Sarah Laskow

Sarah Laskow is a reporter based in New York City who covers environment, energy, and sustainability issues, among other things.

Critical List: The return of the loan-guarantee program; Texas least prepared for climate change

The Energy Department is reviving its loan program. (AAAH! SOLYNDRA! AAAAAAAH!…say Republicans. We’re pretty sure this will all work out fine.) Environmental groups want final rules governing coal ash and are suing the EPA to get them. Texas: not very prepared for climate change. California: doing better than everyone else, at least. In China, drought means that 7.8 million people and almost 10 million acres of farmland lack adequate drinking water.

Animals

Forest Service employee traps and tortures wolf, doesn’t get fired

When wolves came off the endangered species list in western states like Idaho, wildlife advocates worried how the species would fare without protection. Ranchers aren’t known to be particularly fond of wolves, for starters. In March, a disturbing story confirmed some of advocates’ worst fears: A Forest Service employee had trapped and tortured a wolf in northern Idaho. The Center for Biological Diversity is asking for an investigation into the incident, Environmental News Service reports. The employee, Josh Bransford, “posted online photos of a wolf he had trapped that was then non-fatally shot by people who saw the animal from …

Critical List: A feathered cousin of T. rex; a solar panel thinner than spider silk

The Yutyrannus, a newly discovered dinosaur, was huge, related to Tyrannosaurus rex, and covered in feathers. Thousands of dead dolphins have been washing up on Peruvian beaches. Austrian and Japanese scientists teamed up to make a solar panel that’s thinner than a thread of spider silk. Drought in England means that anyone caught using a hose faces a fine equivalent to more than $1,500.

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