TCN Archive

All of our original coverage since 2008

TCN Journal

Two new studies: Manmade warming made Harvey’s rainfall much worse

Two research efforts – one with involvement by Houston's Rice University – concluded climate change increased the storm's severity. A national opinion poll, meanwhile, found 54 percent of the public already held that view.

TCN Journal

Conservatives tout carbon tax but draw critics on both left and right

A Rice University forum examined the possibilities of market-based solutions to climate change. But from the left come attacks on the profit motive, from the right disbelief about the underlying science.

In Passing

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.

TCN Journal

Coal’s place in Texas’ electricity-generation mix grows ever shakier

The Trump administration insists there’s been a "war on coal" that needs to end. A leading Texas power generator blames something more basic for coal's decline: increasing supplies of cheaper natural gas and renewables.

TCN Journal

House Science Chair Lamar Smith retires: Whither the attack on climate science?

The Texas congressman is an especially outspoken critic of climate science. But as our Washington correspondent reports, absent Democratic takeover of the House, his panel will likely remain a friendly platform for skeptics.

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.

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