TCN Archive

All of our original coverage since 2008

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.

Features

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.

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.

TCN Journal

Texas-based AT&T is getting ready for climate change, even if Trump isn’t

The telecommunications giant headquartered in Dallas launched a climate resiliency plan using supercomputer projections to help plan for the next Harvey. The readiness project contrasts starkly with the president's climate stance.

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.

TCN Journal

Those hot summer nights are getting hotter as climate change progresses

“High lows” – increasing overnight minimum temperatures – are happening in Texas, throughout the U.S. and around the world. Warmer weather at night can pose significant health risks, scientists say.

Features

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.

TCN Journal

Oceans of trouble: Austin man swimming through Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Ben Lecomte, a French-born long-distance swimmer who now calls Texas home, is collecting ideas and data on his trek while he calls attention to plastic debris and other ocean conservation problems.

Features

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.

Features

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.

TCN Journal

Houston survey: Climate concern steady but less support for related policies

The Rice University poll's authors noted that “the instinctive resistance to an increase in government controls over the initiatives of the private sector is still firmly embedded, it would seem, in Houston’s basic DNA.”

Features

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.

TCN Journal

Is a breakthrough in sight for climate action? New polls shed some light

After years near the bottom of public priorities, climate change is now the top concern among Democratic voters, one recent survey found. Other polls also reveal a growing feeling of urgency, especially among young people.

TCN Journal

Climate change producing more pollen, longer allergy season, research shows

Scientists say one new analysis "illustrates a clear positive correlation between recent global warming and an increase in the seasonal duration and amount of pollen for multiple allergenic plant species."

Features

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.

Features

In Texas even the mildest climate bills face near-certain death

Several bills dealing with climate change are going nowhere in the 2019 Legislature. The same fate met such proposals in other recent sessions. Just planning for worse heat and flooding can sometimes be too hot for lawmakers to touch.

TCN Journal

Students rally worldwide for climate action: Houston’s event in pictures

Young people in Texas joined hundreds of thousands of others across the U.S. and around the world in cutting class (or, for some, skipping Spring Break recreation) to demand more vigorous action against climate change.

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.

TCN Journal

Rising temperatures threaten health of fetuses, researchers say

An international team of researchers projected as much as a 35 percent increase in newborns with heart malformations in a region including Texas. Two medical experts in Houston told TCN the finding is cause for concern.

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