NPR on Texas's continuing drought A wet winter in Texas has brought sweet relief from a drought-filled 2011, but that doesn't necessarily mean that 2012 will be any less dry there. NPR's Morning Edition talked to ranchers fretting another dry summer and one expert with projections that the Texas drought could continue for the next several years. "In my opinion the drought needs to continue for another two or three years to get people's attention," hydrologist Raymond Slade says, arguing that the state's famously stingy government funding no substantial drought management. Meanwhile, NPR's website offers up an interactive map of the drought. Drought conditions as of the middle of last month are still high.
Mother Jones on activists curbing coal When a cap-and-trade bill was killed in Congress in 2010, environmental activists took it upon themselves to curb carbon emissions from coal and impose a de facto moratorium on new coal plant construction. By Mother Jones' count, green activists, led by the Sierra Club, have prevented 166 coal plants from being built since then. "The movement's strength was grounded in retail politics—people talking with friends and neighbors, pestering local media, packing regulatory hearings, protesting before state legislatures, filing legal challenges, and more," explains Mark Hertsgaard. To its credit, the Obama's administration strict enforcement of EPA regulations also helping curb coal, too.