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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Meet the one creature that isn’t bothered by climate change

myster-bear
Hallie Bateman

Let’s look at a list of animals threatened by climate change, shall we? Polar bears, elephants, sea-turtles, tigers, islands, Florida, tree-frogs, orangutans … You know what, just go to the nearest zoo and add everything you see to the list. But there is one creature conspicuous by its absence: Bigfoot, and with good reason.

You might want to sit down, because this isn’t going to be easy. We have just received some terrible news: The seminal 1987 documentary Harry and the Hendersons was a hoax; the furry man-ape in the film was, in all likelihood, an unshaven John Goodman. Bigfoot, the legendary hominid and beef jerky pitch-creature, does not exist.

DNA testing has revealed that the eight-foot-tall hominid, whose mighty bellows quailed climbers at the top of the world and whose hair-covered pendulous breasts left the fearless lumberjacks of the Pacific Northwest shaken to their cores is, in fact, a raccoon. Easy mistake, really.

Read more: Uncategorized

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Escargot tactics

Snails already live in fear; now they’ve got climate change to worry about, too

terrified-snail
Sarawut Padungkwan

It’s a well-known scientific fact that a human's greatest fear is going to work only to realize you are, in fact, buck naked. A close second, however, is knowing that you are completely surrounded by creatures who plan to eat you as you go about your daily business. And while animals routinely show up for work nude, they are not immune to the whole fear-of-being-devoured bit.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Fear is a big part of what makes an ecosystem tick. But add a little heat to the equation, and good healthy fear gets a lot less good and healthy, according to a new study by Professor Geoff Trussell at Northeastern University College of Science.

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Latest sign that the end is nigh: You can now get a “ride share” in a helicopter

uber-ocalypse

You know how it is -- there you are, standing on the roof of the American embassy during the fall of Saigon and all of the helicopters have their vacancy lights turned off. It’s the worst!

Now, thanks to the ride-share company Uber and its whirly-bird partner, Blade, well, you’d still be screwed. But if you want to get from Manhattan to the Hamptons this Thursday for a little surfing, they’ve got you covered.

Uber, a company that gets its name from a word banned from the German national anthem after World War II, is teaming up for one day with Blade, a company that offers Uber-like services for those in desperate need of a helicopter. Just make sure you get the pilot to crank Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” as you come in low over P-Diddy’s place.

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This timelapse serves up some deforestation with your World Cup

Manaus Amazonas stadium
Gabriel Smith

We all know that this World Cup, however magnificent the saves, comes with its fair share of fouls. But it's one thing to know that Brazil built a stadium in the capital city of Amazonas, and another thing entirely to SEE 30 years of satellite images in which a little patch of mostly green is slowly and almost completely colonized by concrete.

(To be fair, FIFA can only take the blame for the stuff that happens after 2007, when Brazil was named this year's tournament host ... in fact, most of the deforestation was already fait accompli by then, but you didn't click on this for quibbles, you clicked on this because you wanted to watch a depressing timelapse.)

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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Out of land and almost underwater, the country of Kiribati may move to Fiji

Kiribati
KevGuy4101

Moving is such a bitch. You’ve got to find a buddy with a truck, friends willing to work for food, and tranquilizers for the cat. It’s even tougher when you’re moving a whole country, a situation the tiny island nation of Kiribati faces. Do you know how hard it’s going to be finding enough boxes to move 100,786 people? Kiribati’s pizza bill is going to be shocking. And crossing 2055 miles of open ocean ain’t like moving out to the county -- your pal’s pickup is going to need excellent ground clearance.

Lawrence Caramel (who sounds delicious) at The Guardian has the story, complete with weird British spellings and distances measured in kilometers:

The people of Kiribati, a group of islands in the Pacific ocean particularly exposed to climate change, now own a possible refuge elsewhere. President Anote Tong has recently finalised the purchase of 20 sq km on Vanua Levu, one of the Fiji islands, about 2,000km away.

The Church of England has sold a stretch of land mainly covered by dense forest for $8.77m. "We would hope not to put everyone on [this] one piece of land, but if it became absolutely necessary, yes, we could do it," Tong told the Associated Press…

Within a few decades, small islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans risk being extensively or even completely submerged. In places the sea level is rising by 1.2cm a year, four times faster than the global average.

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Drug users buy local, snack heavily

marijuana-smoke.jpg
Shutterstock

The U.N.'s annual World Drug report is in and -- good news! -- it turns out that crocheted hackie sack isn't the only local artisanal product those hippies on the quad are supporting. The world's drug market is also hitting the locavore trend.

Here in the States, for instance, imported cocaine is on the decline and home grown (well, not necessarily grown so much as distilled from only the finest household cleaning products in a vintage trailer park bathtub) drugs are taking its place.

Joshua Keating at Slate has the story:

Read more: Living

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Upcycling finally gets its own reality TV show

According to the latest census, there are roughly three times as many reality TV shows as there are people, so pretty much every job you could possibly imagine has a show. There are shows about the high stakes of baking; programs devoted to the thrilling world of long-haul trucking (which somehow has not had a single episode about meth); series on goldfish caretaking; heck, every other gun shop in America has a show (which is a lot of gun shops). Toddlers in tiaras have their own show as do toddlers who used to wear tiaras. But the reality TV field has been sorely lacking on the green front ... until now.

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Love train

This floating magnetic pod is the public transit of the future (we hope)

sky-train.jpg
Skytran

Usually when a defense contractor comes up with a wiz-bang gizmo, it’s the kind of thing that gives us nightmares, not think, “Man, I hope they bring that to my town!” But defense giant Israel Aerospace Industries is teaming up with California-based SkyTran to build a maglev system for its corporate campus in Tel Aviv.

The system uses small, two-person pods hanging from elevated tracks. You can order up a pod from your cellphone. Wired’s Alexander George has more:

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Sticky Situation

Yes, it’s getting hotter in the U.S. — but the humidity will kill you

hot-and-sweaty
Tom Wang

It's difficult to find a silver lining in our climate-changed future. Yes, the heat is expected to surpass unhealthy levels and get into lethal territory by the end of the century. And true, hotter temperatures mixed with humidity compounds the problem, making it extremely difficult for our bodies to regulate temperatures. On the other hand, according to Rutgers climatologist Robert Kopp, you will still have nearly an hour a day to engage in light outdoor physical activity in the shade before heat stroke sets in.

The recent Risky Business report on the economic impacts of climate change took a look at some of the physical repercussions of increasing heat and humidity. Sharon Begley at Reuters had this to say:

Read more: Climate & Energy

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The greenest man in America doesn’t drive a Prius or shop at Whole Foods

lipo.jpg

With all due apologies to the Banner boys, Bruce and David, people are calling Lipo Chanthanasak the greenest man in America. What has the Incredible Chanthanasak done to deserve the title? Well it turns out trashing the environment makes Chanthanasak angry, and if you’re a polluter, you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

As leader of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), a group coordinating refugee and immigrant communities around Richmond and Oakland, Calif., the 73-year-old Laotian immigrant fights for clean energy and environmental justice. Lipo and the APEN team work, Avengers-style, to create green jobs and block the dumping of toxic and dirty facilities in their neighborhoods. Lipo helps lead a crusade against Chevron’s dirty refinery in Richmond and the proposed billion-dollar expansion that could be devastating for the health of residents.

Good work, Chanthanasak, and when it comes to Chevron and the other Big Oil bad guys, we say, “Lipo Smash!”

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living