In Passing

Gleanings and shorter reports from TCN

February 5, 2018

White House yanks nomination of Texan White for key environmental slot

Kathleen Hartnett White’s doubts about climate science drew opposition from scientists, environmentalists and Democrats. She faced an uphill climb in the Senate where several Republicans declined to commit to voting for her.

January 24, 2018

Texan Kathleen Hartnett White again faces a Senate confirmation gantlet

White’s stalled nomination to head the White House environmental council has drawn intense opposition from scientists and others. A Houston Chronicle editorial said she “recklessly dismisses” the threats of climate change.

November 29, 2017

Senate panel OKs Texan science doubter to head U.S. environmental council

Kathleen Hartnett White has voiced doubt about the sweeping scientific consensus on climate change for years. A fellow at a conservative think tank, she formerly led Texas' principal environmental regulatory agency.

June 21, 2017

Perry signals return to his earlier science-denying stance on climate change

The Energy Department chief mocked climate science as Texas governor. Now he dismisses researchers’ consensus conclusion – that pollution mainly drives climate change. Scientists are trying to school him.

June 8, 2017

Polls: Americans give thumbs down to exiting Paris climate accord [Updated]

President Trump’s action was a big loser among Democrats and independents. But it scored well among Republicans, which led some analysts to suggest it might help shore up support among his most dedicated fans.

March 31, 2017

State, city leaders square off over Trump’s move to kill Clean Power Plan

While Texas Gov. Greg Abbott hailed the action to end the Obama initiative, Houston’s Sylvester Turner and Austin’s Steve Adler were among U.S. mayors affirming the plan and the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

January 17, 2017

Large majority opposes Trump’s pledge to get out of Paris Climate Agreement

A Washington Post-ABC News poll found Americans, by a 56-31 margin, want the U.S. to stay in the pollution-cutting pact. Another poll found 61 percent, counter to Trump, want the EPA's powers strengthened or preserved.

January 11, 2017

2016 in Texas: 3rd warmest year, a slew of weather and climate disasters

2016 was the second warmest year on record in the contiguous 48 states, NOAA reported. Besides having its third warmest year since 1895, Texas experienced nearly half of of the nation’s costliest meteorological events.

December 23, 2016 RECORDS

Readings through November: 2016 is likely to be hottest year on record

“Long-term indicators of human-caused climate change, including record carbon dioxide concentrations, and glacier melt, and low sea ice, continued” this year, the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization reported.

August 24, 2016

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport may be Texas’ biggest carbon-neutral thing

DFW, the state’s biggest airport and the world’s third-busiest in aircraft operations, recently became the first in North America declared to have achieved net zero emissions of CO2 (not counting aircraft engines).

August 23, 2016 RECORDS

July: Another month, another batch of high-temperature records

The earth’s warm-weather trend continues. NASA and NOAA separately concluded in recent days that last month was the hottest July and hottest month on record (dating to 1880) in terms of the average planet-wide temperature.

June 18, 2016 RECORDS

May: Another month for temperature records, 13th record-warm month in a row

Even with the waning of the warmth-boosting El Niño pattern, May set another monthly record for a high average global temperature, federal scientists said. New records were also set for the March-May and January-May periods.

April 6, 2016

Polls yield more signs that Republican opinions on climate are shifting

You wouldn’t know it by listening to leading GOP officials in Texas or the party’s top presidential candidates. But public opinion surveys continue to find Republicans increasingly expressing concern about climate change.

February 19, 2016

UT Poll: Large majority of Americans backs action against climate change

“We’re seeing strong support for collaborative efforts among nations to combat the effects of climate change,” said Sheril Kirshenbaum, director of the national UT Energy Poll, which the university conducts semiannually.

February 5, 2016

Is climate change making El Niños worse? That remains a scientific mystery

“The issue of whether El Niños will become more or less frequent or more or less intense under global warming is far from clear,” Texas’ state climatologist says. TCN senior editor Randy Lee Loftis examines the subject.

October 26, 2015

Texas wind, showcased in Obama’s business climate pledge, reaches milestone

Wind’s portion of the state’s electricity use set a new record at one point. Meanwhile, several companies’ White House pledges to cut climate pollution indicated Texas wind is a key part of their low-carbon strategies.

October 22, 2015

National agreement that climate is changing hits all-time high in UT poll

The latest UT Energy Poll found 76 percent nationally, 69 percent in Texas, think climate change is happening. The poll’s release came just before scientists said 2015 will almost surely be the hottest year on record.

October 14, 2015

Texas can easily meet EPA’s CO2 rules — and cash in, too, EDF report says

Texas has already taken big steps toward meeting Clean Power Plan requirements years before they take effect, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. Randy Lee Loftis reports for TCN. [Updated]

August 12, 2015

“Drought’s over” joy short-lived – drought’s creeping back into Texas

It was nice while it lasted – the first drought-free map of Texas since 2010. But since it was published, drought and “abnormally dry” conditions have returned to East Texas, prompting a rise in outdoor burn bans.

July 18, 2015

2014: Record warmth on land and sea, rising seas and greenhouse gases

You wouldn’t know it by focusing on Texas, but evidence continued to accumulate elsewhere, supporting the scientific consensus that fossil-fuel pollution is warming the planet, according to NOAA’s “State of the Climate.”

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