TCN Archive

All of our original coverage since 2008

Features

Federal rules, international pressure may finally snuff methane flaring

Texas regulators have consistently allowed the controversial practice at oil and gas wells, which contributes to manmade climate change. Voters in November rejected a Democratic candidate who called for tougher state regulation.

TCN Journal

From our archives: The impact of historic December images of Earth

The period around the Winter Solstice has been an occasion for reflection and celebration for millennia. In recent times, it was also when astronauts took photos of Earth that helped animate planetary consciousness.

Features

Latest evidence heightens extinction concerns for animals and plants

Recent scientific papers say the extinction rate for vertebrate animals is greater than thought and that two in five plant species are at risk of disappearing. An overview by Melissa Gaskill of Earth’s biodiversity crisis.

Features

Drought, fire threat increasing in Texas again as La Niña takes hold

Fall's mild weather and scant rainfall suggest we may be in for a repeat of harsh conditions last seen in 2011, when the state endured its driest year in more than a century of recordkeeping, plus a punishing heat wave.

TCN Journal

Clean energy advocates wrestle with disappointing Texas election results

Climate-action appeals figured in several key races but failed to give Democrats the edge they needed to prevail over their Republican rivals. Analysis continues over what exactly went wrong.

TCN Journal

Biden pledges sweeping climate action but may face Senate pushback

Expect a dramatic change in U.S. policy when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take office – they repeatedly commit to fight global warming and respect science. Much can be done by executive action. Legislation is another matter.

Features

Climate change will loom large over the next presidential term

Even more climate-related disasters may pile up in the early 2020s, say experts, and several new scientific assessments are being readied for prime time to update the picture of what lies ahead. Science writer Robert Henson reports.

Features

Analysis: Trump would continue to boost fossil fuels, spurn climate science

The president’s record and statements, along with statements by administration officials, indicate that the past four years were a vivid prologue to another term: More of the same on climate and energy.

Features

Analysis: Biden’s climate plan offers a stark contrast to Trump’s record

The former vice president’s climate platform is broad and detailed, but will probably require Democrats’ seizing the Senate and keeping control of the House. Then he’ll need to maneuver the tricky dance of legislation.

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.

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