Grist List

Cartoon version of Rick Perry indistinguishable from the real thing

I wish this Taiwanese animated explainer on Rick Perry said more about his laughable positions on climate science, but you gotta love watching a cartoon version of the Republican front-runner pray for rain and get …

Gaze upon the eight circles of commuting hell

Take solace, Los Angelenos, in others' pain: In the larger scheme of horrible, horrible commutes, Los Angeles barely rates as moderately painful. On IBM's Commuter Pain Index, L.A. rates a 34. New Delhi, at 72, is more than twice as torturous, and in Mexico City, which ranks the worst, the pain index hits 108. No matter where you live, though, commuting just sucks and makes the rest of your life suck as well, Infrastructurist reports:

The gas tax is actually super low, thanks to inflation

Eric Cantor thinks that bike sharing is siphoning off way too much of the country's gas tax revenue. And for a Republican like him, raising the tax is out of the question, never mind that, as Greater Greater Washington's Matt Johnson points out, in inflation-adjusted dollars, the gas tax has gone down by 34 percent since 1994, the last time it was raised. And, again in inflation-adjusted dollars, the gas tax was actually highest in 1960. 

Critical List: Obama called for green schools, better infrastructure; Google shares carbon footprint

In his jobs speech, President Obama called for the construction of green schools and an infrastructure bank that could help create public transportation and efficient buildings. With an average temperature of 74.5 degrees F, this summer was the second hottest on record in the U.S. (The hottest summer was in 1936, when it was 74.6 degrees F. We're gonna beat that soon.) Google reveals its carbon footprint, which is smaller than an oil company's and about the same as a chemical company's.

Representative thinks Obama controls the weather

Yeah, that's Rep. Joe Wilson, of the "You lie!" outburst. Is it possible the reason they don't believe in science is that they actually believe in magic?

An ode to scary mutant fruits

Awl editor Alex Balk found out that farmers have been tinkering with plant genetics to create cross-breeds like "pluerries," and it inspired him to heights of lyrical brilliance: Please Don't Make The Fruits Do Sex To Each Other The freakish fruits that Science spawns— The pros we know, but not the cons What laws of nature might we breach By blending apricot and peach?

How Gmail saves energy

There are a lot of benefits to cloud computing. For instance, if you believe the commercials, it lets you replace your family’s heads with better heads! Also, it saves you storage space and means you …

Do individual green actions matter? Maybe not, says New York Times

The Huffington Post's eco-etiquette column yesterday featured a question from “Kimberly,” who writes "I used to be enthusiastic about going green, but now I feel like what's the point? Like a stupid reusable water bottle is going to make a difference…" She got a comforting answer, but if she’d written to the New York Times, op-ed contributor Gernot Wagner might have told her she might as well pack it in. HuffPo’s advice columnist Jennifer Grayson identified Kimberly’s problem — "You're having a F**k it moment right now" — and told her to step back, take a breather, and "remember that individual actions do make a difference." But Wagner, an economist with the Environmental Defense Fund, has a different answer for people like Kimberly: [S]adly, individual action does not work. It distracts us from the need for collective action, and it doesn’t add up to enough. Self-interest, not self-sacrifice, is what induces noticeable change. ...

Rick Perry: Just because global warming is a 'fact' doesn't mean it's real

Oh, Rick Perry. He's like a feudal lord who was just defrosted from the 13th century, only better-coiffed and less handy with a lance. He's like his own personal Renaissance Festival. Science? Forsooth, milord, what dost thou mean? In last night's debate, Perry offered the following extremely convincing (to other 13th-century refugees) argument against global warming: Not all scientists believe in it, I am pretty sure. I can't name any scientist who doesn't, but then, I can't name any scientists at all. Even if they do say it's a fact, that doesn't mean it's true. Because Galileo. Hey, Galileo! He's a scientist who probably didn't believe in global warming! QED.