already doing satirical piss-takes on energy wastefulness 30 years before Colbert.

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Critical List: Energy panel supports fracking disclosure; Walmart's move to wind power

An Energy Department panel wants to require natural gas companies to disclose what chemicals they're using in hydrofracking projects. Green groups have an idea for how to cut the country's debt: stop subsidies to oil and gas companies. But (of course!) most of the members of the Super Congress are opposed to regulating greenhouse-gas emissions. Michelle Bachmann liked the EPA just fine when she was requesting money from it. The Dutch government ran a pilot project that meter private cars and charges drivers based on the miles they rack up. The program basically makes every roll a toll road, but …