TCN Archive

All of our original coverage since 2008

Features

Election may yield a Texas House friendlier to clean energy, climate action

Democrats are optimistic about upping their strength in the Legislature’s GOP-dominated lower chamber. Winning control isn’t out of the question. Either outcome could mean the best chance for climate-linked bills in years.

Features

Hill Country showdown: Wendy Davis, Chip Roy in a congressional horse race

Republican Roy has decried “hysteria” about climate-change concerns and declined to accept the scientific consensus about human causation. Democrat Davis says climate change is an existential threat requiring strong action.

Features

Controversial methane releases ignite interest in Railroad Commission race

The regulatory agency’s traditional friendliness to the oil and gas industry’s venting and flaring of methane is a focus of this year’s election. Methane is both a potent climate disruptor and a health-threatening pollutant.

Features

Can the Green New Deal win Texas voters’ support? Mike Siegel thinks so.

Siegel, the Democratic candidate in a congressional district stretching from Austin to Houston, is an enthusiastic Green New Deal advocate. Michael McCaul, the eight-term Republican incumbent, is an enthusiastic critic.

Features

Cornyn and Hegar treat climate and energy issues as a balancing act

The two Senate candidates acknowledge climate change is a threat. GOP incumbent Cornyn calls for research, Democrat Hegar for more renewable energy. Both distance themselves from their parties’ presidential nominees.

TCN Journal

Is Amy Coney Barrett a climate-science denier? That’s for her to know.

The Supreme Court hopeful evaded senators’ efforts to pin down her views about climate change. But echoing climate-action foes, she called the vast scientific consensus that climate change is real and a threat “contentious.”

TCN Journal

New polls show voters clearly prefer Biden to Trump on climate change

Climate change is a top issue for Democrats and independents, but not Republicans. Even so, surprisingly large numbers of Republicans favor climate-friendly ideas, including rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement.

Features

Climate change may raise risks of poisonous plants, disease-bearing insects

Carbon pollution isn't just boosting hurricanes, heatwaves and wildfires. It could be increasing hazards like ticks, pollen, mosquitoes and poison ivy. Science writer Melissa Gaskill surveys the situation in Texas.

Features

Evidence grows that more quick-strengthening Lauras are in our future

The likelihood that a tropical cyclone would become a Category 3-5 hurricane grew by 8 percent per decade between 1979 and 2017, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

TCN Journal

Will climate get top-tier attention in the presidential race’s home stretch?

Climate change and related energy issues seemed to be in place to play a historically prominent role in the 2020 campaign. Then came the pandemic, economic turmoil and a renewed debate over racial justice.

TCN Journal

Reducing deforestation, wildlife trade, key to limiting future pandemics

A new study finds precautionary measures that decrease animal-human contact and pathogen spread are a sound return on investment. Pandemics, like climate change, need global solutions, a Rice University co-author says.

Features

Public transportation may see dramatic makeover in post-pandemic world

Don’t be surprised if Covid-19 spells the end of fixed-route, big-bus systems, to be replaced by autonomous vehicles and more flexible “demand-responsive” operations, transportation experts say.

TCN Journal

New reports help detail the scope of increasing flood threats in Texas

First Street Foundation’s study indicates Houston is the U.S. city with the greatest number of properties at flood risk now. A new NOAA report points to the growing threat of high-tide flooding along the Texas Gulf Coast.

TCN Journal

Texas cities join mapping project in effort to fight urban heat islands

Pockets of higher temperatures in urban areas pose health threats, particularly to marginalized communities. By mapping these areas, experts hope to get a better sense of effective ameliorative strategies.

Features

Pandemic may prompt behavioral changes good for atmosphere, experts say

Stay-at-home orders and lockdowns resulted in sharp drops in C02 emissions that likely won’t continue when the Covid pandemic wanes. But recovery does offer opportunities to remake our economy in climate-friendly ways.

Features

Environmental justice: The Trump administration and the road ahead

Robert Bullard, “father of environmental justice,” reflects on Trump's environmental rollbacks, a “convergence” of issues after George Floyd's death, and his hopes for the future. Second of a two-part interview.

Features

Environmental justice: How far have we come, how far yet to go?

Robert Bullard of Texas Southern University, “father of environmental justice,” assesses the swelling anti-racism movement and the campaign to link environmentalism with racial and social justice. First of a two-part interview.

TCN Journal

Pandemic complicates plans for dealing with possible severe storm season

Above-average sea-surface temperatures could mean more powerful hurricanes this year, experts warn. Can Gulf Coast hospitals handle an influx of injured storm victims on top of a swelling Covid-19 patient load?

In Passing

Growing number in Houston area see perils of human-caused climate change

Rice University’s annual opinion survey found wide concern that climate change is a serious problem and acceptance of its human causation. A national poll found pandemic worries haven’t eroded climate concerns.

Features

Advocacy groups move online to continue the fight during pandemic lockdown

Environmental justice groups rely heavily on direct contact with government and with people affected by pollution and climate change. Covid-19 hasn’t made their work any easier, but they adapt and carry on.

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