Sarah Laskow

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

Critical List: Selenium dumping gives fish two heads; Germany to cut solar subsidies

A mining company in Idaho wants to keep dumping selenium into local creeks, even after its scientific study turned up these two-headed trout and other deformed fish. A judge found BP liable for civil damages in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, meaning the company could pay billions in penalties. Germany is cutting solar subsidies … because they have so much solar power already. Four out of five wolves that were released near the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a reintroduction program are now dead.

Food

Test tube burger will cost more than $331,000 to produce

Sometime later this year, a yet-to-be-named guinea pig very lucky culinary pioneer will take the first bite of the first hamburger grown in a lab. At that point, the cost of making that burger will have totaled more than $331,000 (an estimated 250,000 euros). The meat will be grown from bovine stem cells that produce muscle and fat — and if that sounds less than appetizing, keep in mind that the burger will be prepared by famed chef Heston Blumenthal.

Cities

Ultimate tiny house is suspended 40 feet in the air

Via the Dish, this art installation in downtown San Francisco is the ultimate tiny house. It’s seven by eight by 11 feet, and it’s suspended 40 feet in the air. Plus, it’s recycled AND green: It’s made of 100-year-old reclaimed barn wood, and powered by off-grid solar. Among other ideas, the project is meant to communicate “a new home front in the remaining voids of San Francisco” and “the arrogance of westward expansion,” according to designboom. While we now think it’s awesome and perhaps necessary to inhabit tiny spaces, for pioneers, it was just practical.