Features ELECTION 2020

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 ANALYSIS

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

TCN Journal ELECTION 2020

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

Features

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

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 ELECTION 2020

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 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.

Features 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.

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.

Features

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.

TCN Journal

On Earth Day’s 50th anniversary, strong echoes of the first one in 1970

As today, participants five decades ago linked environmental issues with social and economic concerns. Then, as now, public health was one subject in the spotlight – witness the attention to Covid-19 today.

TCN Journal

More extreme heat and extreme rainfall projected for Texas’ 200th birthday

A report sponsored by a Dallas-based nonprofit with ties to the business community and produced by Texas’ state climatologist aims to equip the state’s leadership to act now for climate change expected by 2036.

In Passing

Uncommonly high Texas temps were part of Earth’s record January warmth

Coming on the heels of Earth’s warmest year on record, 2020 started with the planet’s warmest January on record. In Texas, dozens of daily maximum readings exceeded or tied previous records.

In Passing

Texas Tech’s Katharine Hayhoe receives UN’s top environmental honor

The scientist was recognized for work quantifying the effects of climate change and efforts to transform public attitudes about it. She is well known for educational outreach to fellow evangelical Christians.

In Passing

Marine heat waves can kill crucial coral reefs outright, new study finds

Scientists already knew climate change threatened reefs like the Flower Garden Banks off Texas with a process called bleaching. Now, they’ve learned hotter ocean temperatures also kill coral without that condition happening.

In Passing

For Apollo 11’s Michael Collins, view from the moon showed Earth’s fragility

For the 50th anniversary of the first moon-walking mission, Collins told the BBC that while piloting the command module in lunar orbit he was struck by how Earth was “a fragile little thing” in the black vastness of space.

In Passing

Proposed high-speed train gets through Legislature without derailment

Proponents say the project will reduce Houston-Dallas travel times and greenhouse pollution. Despite avoiding legislative roadblocks for a third session, it still faces opposition from rural residents and others.

In Passing

Climate change, warming oceans and an iconic, endangered sea turtle

Scientists are examining the negative impacts of warmer waters on marine ecosystems. One study recorded a dramatic increase in temperature-linked strandings of Kemp's Ridley turtles, a rare species that mainly nests in Texas.

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