As Hurricane Harvey dumped record rains on the Houston area, nature ruled and man reacte. Harvey was Houston's reckoning.
Planning & Growth
"The National Flood Insurance Program, designed to protect Americans from catastrophic floods, has failed in almost every way, encouraging people to buy and build in flood-prone areas while increasing the cost and magnitude of disasters."
How the U.S. economy uses energy has huge impacts on the environment. So this week's TipSheet helps journalists understand the economy-energy-environment nexus, detailing nine top trends to watch on fossil fuels and alternative energy in 2018. Plus, a list of helpful sources for tracking energy markets.
"Leslie Martinez heard the floodwaters before she saw them. ... After all, Ms. Martinez recalled, the home builder had assured her that 'flooding was not even a possibility' when she and her husband purchased the house in this suburban enclave north of Houston in 2011. They would never have bought here otherwise. Flood insurance, of course, was neither required nor needed."
"Melinda and Joel Loshak raised two children in a stylish ranch house in Houston’s upscale Meyerland neighborhood and planned to retire there. Now they are hoping the government will knock it down."
A push for disclosure on hazardous air emissions from industrial hog farms, and reporting on how the coastal real estate industry works to block bad news about sea-level rise. That, plus the Bay Journal FOIAs the EPA over grant defunding, and a move in Congress towards a federal shield law, all in the latest WatchDog.
"This growing Brooklyn neighborhood, flooded during Superstorm Sandy, is now confronting the threat of future storms and sea level rise."
As this month's fatal California fires demonstrated, the risk of wildfire at the wildland-urban interface rises as development moves into fire-prone zones. The latest TipSheet explains this complex phenomenon, and provides story ideas and a wide range of resources to help you get ahead of the problem.
"The city’s rise as a global innovation city reflects decades of investment in emerging technology, a new Brookings report says."
Hurricane Irma left millions of Floridians in the dark, while Maria stripped Puerto Ricans of power, potentially for months. Can the electric grid be made less vulnerable? Our Backgrounder has a dozen-plus angles to jump-start your power reporting, from stronger poles to microgrids. Plus, hurricane coverage resources.