Environment

No Man’s Island

Jan 20, 2013 By Paul Burka

A year has passed since Hurricane Ike slammed into Galveston, but my hometown is still reeling from a storm without end.

A Grain of Doubt

Mar 31, 2012 By Kate Galbraith

For more than 75 years, rice farmers in Matagorda County and elsewhere along the Gulf have shared the waters of the Colorado River with urban residents in the Hill Country. But with city centers booming and an almost-certain drought ahead, the state is being forced to choose between a water-intensive crop and a water-intensive population.

It’s Hard Out There for a Tree

Dec 19, 2011 By Sonia Smith

It was a bad year to be a tree in Texas. The drought alone claimed half a billion trees, and now eminent domain threatens a 100-year-old oak planted by one of the founders of League City.

Trial by Fire

Dec 1, 2011 By Texas Monthly

It will be remembered as the year of smoke and devastation, as drought-fueled flames wreaked unprecedented havoc across Texas, from Bastrop County to Possum Kingdom. A photographic and oral history of the 2011 wildfires.

Up in the Air

Dec 1, 2011 By Nate Blakeslee

No state has defied the federal government’s environmental regulations more fiercely than Texas, and no governor has been more outspoken about the “job-killing” policies of the EPA than Rick Perry. But does that mean we can all breathe easy?

A Q&A With Nate Blakeslee

Dec 1, 2011 By Jessica Huff

The senior editor on why Texas has taken the lead in fighting new EPA air pollution regulations and what will become the fuel of choice for the next generation of power plants in Texas and around the country.

How to Water Dowse

Sep 30, 2011 By Andrea Valdez

This blistering summer has left Texas drier than a piece of gas station jerky. It was so hot that planes couldn’t take off from airports and train tracks were bent out of shape. And while Governor Rick Perry prayed for a downpour to end the drought, officials in Llano turned…

Blame It on No Rain

Aug 31, 2011 By Kate Galbraith

As the drought tightens its grip on Texas, its effects are being felt everywhere, from rivers to reservoirs to the formerly verdant lawns of Midland.

A Q&A With Kate Galbraith

Aug 31, 2011 By Abby Johnston

The Texas Tribune reporter on writing about the drought, learning about landscaping trends in Midland, and recognizing just how precious water is.

Cap and Tirade

Oct 31, 2009 By Paul Burka

Especially in Texas, the fight over carbon restrictions might make health care reform look like, well, a tea party.

The Color of Sustainability

Apr 30, 2009 By Jena Williams

Green has always been associated with money (or that queasy feeling you get on a turbulent airplane ride). But only recently has it become known as a social movement unto itself. There has been such a strong push to “go green” that companies are doing everything they can to go…

Energy Spike

Mar 1, 2009 By Jena Williams

The environment, green economy, and job creation goes from “eco-chic” to everyman.

The Last Pickens Show

Feb 1, 2009 By Skip Hollandsworth

When T. Boone Pickens launched his Pickens Plan last summer, crude oil was at $136 a barrel. Now, with crude at or below $40, does anyone care anymore about what Pickens has to say?

Sneak Peak

Feb 1, 2008 By nicholasjackson

Texas Monthly talks with two online energy experts concerning peak oil and the future of energy demand.

Toilet Tales

Feb 1, 2008 By S. C. Gwynne

In summer months, Houstonians are drinking ice cold . . . toilet water. Courtesy of Dallas.

The Last Drop

Feb 1, 2008 By S. C. Gwynne

Texas has the country’s most precise state water plan. So how is it that every one of our major cities is still on track to run dry in the next fifty years?

Bruce McCarl

Feb 1, 2008 By Texas Monthly

Al Gore may be the public face of climate change, but all around the world, researchers are toiling in semi-obscurity to deepen our understanding of the challenge it poses. One of these is McCarl, a Texas A&M University professor who has spent the past twenty years studying the potential effects…

Susan Hovorka

Feb 1, 2008 By Texas Monthly

Here’s a convenient truth for you: All those greenhouse gases polluting the atmosphere—the result of burning and combusting oil and gas and coal—can simply go back where they came from, and the environment, not to mention the world, will be better and cleaner for it. That’s the theory behind the…

Pliny Fisk III & Gail Vittori

Feb 1, 2008 By Texas Monthly

Long before concepts like “green building” and “sustainability” were fashionable, this husband-and-wife team envisioned a future in which architectural design and renewable resources worked together. The nonprofit Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, which they co-direct, has collaborated on projects as wide-ranging as the eco-friendly renovation of the Pentagon to…

Everyone’s Poop

Dec 1, 2007 By Nate Blakeslee

Sewerage is the cornerstone of civilization, the sine qua non of urban life, and the best possible window into how we live, what we eat, and who we are.

Coal Hard Facts

Jan 1, 2007 By S. C. Gwynne

Facing an energy crisis, Texas is on the verge of a solution that will belch about five billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in the next forty years. Breathe deeply—while you still can.

Gone in 15 Minutes

Apr 1, 2006 By Katy Vine

How the fire to end all fires obliterated Ringgold—and how residents of the tiny North Texas town are putting their lives back together.

The Man In the White Hat

Feb 1, 2006 By John Spong

To hear John Poindexter tell it, he’s one of the good guys—a faithful steward of his West Texas land and therefore a worthy bidder for 46,000 acres of Big Bend Ranch State Park. But sometimes having your heart in the right place simply isn’t enough.

The End of the River

Jan 1, 2003 By Jan Reid

Why the mighty Rio Grande isn't so mighty anymore: a twisted tale of international politics, water rights, and environmental reality (with a drought thrown in for good measure).

Water Foul

Sep 30, 2002 By Joe Nick Patoski

When the City of Marshall wanted to pump millions of gallons of water out of Caddo Lake and sell them to the highest bidder, the state said, "Sure." Residents of Karnack, Uncertain, and other tiny northeast Texas towns said, "Hell, no." Guess who prevailed (for now)?

Coasting

Sep 30, 2002 By Charlie Llewellin

A kayaking trip offers close encounters with the ecosystem of the wetlands near Port Aransas, where still waters run shallow.

Litter Spotting

Apr 30, 2002 By Elisa Bock

A new ad campaign hopes to get drivers to stop littering by getting up-close and personal with trash.

Splendor in the Grass

Sep 30, 2000 By Joe Nick Patoski

Thirty years ago J. David Bamberger bought "the worst piece of land in Blanco County," then cleared the cedar and planted native trees and grasses. Today his ranch is a haven for birders, environmentalists, and students— and he is a revered guru of land stewardship.

Renaissance Man

Nov 1, 1999 By Jordan Mackay

Laugh not, wretch, at the man in the tights: Twenty-five years after George Coulam founded the Texas Renaissance Festival, it hath been a big success.

Clean Living

Jun 30, 1999 By Joe Nick Patoski

How the fight over a toxic waste dump has changed the lives of three West Texas activists.