Austin-based journalist Ari Phillips, reporting on his recent travels in Central Texas, examines the Hill Country’s famed springs as a microcosm of complex water issues facing all of the state and most of the Western U.S.
The Houstonian discussed a voluntary, market-based initiative that would conserve natural areas near the coast to buffer storm surges and offset greenhouse emissions. A Rice University conference addresses the concept.
There was some ambiguity in the combined picture that emerged from the surveys regarding public opinion on the seriousness of the threats that climate change poses and what should be done about it.
Don’t have time to go through the new, 1,146-page National Climate Assessment to get an idea of what it says about Texas? TCN did it for you, locating and selecting a representative sample of pertinent graphics.
Environmentalists worked to defeat candidates dubbed “climate-change deniers,” including a Texan. National polls show more concern about climate change. And a “carbon tax” is being discussed, with Exxon-Mobil among the backers.
State lawmakers took action to let voters decide whether to spend $2 billion on water infrastructure and conservation projects. In an election held now, the proposal “would pass strongly,” the poll director told TCN.
While lawmakers grappled with water issues, a new report offered yet another reminder that the drought that prompted all of the recent, high-level attention to Texas’ growing water needs was far from over.
A House-passed bill tells state officials to issue emission-cutting permits under U.S. regulations they have refused to implement. But the bill would drop the requirement if Texas wins its legal fight against the rules.
Most of Texas is still in “moderate” to “exceptional” drought, one report said. Federal forecasters predicted drought will continue and perhaps expand in the state. And the state climatologist foresees more water woes, with declining reservoir levels.
Hot, dry conditions in Texas and elsewhere, along with herbicide use in the monarchs’ reproductive grounds in the U.S., are blamed for a continuing decline in their numbers in Mexican forests where they winter.
The ultimate outcome of the lawsuit over the imperiled whooping crane species has potentially sweeping implications for the state’s management of water resources as scientists project more drought with climate change.
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Austin closes in on 35% renewable energy. SustainableBusiness.com
On the border, a struggle over water. Texas Observer
Study: Natural gas, renewables work together in Texas electricity market. Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Eyes of Texas are upon the Gulf for drinking water. Houston Chronicle
State, feds seek cash penalty over Ark. oil spill. Associated Press
Fracking fuels water fights in nation’s dry spots. Associated Press
US airports face increasing threat from rising seas. Climate Central