It’s Summer. You know what that means. Heat waves so blistering and humidity so unmerciful that you feel like you’re in a bowl of Grandma’s soup.
When asked “what’s the weather like down there?”, homegrown and transplanted Texans alike are quick to explain that, in the Lone Star State, you might encounter all four seasons on the same day. In other words: unpredictable.
The Lone Star State is notorious for its incredibly diverse climates. As the second-largest U.S. state of over 260-thousand square miles, Texas boasts a range of weather patterns based on location--from the arid western desert, to the humid eastern gulf coast, to the snowy mountain ranges of Big Bend Country.
While it is a running joke among Texans that you might wear a scarf in the morning and a pair of shorts in the afternoon, August is that one time out of the year when we all know what to expect: torturous heat.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2003-2013 the U.S. oil and gas extraction industry experienced unprecedented growth leading to a doubling of its workforce and an increase in the number of drilling rigs by 71%.
In the midst of this rapid growth came the discovery of oil and gas in the Eagle Ford Shale, a long, geological formation that straddles the heartland of Texas’ central-southern regions. Its brittle sedimentary structure is extracted through hydraulic fracturing--otherwise known as fracking, a process in which rock is smashed with a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals to release small pockets of oil and gas inside.
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up with lymphoma.
Imagine yourself on a Saturday afternoon: you’re at the grocery store, pushing a heavily loaded shopping cart through a maze of long, crowded aisles. You’re anticipating a lengthy receipt.
Leaving behind a treacherous wall of cookies and other delicious treats, you turn the corner, kids trailing behind you, and at once realize you’ve entered another minefield of questionable choices: the cereal aisle. You try to move quickly but escape proves futile.
Suddenly, a yellow, family-sized box appears. “Please?” the small voice whines. Sigh.
What’s the harm in another week’s worth of Cheerios, anyway?
Poison for Breakfast: Are Those Cheerios Contaminated?
It turns out, there may actually be significant harm in that box on its way to your pantry.
Since the breakfast cereal was introduced to the American diet in 1863, children and adults alike have enjoyed an estimated 160 bowls, or 10 lbs of cereal, per person--annually. With a U.S. population of nearly 300-million people today, that’s 1.35 billion kilograms a year. That’s a lot of cereal.
Until recently, devoted consumers have remained blissfully unaware of what may be hiding in those beloved boxes of sugary goodness.
Texas: A History of Storms
About 100 storms and tropical disturbances develop in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico each year. Some of these turn into tropical storms, and on average, two each year become hurricanes that make landfall in the U.S.
Residents along the 367 miles of Texas coastline are no stranger to the life-threatening storms that often emerge from the dangerous waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Beginning the 1st of June through the end of November, coastal homeowners are at risk of a barrage of hazards brought on by hurricanes, including high winds, heavy rainfall, flooding, and storm surges.
While hurricanes and other major storms affect the entire country, Texas has stood witness to some of the deadliest and costliest natural disasters formed in the Gulf of Mexico. Between 1851 and 2016, 289 hurricanes affected the continental U.S. Of these, 63 made landfall in Texas.