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Farm Families And Mental Health

Farm families and mental health

Farm families face unique stressors, including financial challenges and family-farming relationships that blur the line between their business and personal lives. These stressors can affect the entire family and may lead to physical illness, depression, substance abuse, and suicide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), farmers are more than five times as likely to commit suicide as the general population and are more likely to report substance abuse. Stress and depression also increase the probability of…

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Texas Matters: The State Of Climate Change Denial

Texas matters: the state of climate change denial

Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment. Glaciers have shrunk, the sea is rising, animal ranges have shifted and there are more intense heart waves. Scientists have high confidence that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gases produced by human activities — and the clock is ticking to deal with this. The sooner steps are taken to reduce the carbon in the atmosphere and in the oceans, the…

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After The Storm: Legislative Solutions To Texas’ Water Infrastructure Emergency

After the storm: Legislative solutions to Texas’ water infrastructure emergency

My Austin apartment has always been drafty, hard to heat when it's cold out, and hard to cool in the summer. But on February 17th, our third day without power, when I ventured into the kitchen for some bread my roommate and I could eat for breakfast, I found ice in our sink and a knot formed in my gut. We were without power, without heat, and, as we soon learned, without clean water as well -- we didn’t even…

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10 Texas Climate Bills To Watch On Earth Day

10 Texas climate bills to watch on Earth Day

Texas, as the saying goes, has four seasons: drought, flood, blizzard, and twister. This old quip has hit a bit too close to home for Texans this year. We are less than two months removed from a devastating polar vortex that could yet prove to be the costliest disaster in state history. Weeks after enduring some of the coldest temperatures on record, Texans were greeted by an unusually early spring with temperatures creeping close to 100 degrees Farenheit across the…

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Texas Lawmakers Want To Prevent Another Power Crisis. But The Legislation Doesn’t Go Far Enough To Do That, Critics Say.

Texas lawmakers want to prevent another power crisis. But the legislation doesn’t go far enough to do that, critics say.

Both the Texas Senate and House have written bills that attempt to prevent another massive power failure in extreme temperatures. But parts of their legislative proposals are drawing criticism for not going far enough to prepare electricity infrastructure for increased risks posed by climate change. And critics are also wary that some measures would leave enforcement of the mandated upgrades to the Public Utility Commission without increasing its funding or resources to do the job. Read more from Erin Douglas…

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Texas State Parks Working To Return To Normal Capacity

Texas State Parks working to return to normal capacity

Texas State Parks have begun a strategic and thoughtful process of expanding capacity statewide, tracking Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest reopening order, and allowing more Texans the opportunity to visit their favorite parks. Masks are strongly encouraged for park visitors, especially when indoors or in areas where it is difficult to socially distance. Also, restrictions affecting group sizes have been lifted. “We’re excited to welcome more visitors to our parks,” said Rodney Franklin, director of Texas State Parks. “We want Texans…

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Experts Fear Reversing Electricity Prices From Winter Storm Could Make Things Worse

Experts fear reversing electricity prices from winter storm could make things worse

Companies and entities at every level of the Texas energy supply chain are anxiously waiting to see whether the Texas Legislature will retroactively adjust the price of power in the state’s electricity market during the February blackouts in which more than 50 people died. Some have said they would benefit from a decision to readjust the market, while others have said they would be hurt by such a move. But who would be helped or hurt, and by how much,…

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It’s Time To Stop Pointing Fingers And Take Steps To Make The Texas Grid More Reliable

It’s time to stop pointing fingers and take steps to make the Texas grid more reliable

The withering winter weather and associated power outages across Texas left millions without electricity for days (including some of my kids and grandkids). It was the most extensive and will likely to be the most expensive storm in Texas history. The resulting suffering, distress and frustration have rightly triggered a demand for answers that our political leaders of all stripes have been eager to provide, often contradicting themselves from one day to the next. I have heard that it was…

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Vaccinating Texas: Continued Frustration For Some, Guilt For Others

Vaccinating Texas: Continued frustration for some, guilt for others

Texas Standard is collecting stories from across the state about individual journeys to getting COVID-19 vaccinations. We want to hear the positive as well as the negative. If you’re currently eligible or are trying to secure a vaccine for an eligible loved one, share your story here. Right now, about 10% of Texans are fully vaccinated and around 20% have had at least one shot. Phase 1C expands access to Texans age 50 to 64, but Texas Standard continues to…

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Want To Save The Bees? You Don’t Need To Put Out Sugar Water

Want to save the bees? You don’t need to put out sugar water

The icy weather of February affected all sorts of wildlife in Texas and damaged plants across the state, including the ones honeybees rely on for food. Some on social media have suggested putting sugar water out as a potential food source for the bees. But Dr. Jessica Beckham said that isn't the way to go. Beckham is an entomologist at the University of Texas at San Antonio. "You shouldn't try and feed the bees unless you're talking about growing flowers. That's…

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