Grist List

'Skypump' let's you fill 'er up — with wind

Got an electric car? And some wind? Then this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship, if you add in the Sanya Skypump for a horsepower three-way. Sure, you might think putting a wind turbine on an electric car charging station is kind of obvious, if you are a wiseacre. But the Skypump is a vertical-access turbine good for urban areas, parking lots, basically anywhere with winds between 7 and 26 mph. The Skypump will be rolling out in Barcelona, Beijing and NYC next year, where its $30,000 pricetag is nothing compared to what Jay-Z spends on champagne in a …

'Floatovoltaics' energize otherwise boring bodies of water

'Flotovoltaics,' solar panels that float on existing reservoirs, leads to all kinds of unexpected side benefits. At the Far Niente winery in Napa Valley, which pioneered the technology in the U.S., their floating solar grid reduces evaporation from their irrigation pond and inhibits algae growth. It also saves the winery from giving up valuable grape-growing land, even as it produces more electricity than the winery uses.

Otters are back in England

Once nearly extinct in England, otters have now returned to every county, indicating that rivers are at their healthiest in decades. Conservationists had predicted that it would be another 10 years before the otters reached this level of repopulation, so it's a real triumph for the iittle dudes. Not to mention an overwhelming stroke of good fortune for Brits, who can now watch otters play from the comfort of their homes, the lucky bastards.

Infographic: What it would take to meet Obama's 2035 clean energy goals?

Obama wants 80 percent of America's energy to come from clean and renewable sources by 2035. But what would that really take? Mostly, it means replacing 2/3 of our coal-fired power plants with power sources that don't depend on fossil fuels. The scale of that ambition is difficult to comprehend — which is why it's handy that Climate Central has created an interactive to walk you through what it really means. The image above is just a screengrab – run, don't walk, to the original.)

Human excrement is killing all your coral

You know how when you go snorkeling, the guide tells you not to touch, breathe on, or even think about getting anywhere near the coral because it's really sensitive and also a great marine resource? Well, it's all true, but on a macro level, humans haven't been paying attention to those instructions and instead have been spraying the coral down with water contaminated with our waste. So basically we have been POOPING ON THE CORAL, which is kind of the opposite of not touching it. And human waste infects coral with something called white pox disease, which causes lesions and has led to a 90 percent decline in elkhorn coral, a key player in reef building.

Bachmann promises $2 gas, unicorns

When I was in the fourth grade I took a lot of crap for not voting for Ty for class president, because he said he would give us double recess and free ice cream. I found those claims doubtful, and also Ty was kind of a dick, so I didn't vote for him, but everyone else did and they made fun of me. What I'm saying is, if you believe Michele Bachmann's claim that she can get gas back under $2 a gallon, then you should break out your Bieber tee and your juice box, because you are essentially an eight-year-old with a peer pressure problem. And you're going to be waiting a long time for that ice cream.

Welcome to the new Grist. Tell us what you think, or if it's your first time learn about us. Grist is celebrating 15 years. ×