Features

TCN’s original, in-depth reporting and analysis

February 21, 2020

Monarch butterflies, already in peril, can’t seem to catch a break

Factors behind the beautiful creatures’ decline range from climate change to degraded habitat. Their immense migration traverses Texas. “What happens in Texas affects the rest of the breeding range,” one researcher says.

February 13, 2020

Super-green YouTube show gives Texas some serious renewable-energy cred

The UK-based show’s “Fully Charged LIVE” event drew standing-room crowds in Austin for its showcase of an array of new electric vehicles – from bicycles to Texas-size pickups. An omen of the state’s automotive future?

January 18, 2020

2020 kicks off with more hot news about climate change – and it isn’t good

An announcement by NASA and NOAA about rising temperatures is consistent with a series of other recent reports that indicate the world isn’t making progress needed to escape the worst effects of global warming.

January 5, 2020

Climate-changing methane emissions climb in West Texas, other oil/gas areas

The flaring, venting and leaking of methane, an extremely potent greenhouse pollutant, has tarnished and complicated natural gas’s once-cleaner image as a “bridge fuel” to a more climate-conscious future.

December 6, 2019

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.

November 13, 2019

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

Drones are increasingly being deployed in natural disaster response, including a slew of climate-related applications in recent years. For the humans flying these unmanned machines, working conditions are tough.

November 6, 2019 ELSEWHERE

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

Angela Merkel’s government, pushed by protests, is installing a “climate package” with $60 billion for electric mobility, public transport and building retrofits. German journalist Bernhard Poetter reports from Berlin for TCN.

October 23, 2019 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.

October 15, 2019

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?

October 9, 2019

‘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.

September 25, 2019 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.

September 9, 2019 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.

August 20, 2019 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.

August 20, 2019 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.

August 5, 2019

Slip-sliding away? Coal’s Texas role keeps shrinking despite GOP efforts

Recent developments underscore a continuing trend: Even without Obama's climate rules to help phase out coal (now abandoned by Trump), coal continues to suffer at the expense of wind and natural gas as sources of electricity.

June 17, 2019

In Texas and elsewhere, science seeks ways to reduce methane from cattle

Cows belch a lot of heat-trapping methane. Are climate-friendlier beef and milk possible? Kelly Calagna examines the issue in an article and video for TCN, including a look at a Texas-developed digestive aid for cattle.

June 5, 2019

Meeting assesses a low-carbon future for decidedly high-carbon Houston

The Center for Houston's Future, a think tank affiliated with the city's leading business organization, is holding a Houston Low-Carbon Energy Summit. The Center's CEO, Brett Perlman, talked with TCN's editor about the event.

May 29, 2019

Texas Legislature hints at climate change without saying its name

Harvey's destruction (amplified by climate change) inspired lawmakers to OK flood-control funds. But facing climate change directly was still too much. A summary of the session's environmental action and (mainly) inaction.

May 17, 2019

The Amazon forest: Crucial for Earth’s climate but facing new threats

Melissa Gaskill, a science writer and TCN contributing editor, traveled to Brazil to learn more about the Amazon rainforest and its role in climate change. The forest's future has never been so uncertain, she reports.

April 6, 2019

Electric bullet train would bring Texas to the forefront of sustainable travel

Construction on the Houston-Dallas rail line could start late this year, the company behind the project has said. A study projected it would replace enough highway travel to achieve a net saving in energy use.

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