Features

TCN’s original, in-depth reporting and analysis

September 3, 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.

August 7, 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.

July 2, 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.

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

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.

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

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.

May 19, 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.

April 28, 2020

When it comes to carbon neutrality, Texas schools have a long way to go

A look at the carbon-neutrality plans of three universities and a community district shows signs of progress toward net-zero emissions, but also a long road before they reach that climate-action goal.

April 4, 2020

Ecosystem disruption means more human exposure to pathogens, scientists say

A growing body of research links environmental disturbance and biodiversity loss to human diseases, including those, like Covid-19, that are caused by viruses jumping from animals to people.

February 21, 2020

Monarch butterflies, already in peril, can’t seem to catch a break

Factors behind the beautiful creatures’ decline range from climate change to degraded habitat. Their immense migration traverses Texas. “What happens in Texas affects the rest of the breeding range,” one researcher says.

February 13, 2020

Super-green YouTube show gives Texas some serious renewable-energy cred

The UK-based show’s “Fully Charged LIVE” event drew standing-room crowds in Austin for its showcase of an array of new electric vehicles – from bicycles to Texas-size pickups. An omen of the state’s automotive future?

January 18, 2020

2020 kicks off with more hot news about climate change – and it isn’t good

An announcement by NASA and NOAA about rising temperatures is consistent with a series of other recent reports that indicate the world isn’t making progress needed to escape the worst effects of global warming.

January 5, 2020

Climate-changing methane emissions climb in West Texas, other oil/gas areas

The flaring, venting and leaking of methane, an extremely potent greenhouse pollutant, has tarnished and complicated natural gas’s once-cleaner image as a “bridge fuel” to a more climate-conscious future.

December 6, 2019

A departed Republican’s service and words illuminate a different GOP

William Ruckelshaus, who died recently, led the EPA under two Republican presidents. He later headed a Houston-based corporation. His legacy is a reminder that his party’s leadership once included such avid conservationists.

November 13, 2019

Disaster drone pilots are working hard and getting tired, research shows

Drones are increasingly being deployed in natural disaster response, including a slew of climate-related applications in recent years. For the humans flying these unmanned machines, working conditions are tough.

November 6, 2019 ELSEWHERE

Germany is putting a price on all CO2 emissions to fight climate change

Angela Merkel’s government, pushed by protests, is installing a “climate package” with $60 billion for electric mobility, public transport and building retrofits. German journalist Bernhard Poetter reports from Berlin for TCN.

October 23, 2019 CITIES+CLIMATE

After two years of effort, San Antonio finally has a climate action plan

Not everyone is crazy about San Antonio’s plan, but it’s a start. The framework for reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 omits a coal plant, ensuring more debate. Part 2 in our series on Texas cities’ climate action plans.

October 15, 2019

Climate change plus looser pesticide rules may imperil declining Texas bees

Bees are struggling across the board – a trend that seems at odds with recent federal actions. And then there’s the impact of climate change. What does all of this mean for pollinators in the Lone Star State?

October 9, 2019

‘The End of Ice’ – chilling look at what a hotter Earth means for human life

Dahr Jamail, a journalist born and raised in Houston, talked with TCN about his new book. Even if we stopped burning fossil fuels today, we won't escape all impacts of climate disruption we've already set in motion, he says.

September 25, 2019 CITIES+CLIMATE

A new series on Texas cities’ climate action plans. First installment: Dallas

With little help from federal or state officials, Texas cities are getting ready for climate change alone. Local plans have limited power but can achieve some things, while illuminating climate equity and justice issues.

September 9, 2019 CITIES+CLIMATE

Texas cities roll slowly toward clean and quiet battery-electric buses

Transit officials in a half-dozen of the state’s bigger cities are deploying electric buses on the streets, at least in small numbers. Progress is gradual so far, but the trend line is clear.

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