TCN Journal | The blog of Texas Climate News | Page 1

A federal appeals court reversed a ruling, sought by a conservation coalition, which temporarily halted new water-use permits in river systems feeding the endangered species’ winter habitat on the Texas coast.

Gov. Rick Perry said the new regulations were meant to “appease” only “a tiny sliver of environmental extremists.” Opinion surveys found about two-thirds of all Americans back the climate-protection initiative, however.

Energy and economic experts said the EPA’s new rules for existing power plants can be a net economic benefit for the state, especially by boosting its natural gas, wind and solar industries to replace coal burning.

SNAPSHOTS OF THE DROUGHT

“We have to adapt because the climate is changing,” California Gov. Jerry Brown declared. There’s been no such talk from Texas’ top officials, of course, but drought adaptation is getting serious consideration all the same.

“The facts are, our area is warmer, and the facts are, there’s no indication at this point that it’s going to cool down,” researcher B.A. “Bob” Stewart, an agriculture expert with nearly half a century of professional experience in the region, told TCN.

Two scientific teams’ findings about the West Antarctic ice sheet mean “we may have reached a tipping point” that signals faster sea-level rise than anticipated, said one Texas scientist who focuses on Gulf issues.

Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist and evangelical Christian, is on the Time 100 list along with the singer Beyonce, Pope Francis, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, President Barack Obama and Fox News’ Washington bureau chief Megyn Kelly.

Even without the credit, positive reports continue to appear about the outlook for more wind power in Texas. One recent assessment called it “Texas’ hottest energy prospect” and predicted “a new surge of wind farm development.”

SNAPSHOTS OF THE DROUGHT

California’s perilous drought has been in the news lately. The situation in Texas is not so dire now, but dry conditions persist in the Lone Star State – with distinct echoes of California’s plight.

The Climate Central report was one of various responses to suggestions that the “polar vortex” cold spell cast doubt on manmade global warming. A common theme: Short-term weather isn’t the same as a long-term climate trend.