Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: September 30, 2014


  1. Houston takes lead with climate plan (Matthew Treasaugue – Houston Chronicle, 9/22/2014)
    Mayor Annise Parker briefly took center stage Monday in the campaign against climate change by pledging to make America’s energy capital a laboratory for experimentation and action. Frustrated with the congressional response to global warming, Parker and the mayors of Los Angeles and Philadelphia vowed to set more aggressive targets for reducing their cities’ heat-trapping pollution while challenging others to do the same. Houston, Los Angeles and Philadelphia are well-positioned to be leaders because of their size and big industries.
  2. Study claims Texas textbooks ‘distort’ climate change (Lauren McGaughy – Houston Chronicle Blog, 9/15/2014)
    Yet another group is questioning the integrity of Texas’ proposed social studies textbooks, this time casting doubt on their treatment of climate change. “The scientific debate over whether climate change is happening and who is responsible has been over for years, and the science textbooks Texas adopted last year make that clear,” said Dr. Minda Berbeco, director of the National Center for Science Education. “Climate change will be a key issue that future citizens of Texas will need to understand and confront, and they deserve social studies textbooks that reinforce good science and prepare them for the challenges ahead.” On Monday, the California-based, pro-evolution group released the findings of its study into the proposed textbooks along with the Texas Freedom Network, a religious liberties nonprofit that advocates for the separation of church and state. NCSE singled out five publishers, saying their treatment of climate change contained misleading, biased information based on political wrangling over the divisive subject rather than on pure science.
  3. Armand Bayou Nature center will celebrate 40th year (Annette Baird – Houston Chronicle, 9/23/2014)
    When the Bay Area Armand Bayou Nature Center was established 40 years ago, alligators had almost disappeared from that part of the bayou, shore birds were on the decline and a portion of tall grass prairie was under threat. Today, the 2,500-acre preserve is home at one time or another to more than 350 species of animals and 220 species of birds, including a thriving alligator population, river otters and a rising population of herons, egrets and raptors. In addition, the center has for four decades enriched the lives of educators, school children, researchers and the general population seeking time out in nature.


  • 28 September
    • Debating What’s More Sacred: Private Land or Public Beaches (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
  • 27 September
    • Metro board approves updated bus reimagining plan (Charles Kuffner – Off the Kuff)
  • 26 September
  • 25 September
    • Take Climate Action during State Fair of Texas; Is your environmental footprint bigger than Big Tex? (EPA News)
    • Metro inches forward on bus system, Uptown, new rail lines (Dug Begley – Houston Chronicle)
    • Fewer Atlantic Hurricanes Bode Well For An El Niño Winter (Mose Buchele – StateImpact)
    • Aerobiology Laboratory Associates, Inc. Purchases Pure Earth Environmental Laboratory (KSWO News)
    • HISD to participate in Green Apple Day of Service with beautification projects (The Examiner)
    • Is Solar About to Explode in Texas? (Reuben Brewer – The Motley Fool)
    • U.S. judge rejects BP bid to recoup some payments made for spill (Terry Wade – Planet Ark News)
    • U.N. climate summit falls short for marchers, world’s poorest (Megan Rowling – Planet Ark News)
  • 24 September
    • Flow Of Money From South Texas Oil Startles Economists (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
    • Data App: Track Texas Reservoir Levels (Ryan Murphy and Kate Galbraith – The Texas Tribune)
    • Preschoolers learn about nature at Jones Park (The Atascocita Observer)
    • Board hopes slurry pit regulations prevent pollution (Gabrielle Shirley – KAIT 8 News)
    • Notice Anything Different About Your Neighborhood Recycling Truck Lately? (Michael Hagerty – Houston Matters)
    • El Nino forecast to help Texas out of drought (Betsy Blaney – Capital Press)
    • Climate aid needed for 500 million small farmers: researchers (Chris Arsenault – Planet Ark News)
    • Ending deforestation is smart policy: officials (Lisa Anderson – Planet Ark News)
    • Life’s Better Outside – September 2014 (Newsroom America)
  • 23 September
    • Armand Bayou Nature center will celebrate 40th year (Annette Baird – Houston Chronicle)
    • HARC Launches Interactive Hydraulic Fracturing Virtual Site (The Paper)
    • Governor Perry to deliver keynote for energy and climate policy summit in Houston (Bob Price – Breitbart)
    • $142K grant allows Galveston to expand its recycling efforts (Daniel Durbin – The Galveston County Daily News)
    • What Does Fossil Fuel Divestment Mean For Texas? (Mose Buchele – StateImpact)
    • EPA Backs Texas Disposal Well Plan (Jim Malewitz – The Texas Tribune)
    • About 100 climate protesters arrested in march on Wall Street (Sebastien Malo – Planet Ark News)
    • EPA backs Texas disposal well plan (KTSM News)
    • Walker: Clean power plan good for Texas jobs, health and environment (Scheleen Walker – Statesman)
    • EPA’s SmartWay Honors Green Freight Industry Leaders (EPA News)
    • EPA Reinforces Standards to Use “Representative Data” After Sierra Club (The National Law Review)
    • Lowe’s wins top EPA transportation award (Dan Berthiaume – CSA)
    • The Q&A: Jennifer Walker (Bobby Blanchard – Texas Tribune)
  • 22 September
  • 21 September
    • With emissions rising, it’s time to embrace natural gas (Chris Faulkner – The Examiner)
    • Thousands of protesters, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, join People’s Climate March (Ben Kochman, Erin Durkin, and Stephen Rex Brown – Daily News)
  • 19 September
  • 18 September
  • 17 September
    • Texas oil and gas production jobs exceed new milestone (Jordan Blum – Houston Business Journal)
    • At “Kumbaya” Meeting, New Colorado River Plan Passes (Neena Satija – Texas Tribune)
  • 16 September
  • 15 September
    • Study claims Texas textbooks ‘distort’ climate change (Lauren McGaughy – Houston Chronicle)
    • Study pins shale water contamination on well construction, not drilling or fracking (Lance Murray – Houston Business Journal)
  • 12 September
    • Aquifer is No Quick Fix for Central Texas Thirst (Neena Satija – Texas Tribune)

Houston Arboretum & Nature Center seeks Conservation Director

HANC is embarking on several exciting strategic initiatives that stand to have a dramatic impact on the organization, its stakeholders, and the City of Houston. The Conservation Director will be a mission critical part of these initiatives and will lead the Conservation Team in the implementation of the HANC Master Plan to protect and enhance the Arboretum’s 155-acre grounds. Under the direct supervision of the Executive Director, the Conservation Director works on multiple projects simultaneously, sets priorities, and maintain schedules to meet obligatory deadlines. The Conservation Director is responsible for the management of the Conservation Team in regard to the grounds budget, staff work schedules, native habitat restoration, exotic and invasive species control, infrastructure maintenance, visitor safety and public/volunteer interaction. If interested, send resume to Deborah Markey at dmarkey@houstonarboretum.org. Read the full job description at http://houstonarboretum.org.