Environment

December 19, 2011

It’s Hard Out There for a Tree

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.

Oral History |
December 1, 2011

Trial by Fire

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.

Feature |
December 1, 2011

Up in the Air

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?

Web Exclusive |
December 1, 2011

A Q&A With Nate Blakeslee

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.

The Culture |
September 30, 2011

How to Water Dowse

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

Letter From Midland |
August 31, 2011

Blame It on No Rain

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.

Web Exclusive |
August 31, 2011

A Q&A With Kate Galbraith

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

Web Exclusive |
April 30, 2009

The Color of Sustainability

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

Web Exclusive |
March 1, 2009

Energy Spike

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

Web Exclusive |
February 1, 2008

Sneak Peak

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

Web Exclusive |
February 1, 2008

Toilet Tales

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

Feature |
February 1, 2008

The Last Drop

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?

Feature |
February 1, 2008

Bruce McCarl

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

Feature |
February 1, 2008

Susan Hovorka

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

Feature |
February 1, 2008

Pliny Fisk III & Gail Vittori

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

Feature |
December 1, 2007

Everyone’s Poop

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.

Energy |
January 1, 2007

Coal Hard Facts

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.

Feature |
April 1, 2006

Gone in 15 Minutes

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

Business |
February 1, 2006

The Man In the White Hat

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.

Feature |
January 1, 2003

The End of the River

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).

Feature |
September 30, 2002

Water Foul

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)?

Profile |
November 1, 1999

Renaissance Man

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.

Reporter |
June 30, 1999

Clean Living

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

Texana |
May 31, 1999

Hog Wild

They’re a major nuisance in rural Texas— but, boy, do they taste good.

Feature |
December 1, 1997

The War on Cedar

It’s unpalatable to cattle, an invader of grasslands, and a water hog. So why can’t I just get rid of it? Because it’s a vegetative Vietnam.

Reporter |
March 1, 1997

Dumped On

It’s almost certain that Hudspeth County will soon be the site of a nuclear-waste dump—but officials in neighboring Presidio County think they’re the ones getting dumped on.

Business |
November 1, 1996

California Scheming

HOUSTON FINANCIER (or, as he is often described in the Golden State media, “Texas tycoon”) Charles Hurwitz clearly got the better side of his recent agreement to swap 3,000 acres of ancient redwoods in Northern California for $380 million in federal and state funds plus other public forest acreage. In

News & Politics |
June 30, 1996

So You Wanna Be a Storm Chaser?

Take Marty Feely’s Whirlwind Tours from Amarillo (707 W. Timberdell Road, Norman, OK 73072). Or attend a Skywarn spotter training seminar (call your county emergency services office).On the Internet Check out the Storm Chasers page on the World Wide Web (http://taiga.geog.niu.edu/chaser/chaser.html), featuring essays by Alan Moller and

News & Politics |
June 30, 1996

Eerie Canal

The Intracoastal Waterway is a marvel of engineering and a boon to industry. It’s also an ecological nightmare, which is why politicians, environmentalists, and business leaders are locked in a battle for the future of the Gulf Coast.