TCN Archive

All of our original coverage since 2008

Features

Attwater’s prairie chicken population hit hard by Harvey

Science writer Melissa Gaskill reports that while long-term impact of the storm on Texas’ endangered species remains to be seen, initial information suggests whooping cranes and sea turtles fared better than the already threatened grouse.

Features

Will Harvey, other storms move Texans’ attitudes about climate change?

In 2008, TCN’s first article explored whether Hurricane Ike would change minds. Nine years on, with many Texas leaders still dismissing or denying dangers of climate disruption, we ask if a more devastating storm will do that.

TCN Journal

Fast flood-insurance ‘fix’ may elude a broke – and broken – program

Harvey, Irma and Maria just dealt out hundreds of billions in new hurricane devastation as the National Flood Insurance Program is hemorrhaging cash and set to expire. TCN’s Washington correspondent explains the key issues.

TCN Journal

Harvey’s catastrophic legacy includes pathogens, toxics, festering debris

The astonishing scope of the historic hurricane’s cumulative pollution impact is coming into better focus – sewage-fouled water, toxic industrial releases and piles of potentially contaminated debris from flooded structures.

TCN Journal

Farewell to a friend: A former TCN editor died amid Harvey’s aftermath

Houstonian Jim Simmon was our deputy editor from 2008 until last year. He apparently drowned at a location where high water lingered for days after the hurricane. We offer an appreciation of a fine man and great journalist.

TCN Journal

Harvey’s record rainfall: A statistical portrait of what “wettest” meant

“Harvey is head and shoulders above all previous multi-day storms ever recorded in the continental United States,” setting records in 17 rainfall categories, the Texas state climatologist concluded in a detailed analysis.

TCN Journal

As Harvey slams Texas, scientists explore links of hurricanes, climate change

Even rainier hurricanes and worse Gulf Coast flooding are possible in a warmer world, but not all the evidence is clear, according to a draft federal report on the current state of climate science.

TCN Journal

Secretive border-wall work at wildlife sanctuaries galvanizes opposition

Hundreds protested in the Rio Grande Valley after word got out that federal officials and contractors were surreptitiously advancing President Trump’s border-wall project in federal and private wildlife preserves.

Features

Texas communities, rich and poor, seek common ground in Gore’s new climate film

"An Inconvenient Sequel," the former vice president’s updated call to action against climate change, explores resiliency and hope in defeat. Some Dallas neighborhoods already know what that means.

TCN Journal

Researchers: More deadly heat waves, even with aggressive emission cuts

A team of scientists projected the number of days when potentially lethal heat and humidity will occur at different places, with and without big pollution reductions. Texas’ deadly days will soar either way, they calculated.

TCN Journal

‘Consensus’ or ‘debate’ – the long battle to shape public perception continues

More Americans than ever (58 percent) now say climate change is mostly man-made, a Yale poll found. That's in line with what scientists overwhelmingly agree. Will Trump appointees sow doubt about researchers’ vast consensus?

Features

From Texas to Australia, climate change socks coral reefs worldwide

Science writer Melissa Gaskill has made underwater visits to the Gulf of Mexico’s Flower Garden Banks and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. In this two-part report for TCN, she examines the impacts of a warming climate on coral.

In Passing

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.

In Passing

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.

Features

The US is pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement. What will it mean?

The pollution-cutting pact, signed by 195 nations, was hailed as a monumental achievement to try to avoid catastrophic disruption of the climate. Now what? Uncertainties abound in the wake of Trump’s decision to exit the accord.

TCN Journal

Powerhouse investors tell Exxon (and Trump): Get serious about climate change

Amid signs that the president is poised to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, ExxonMobil investors broke with the company’s board, voting overwhelmingly to demand an annual report on its climate-change risks.

TCN Journal

Stay or go? Texas Republicans offer competing advice on Paris climate pact

Donald Trump promised to take the U.S. out of the pollution-cutting Paris Climate Agreement. After being lobbied by Pope Francis and other world leaders to stay in the pact, Trump said he’d finally decide shortly.

TCN Journal

Wheat or chaff? Weighing the substance of Trump’s actions on climate, energy

The administration’s high-profile steps to reverse Obama-era policies may all seem like big deals. But are they? TCN’s Washington correspondent, Joseph A. Davis, has a forward-looking appraisal of their relative significance.

TCN Journal

Texas conservation pioneer’s ’90s words echo in 2017’s environmental debates

Terry Hershey’s 1994 thoughts on the 25th anniversary of Earth Day – a time when environmental battles much like today’s were raging – still seem fresh. Hershey, who died in January at 94, was recently honored in Houston.

TCN Journal

Signs of the times: Edgy sloganeering at Houston’s March for Science

An estimated 15,000 pro-science marchers rallied in Houston on Earth Day. It was one of hundreds of such events – billed as nonpartisan, but with a sharp anti-Trump message on many homemade signs. A TCN photo essay.

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