Sarah Laskow

Sarah Laskow is a journalist based in New York.

Recent Articles

Black Sheep

The big story this morning in New York, where most people don't have friends or family who'll be directly affected by the government shut down, is the resignation of Cathie Black , Mayor Bloomberg 's choice for education chancellor. It's not entirely clear yet if Black's resignation was driven by a recent poll that put her approval rating at 17 percent or some other, more mysterious force. Mayor Bloomberg said just now that he and Black had "mutually agreed" that she should step down and that "I take full responsibility for the fact that this has not worked out as either of us had expected." Whatever the inside story of this decision, Black's short tenure provides a strong counterpoint to the argument, popular at federal agencies like the Treasury Department and often applied to Mitt Romney, that success in an unrelated field prepares people for holding public office. In Black's case, her total lack of knowledge about education and her less-than-politic attitude made her unpopular...

Newsprint as a Luxury Product

The Cutline's Joe Pompeo tells how on Tuesday , The New York Times' Arthur Sulzberger Jr. was asked about the impact of the paper's paywall on low-income readers. His answer: "Just translate that question to print," he said. "How will low-income people get access to the New York Times in print? Imagine we were 20 years ago. The answer is: it's harder. The New York Times supports a newsroom of enormous size and scope, and it needs the financial resources to do that. And the advertisers pay a vast part of that, but not all of it, and that's been true for decades."

The Consequences of Obama's Punt on Climate Change

Today might be the day that the Senate votes on stripping the Environmental Protection Agency of its power to regulate carbon. Yesterday, the Office of Management and Budget released a statement that criticized the House version of this legislation and promised, "If the President is presented with this legislation … his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill."...

New York City's New Green Lease

Most of New York City's carbon comes from its buildings . No one has been doing much about this problem, because neither building owners nor tenants wanted to foot the bill for installing energy-efficient improvements, the former because they wouldn't benefit from the lower energy bills and the latter because they wouldn't necessarily be in the building long enough to recoup the investment.

Cost-Effective Climate Adaptation

Ecologist Susanna Hecht is studying El Salvador's response to climate change, and she tells Yale Environment 360 : El Salvador and Central America take climate change seriously because they are getting nailed by these intense storms. As I always say, I never thought the future would come so soon. Last year El Salvador got hit so badly that the cost of recovering from storms and floods was much more than the costs of recuperating landscapes to build in more resilience to climate change. Now they see adaptation as the primary goal — it is the cost-effective thing to do...