Menu

Features

TCN’s original, in-depth reporting and analysis

How Texas froze: Neglect of power-grid and climate warnings set the icy stage

State officials’ repeated failure to act on deeply researched advice for averting grid catastrophes paralleled Texas’ years-long non-response to experts’ repeated warnings about the dangers of climate change.

Biden moves quickly to begin undoing Trump’s climate and energy policies

From rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement to canceling the Keystone pipeline to halting leasing in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife refuge, the new administration embarked on a bold turn-around for the country.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 September 22, 2020

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.

Features September 3, 2020

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.

Features August 7, 2020

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 July 2, 2020

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 Q&A: PART 2 OF 2 June 25, 2020

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.

Features Q&A: PART 1 OF 2 June 22, 2020

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.

Features May 19, 2020

Subscribe to the TCN newsletter

We’ll send you an email every week or so with links to our recent coverage. We won’t share your address with anyone.

×