climate change

The head of the Texas Oil and Gas Association said Tuesday his group agrees fossil fuels contribute to global warming and that the industry will find ways to reduce emissions.

Nicole Jackson came to the first Midwest SoulVeg Fest to get some inspiration on her slow path to being a vegan. She admitted that as a black person who grew up going to events centered on meat, it’s easier said than done.

“Sunday dinner after church, the cookouts, the barbeques, where we are just gathered by food that pulls us together,” said Jackson, who is from Olathe, Kansas.

A recent report from the National Audubon Society says two-thirds of America’s birds are threatened with extinction from climate change. That includes half of Colorado’s bird species and our state bird — the lark bunting.

We know the climate crisis affects public health. But what do those health impacts cost us?

LINDSBORG, Kansas — The city-owned utility here wants to sell more electricity to the 3,500 people in town.

So it bought a $40,000 Tesla Model 3 sedan. It wants to show that getting around in an electric car can make sense.

Between water and electricity, Colorado’s legal cannabis industry already has a big environmental footprint. But what about Front Range air quality? Could the plant itself be contributing to air pollution?

No, it’s not the pot smoke. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is conducting a study of terpenes, the organic compounds that make the cannabis plant smell so strong.

WICHITA, Kansas  Deanna Caudill hasn’t used an inhaler since she was a child. That all changed for the 25-year-old Wichita State graduate student this month when, after getting a back-to-school cold, she never seemed to recover.

“It’s like every morning I wake up and I cannot breathe,” she said. “It’s just a feeling I’ve never had in my whole life be this bad.”

Caudill suffers from an allergic reaction to ragweed pollen and the lingering effects of a cold — a combination that’s becoming increasingly common for Kansans in September.

Spurred by what they see as a sluggish, ineffectual response to the existential threat of global warming, student activists from around the world are skipping school Friday, for what organizers call a Global Climate Strike.

The young activists are protesting as the U.N. prepares to hold its Climate Action Summit on Monday in New York City.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

MANHATTAN, Kansas — A bus filled with livestock industry representatives from South America, Australia, Africa and Europe drove past rows of pens and concrete feed bunks in central Kansas this week.

They held their phones and cameras up to the windows as a wave of cattle lifted their heads and stared back. Dump trucks full of feed shared the roads with cowboys on horses.

Half of the tour group, who had come to Kansas State University for the 9th Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock Conference, had never visited an industrial-sized feedlot.

The recent court ruling that held the pharmaceutical company, Johnson & Johnson, accountable for its role in Oklahoma’s opioid crisis could influence some of the pending lawsuits seeking to hold energy companies accountable for their role in the climate crisis. That includes one case in the Mountain West.

TOPEKA ― The “Kidney Stone Belt” is a thing, and it’s coming for Kansas.

Climate change is expanding that swath of America, currently in the south and southeast, that suffers much higher rates of this sometimes-excruciating renal complication.

By 2050, the belt will include Kansas, according to a new review by the Kansas Health Institute.

Public Domain via MaxPixel

In Texas, monarch butterfly populations have been in steady decline.

As The Texas Observer notes, while these beautiful orange and black butterflies used to be plentiful in the Lone Star State, in recent years their numbers have dropped by 90%.

For the first time ever, a congressional committee held a field hearing on the climate crisis. And it happened this week right here in the Mountain West — in Boulder, Colorado. 

Some state birds across our region are in peril, according to a new report on the condition of North American Grasslands.

It’s become a regular summer event on the Front Range: Ink-black clouds sweep through and unleash hail on homes, cars and unsuspecting people. As more people move to the state, all that damage is adding up to an increasingly expensive menace for property owners and insurance companies. 

A recent study shows planting a trillion trees worldwide might be one of our best options for fighting climate change. 

Rural communities are some of the most politically disenfranchised when it comes to climate policy, and last year’s National Climate Change Report showed they’re also among the most at risk when it comes to the effect of climate change. This could mean stronger storms, more intense droughts and earlier freezes.

Animal waste and nitrogen-based agricultural fertilizers contribute to nitrate runoff, which ends up in creeks, streams, rain and, eventually, water systems. Nitrate, that mix of nitrogen and oxygen, can cause serious health problems if it’s too concentrated.

The best defense is filtering, which forests are great at doing. But a new study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service suggests forests are falling behind, and heavy rains brought on by climate change are making it worse.

As climate scientists sound the alarm on the effects of rising global temperatures, many of Colorado's electric utilities are shifting their focus to a popular and potentially profitable goal: zero-carbon.

But they're also stuck with one important question: How do they actually get there?

Last summer, Eagle County, at the rooftop of Colorado’s high country, faced its first major wild land fire. The Lake Christine Fire started a few blocks from the town of Basalt and burned more than 12,000 acres. Jill Ryan, at the time an Eagle County Commissioner, said most folks evacuated or were told to stay inside, because of “really poor air quality, the smoke that just settled in that valley.”

Drive on any major highway in Kansas and you’ll likely see some roadkill.

For decades, biologists at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism have found a treasure trove in their counts of flattened animals. It’s a way to create a population index of raccoons and beavers.

In 1986, the scientists also started counting armadillos.

A recent report from NOAA’s National Centers for Environment Information shows there were 14 severe weather events across the country last year costing a total of $89.4 billion. Five of those affected the Mountain West region.

Rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels could have opposing effects on nutrients in soybeans, according to a new study.

If the oil and gas boom continues as projected, the planet could experience "catastrophic climate change" by 2050, according to an analysis released yesterday.

The report from Oil Change International, a coalition of environmental groups, says continued growth in fossil fuel extraction – much of which occurs in Texas – could derail any hope of avoiding dire effects of climate change.

More than 100 local officials from both Kansas and Missouri gathered Saturday morning to discuss ways to combat climate change on the local and regional level. 

'This is by far the largest collection of elected officials that are addressing climate change, climate disruption and global warming that I've seen in my time here," said Brian Alferman, sustainability manager of Johnson County, Kansas. "So I want it to be a part of it and hope that it drives some of the work that I do."

public domain via MaxPixel

Texas is hunkering down for another summer of scorching heat—and that will likely mean record-breaking power demand once again.

However, as Houston Public Media reports, the Lone Star State’s backup power reserves will be at an all-time low, unlike last year. And all those air conditioners running full blast across the state could mean massive power outages, including blackouts and brownouts.

The effects of climate change are not far off problems for future generations. They are existential problems for everyone alive today.

That’s one big takeaway from the U.S. federal government’s latest roundup of climate science, the National Climate Assessment, now in its fourth iteration.

A changing climate has major implications for farmers and ranchers across the U.S., according to a federal report.

Here’s a select breakdown of the agriculture section of the fourth National Climate Assessment, which was released last week.

Kansans can expect rising temperatures and more extreme flooding in the future, according to the latest National Climate Assessment.

Friday, while millions of Americans recovered at home from Turkey-induced torpors, the Trump administration released a report on climate change that forecasts a grim future for Texas. 

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