TCN Archive

All of our original coverage since 2008

Features

What comes after capitalism? An interview with UT’s Raj Patel

A challenging new book co-written by Patel, a professor, writer and activist at the LBJ School, argues that our economic system can’t survive the looming end of “cheap things,” including “cheap nature” and “cheap energy.”

TCN Journal

Rick Perry’s plan to prop up declining coal, nuclear industries proves DOA

Texans were among many praising independent regulators' rejection of the energy secretary's claim that closing coal and nuclear plants imperils “grid reliability.” But coal is scoring other big wins with the administration.

TCN Journal

Texas’ suburbs outpace central urban areas as greenhouse-gas producers

Long commutes and big homes help push CO2 emissions higher in outlying areas. A few local initiatives in Texas seek to steer new development toward inner cities, but research suggests cutting emissions requires more than that.

TCN Journal

Texan among first recipients of French president’s climate-research grants

Biologist Camille Parmesan praised the “proactive engagement” of Emmanuel Macron's "Make Our Planet Great Again" initiative. He launched the grant program in response to Trump administration cuts in climate research.

TCN Journal

Getting toastier in Santa Land. (Well, less frigid, as melting speeds up)

Researchers are documenting “unprecedented" disruptions to the Arctic ecosystem due to warming air and shrinking sea ice. A summary and reading guide to new reports about how climate change is transforming the Far North.

TCN Journal

GOP tax bill leaves most energy subsidies intact – fossil and renewable

Wind, solar, gas and oil production – all important in Texas – have long competed on the battleground of subsidies and tax breaks. None comes out of the tussle over Republicans' tax overhaul with a notable new advantage.

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.

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