Biker gear goes eco-couture and Harry Potter star Emma Watson protects trout without a doubt, in this week's Grist List. Sign up to get the Grist List each week by email.
Now We Can Watch Them Go Up
NOAA scientists unveil online emissions-tracking tool
The U.S. might not be ready to cut its carbon emissions, but it's ready to measure them. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has unveiled a nifty new online tool that tracks carbon dioxide levels around the world. And guess what it's called? CarbonTracker. We're in love! "This is a pretty exciting opportunity," deadpanned NOAA's head of research, Richard Spinrad, adding that the tool "will provide a fundamental ground truth about climate." While NOAA is still working out kinks and gathering data, the agency's long-term hope is that the tracker will reflect data from thousands of global sampling stations and give accurate carbon counts down to the city level. Researchers are also working on a way to differentiate carbon generated naturally from the kind spewed when fossil fuels burn. "If [NOAA] can do this, the effects would be remarkable," said John Drexhage of the International Institute for Sustainable Development. "At least it means we can have an honest discussion."
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Better Off Ed
An interview with Rep. Ed Markey about the politics of climate change
You'll Be Fine, Yogi
Yellowstone-area grizzly bears lose Endangered Species Act protection
The U.S. Interior Department will remove Yellowstone-area grizzlies from Endangered Species Act protection, putting management of bears that live outside the park in the hands of state officials in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. And by "management," of course, we mean killin'. The region's bear count has swelled from under 200 to about 600 since the omnivore was listed in the mid-1970s, a rebound Deputy Interior Secretary Lynn Scarlett calls "amazing." But some say it's too soon to leave the bear to its own devices. "We're going to take action to fight this," said Louisa Willcox of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "It's ill conceived and premature." Meanwhile, politicians took swipes at the slow-moving ESA process, arguing for automatic delisting when species numbers reach set goals. "With a set trigger for delisting, we could avoid this bureaucratic and legal jumble that ties the hands of land and wildlife managers for decades," said Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.). Trigger! See how he did that?
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Karen Bowman, environmental-health nurse, answers readers' questions
Google gives out bikes to 2,000 employees across the pond
We have a vague recollection that there was life before Google, but it must have been a sad, empty sort of life. Anyone recall? While you're casting your memory back there, lord, we'll update you on the latest from the altruistic search engine: they're giving free bikes (and helmets) to 2,000 employees in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. "We think that these amazing bikes will help Googlers keep fit and healthy, get to know their city better, and reduce the environmental impact of their journey to work," says Liane Hornsey, HR director for the region. The shift will also provide a side benefit for the company: the folding and hybrid cycles, made by Raleigh Europe, will bear the Google logo. Smaht! The bike blitz follows last fall's announcement that Google will juice its California headquarters with solar energy, in the form of rooftop panels and solar parking-lot "trees." The company even got an award this week for using free-range eggs. It all just makes us feel warm and googly inside.