Grist List

Canadian geothermal could produce a million times as much electricity as the country needs

  The federal Geological Survey of Canada says that the total available geothermal resource in that country could produce a million times as much electricity as the entire country uses, or well more than enough to light up all of planet earth many times over.

Rent solar panels instead of buying them

Solar leasing companies have been ramping up their business in the past year or so, and, looking at Colorado, you can see how successful they've been. So far this year, more than half of home solar installations were leased systems; last year, it was only 40 percent. The solar leasing companies say it's because it makes solar affordable to a broader swath of people.

The new biodiesel boom

Last year, about a third of the biodiesel plants in the country went idle and output fell by half. But now federal tax credits and renewable energy mandates mean that biodiesel is booming again and plants are opening back up. Their hold on success is tenuous, though: it depends, the industry says, on Congress extending a tax credit that pushes fuel blenders to include biofuel. The current boom started when Congress restored that credit back in December. But that was only a one-year reboot. For the industry to revive completely, producers say they need a longer extension.

Critical List: Protesting a Chinese solar plant’s pollution; Solyndra will never go away

Solar power isn’t all rainbows and puppies. In China, protesters have spent the past few days outside a solar panel plant, which they say polluted a nearby river. A U.S. wind turbine company is suing a Chinese company for paying an employee of American Superconducter more than $1 million to steal wind turbine technology. China's also put $15 billion into Alberta's tar sands in the past year and a half. We're going to keep hearing about Solyndra all next year.

FDA: It's corn syrup, now shut up and own it

The Corn Refiners Association has noticed that "corn syrup" is becoming kind of a dirty word. They could improve the product, perhaps, but that would be hard, so they decided to just rename it "corn sugar." But the FDA, which is in charge of things like what counts as "sugar," is having none of it. 

Car crashes into bike store

Jesus, is nowhere safe from cars? On Tuesday, a woman drove her Cadillac right into a California bike store at 30 to 40 miles per …

Scientists rush to save minnows from Texas drought

Here's the thing about apocalyptic droughts: They are bad for people and livestock and all other living things, but they are ESPECIALLY bad for fish. Texas minnows can't wait for Rick Perry's prayer meetings to alleviate the state's record dry spell -- they're already in dire straits as the water shortage robs them of their ability to eat, move, respirate, and reproduce. So scientists are evacuating them, moving the tiny fishlets from the shrinking Brazos River into safer fish hatcheries.

Solyndra ‘scandal’ vs. the Defense Department's biggest boondoggles

Philip Bump of Green for All responded to our request to create an infographic comparing the cost of the Solyndra "scandal" to the Defense Department's greatest boondoggles. We think it speaks for itself.

Climate-denying candidates make more Americans believe in global warming

According to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, 83 percent of people now believe that climate change is happening. That's up from 75 percent last year. What's behind the change? Partly heat, and partly hot air.

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