Features

A departed Republican’s service and words illuminate a different GOP

William Ruckelshaus, who died recently, led the EPA under two Republican presidents. He later headed a Houston-based corporation. His legacy is a reminder that his party’s leadership once included such avid conservationists.

TCN Journal

Austin’s emergency resolution one more step on its climate-action path

Features

Disaster drone pilots are working hard and getting tired, research shows

Features ELSEWHERE

Germany is putting a price on all CO2 emissions to fight climate change

TCN Journal

Efforts encouraging Texas ranchers to restore native grasses show promise

One former state official helps ranchers replenish their property with native grasses. He hopes a connected series of restored prairies will help protect native Texas wildlife from the effects of climate change.

Features CITIES+CLIMATE

After two years of effort, San Antonio finally has a climate action plan

Not everyone is crazy about San Antonio’s plan, but it’s a start. The framework for reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 omits a coal plant, ensuring more debate. Part 2 in our series on Texas cities’ climate action plans.

Features

Climate change plus looser pesticide rules may imperil declining Texas bees

Bees are struggling across the board – a trend that seems at odds with recent federal actions. And then there’s the impact of climate change. What does all of this mean for pollinators in the Lone Star State?

TCN Journal

Changes to Endangered Species Act rules could threaten Texas species

A rule change allowing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to publish information on the economic impact of listing species as endangered, which triggers protection, may be bad news for a West Texas lizard.

Features

‘The End of Ice’ – chilling look at what a hotter Earth means for human life

Dahr Jamail, a journalist born and raised in Houston, talked with TCN about his new book. Even if we stopped burning fossil fuels today, we won't escape all impacts of climate disruption we've already set in motion, he says.

TCN Journal

Imelda’s extreme rainfall was “increased substantially” by global warming

New research on Tropical Storm Imelda by an international team of scientists echoes studies that concluded man-made climate change boosted Hurricane Harvey’s devastating flooding in Houston and other Texas locations.

In Passing

Texas Tech’s Katharine Hayhoe receives UN’s top environmental honor

The scientist was recognized for work quantifying the effects of climate change and efforts to transform public attitudes about it. She is well known for educational outreach to fellow evangelical Christians.

Features CITIES+CLIMATE

A new series on Texas cities’ climate action plans. First installment: Dallas

With little help from federal or state officials, Texas cities are getting ready for climate change alone. Local plans have limited power but can achieve some things, while illuminating climate equity and justice issues.

TCN Journal

Studies find animals struggling to keep up with climate change

Animals have successfully adapted to a new climate in the past, but today’s pace of change is much faster. “Climate change is just happening too quickly, and animals are not adapting fast enough,” said one Texas scientist.

Features CITIES+CLIMATE

Texas cities roll slowly toward clean and quiet battery-electric buses

Transit officials in a half-dozen of the state’s bigger cities are deploying electric buses on the streets, at least in small numbers. Progress is gradual so far, but the trend line is clear.

In Passing

Marine heat waves can kill crucial coral reefs outright, new study finds

Scientists already knew climate change threatened reefs like the Flower Garden Banks off Texas with a process called bleaching. Now, they’ve learned hotter ocean temperatures also kill coral without that condition happening.

TCN Journal

Yes, Texas summers really are hotter, more humid today than 40 years ago

A new analysis finds that many Texas cities are already experiencing significantly more days of oppressive and dangerous heat – a trend that's expected to accelerate in the future.

Features HEALTH+CLIMATE

Health after Harvey: The lingering stress and distress of a major hurricane

Researchers convene in Houston this week to discuss findings about Hurricane Harvey’s public-health impacts and healthcare providers’ response. This is one of two articles exploring some of what they’ve learned.

Features HEALTH+CLIMATE

Health after Harvey: Some physical problems persist, others are undefined

Some health issues arose after the storm had passed. And its ebb didn’t mean all of them abated. Contaminated floodwaters carried chemicals, biotoxins, waste, sewage and debris that can cause illnesses and injury.

TCN Journal

No thaw here: Trump’s EPA appointees toe contrarian line on climate science

Some key Republicans say they now back climate action, which presupposes acceptance of climate science. You won't find evidence of such acceptance in two key EPA appointments with Texas connections, however.

In Passing

For Apollo 11’s Michael Collins, view from the moon showed Earth’s fragility

For the 50th anniversary of the first moon-walking mission, Collins told the BBC that while piloting the command module in lunar orbit he was struck by how Earth was “a fragile little thing” in the black vastness of space.

TCN Journal

Soggy Midwest spring leads to sizable 2019 Gulf of Mexico ‘dead zone’

Looking ahead, heavier rains resulting from climate change are expected to send more freshwater and nutrients to the Gulf, which deplete oxygen and harm marine life there. Warming Gulf waters could aggravate the problem.

In Passing

Proposed high-speed train gets through Legislature without derailment

Proponents say the project will reduce Houston-Dallas travel times and greenhouse pollution. Despite avoiding legislative roadblocks for a third session, it still faces opposition from rural residents and others.

In Passing

Climate change, warming oceans and an iconic, endangered sea turtle

Scientists are examining the negative impacts of warmer waters on marine ecosystems. One study recorded a dramatic increase in temperature-linked strandings of Kemp's Ridley turtles, a rare species that mainly nests in Texas.

In Passing

Border-wall brawl dominates attention amid more climate-migration reports

A congressional watchdog agency. A scientific journal. National Geographic. These were some of the recent publishers of new reports as researchers and journalists examine ways climate change is propelling migration.

In Passing

New national poll: Record-high numbers see human hand in climate change

The survey found a big and growing partisan divide on basic questions about climate change. Overall, 73 percent now say there is "solid evidence" of global warming – 50 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of Democrats.

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