Hurricane Maria Has Made Puerto Rico the Land of Opportunity for Solar Power

           

Leaning on the lines.(Raquel Pérez Puig for Quartz)

qz.com - by Ana Campoy - November 11, 2017

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Seven weeks after hurricane Maria, the traffic lights are still down in San Juan. The narrow, cobbled streets of the city’s historic center, one of the island’s top tourist attractions, turn pitch black as soon as the sun sets. With appliances useless during the blackout, many of the city’s residents can’t cook, store food, or take a real shower.

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Global Climate Risk Index 2018: Who Suffers Most From Extreme Weather Events? Weather-related Loss Events in 2016 and 1997 to 2016

CLICK HERE - Global Climate Risk Index 2018

germanwatch.org - reliefweb.int - 9 November 2017

Climate Risk Index shows vulnerability of small island states

Increased intensity of storms takes a toll on small island states and poor countries / Since 1997, over 520,000 people have been killed by more than 11,000 extreme weather events

Bonn (9th Nov. 2017). Small island states are amongst the countries most impacted by extreme weather events worldwide. A number of developing countries regularly already have to address weather catastrophes, especially poorer countries like Haiti, Sri Lanka or Viet Nam are facing great challenges. These are some of the key findings of the Climate Risk Index published by Germanwatch today at the climate summit in Bonn.

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Power Line Fails; Darkness Returns to San Juan

           

A main power line failed Thursday in Puerto Rico, plunging several cities, including San Juan, into darkness. Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo for The New York Times

nytimes.com - by Frances Robles - November 10, 2017

SAN JUAN, P.R. — A main power line that serves the northern half of Puerto Rico failed Thursday, knocking out electricity to seven cities that had only recently regained service and dealing a major setback to the island’s desperate efforts to regain normality.

Seven weeks after Hurricane Maria completely disabled Puerto Rico’s power grid, the island was generating just 18 percent of its electrical capacity, returning service to where it had been two and half weeks ago. On Thursday morning, the island had been at about 43.2 percent of capacity.

The disruption also me ant that many people no longer had running water, because pumping stations are powered by electricity.

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Puerto Rico's Storm of Misery

cbsnews.com - by Steve Kroft - November 5, 2017

Many Puerto Ricans have endured the longest blackout in American history following a direct hit from Hurricane Maria. Due to a multitude of factors, some say the lights won't be coming back on anytime soon.

It's safe to say that of all the places in the country, the one that is suffering the most right now is the hurricane-ravaged island of Puerto Rico . . . For the past 46 days, most of them have been without power, the longest blackout in American history. FEMA says it has distributed more food and water there than any disaster its ever been involved in.

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Our Moral Opportunity on Climate Change

           

Floodwaters filled the streets after heavy rains in Bangladesh in July. Credit Munir Uz Zaman/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

nytimes.com - by Justin Welby - Nobember 3, 2017

. . . “As people of faith, we don’t just state our beliefs — we live them out. One belief is that we find purpose and joy in loving our neighbors. Another is that we are charged by our creator with taking good care of his creation . . .

. . . The moral crisis of climate change is an opportunity to find purpose and joy, and to respond to our creator’s charge. Reducing the causes of climate change is essential to the life of faith. It is a way to love our neighbor and to steward the gift of creation . . .

. . . People of faith have a unique call to address the causes of climate change. As we stand together in our support for the survivors of extreme weather, let us act together in ways that will safeguard our shared gift of creation — and the lives of those who will inherit it from us.” . . .

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U.S. Report Says Humans Cause Climate Change, Contradicting Top Trump Officials

           

Smoke rose from trees burned in a wildfire in Wrightwood, Calif., last year. A report from 13 federal agencies says extreme weather events have cost the United States $1.1 trillion since 1980. Credit Jonathan Alcorn/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

CLICK HERE - Climate Science Special Report - Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), Volume I

nytimes.com - by Lisa Friedman and Glenn Thrush - November. 3, 2017

Directly contradicting much of the Trump administration’s position on climate change, 13 federal agencies unveiled an exhaustive scientific report on Friday that says humans are the dominant cause of the global temperature rise that has created the warmest period in the history of civilization.

Over the past 115 years global average temperatures have increased 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to record-breaking weather events and temperature extremes, the report says. The global, long-term warming trend is “unambiguous,” it says, and there is “no convincing alternative explanation” that anything other than humans — the cars we drive, the power plants we operate, the forests we destroy — are to blame.

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Climate Change Isn’t Just Hurting the Planet – It’s a Public Health Emergency

           

‘Local air pollution around the world kills about 6.5 million people annually.’ Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Doctors have revealed that millions are already suffering the effects, in the spread of infectious diseases, uneven crop yields and longer allergy seasons

CLICK HERE - STUDY - The Lancet - Health and climate change - The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: from 25 years of inaction to a global transformation for public health

theguardian.com - by Christiana Figueres - October 31, 2017

A report just published in the Lancet from the specially created Lancet Countdown initiative, reveals just how bad climate change is for public health. The diagnosis reveals that hundreds of millions of people are already suffering the health impacts of climate change. Its insidious creep is being felt in multiple ways: rising temperatures are hastening the spread of infectious diseases; crop yields are becoming uneven and unpredictable, worsening the hunger and malnourishment for some of the most vulnerable people on the planet; allergy seasons are getting longer; and at times it is simply too hot for farmers to work in the fields.

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Is It Possible to Predict the Next Pandemic?

submitted by Carrie La Jeunesse

           

A livestock market in India - Omar Sobhani / Reuters

Large initiatives are underway to pinpoint the next big viral threats—but some virologists believe the task is too hard.

theatlantic.com - by Ed Yong - October 25, 2017

It’s been two years since an epidemic of Zika began in Brazil, three since the largest Ebola outbreak in history erupted in West Africa, eight since a pandemic of H1N1 flu swept the world, and almost a hundred since a different H1N1 flu pandemic killed 50 million people worldwide. Those viruses were all known, but no one knew when or where they’d trigger epidemics. Other diseases, like SARS, MERS, and HIV, emerged out of the blue.

Sick of being perpetually caught off guard, some scientists want to fully catalogue all viral threats, and predict which are likely to cause tomorrow’s outbreaks.

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US Lawmakers Investigate Firm's Contract to Help Restore Puerto Rico's Power

       

Workers from Montana-based Whitefish Energy Holdings help fix Puerto Rico’s power grid. Photograph: Alvin Baez/Reuters

CLICK HERE - NPR - Here's What's In That $300 Million Whitefish Contract

Multiple congressional committees seek information on $300m deal awarded to Whitefish Energy Holdings, tiny company in interior secretary’s hometown

theguardian.com - October 26, 2017

Multiple congressional committees are investigating a $300m contract awarded to a small Montana company in the hometown of the interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, that was tapped to help restore Puerto Rico’s damaged power grid.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority awarded the contract to tiny Whitefish Energy Holdings to restore transmission and distribution lines damaged or destroyed during Hurricane Maria. The two-year-old company had just two full-time employees when the storm hit last month.

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Congressional Auditor Urges Action to Address Climate Change

           

Members of the Wyoming Hot Shots firefighting crew battling the Lizard Fire near Willcox, Ariz., in June. Credit Kyle Miller/Wyoming Hot Shots, via Associated Press

CLICK HERE - U.S. GAO - CLIMATE CHANGE: Information on Potential Economic Effects Could Help Guide Federal Efforts to Reduce Fiscal Exposure

nytimes.com - by Lisa Friedman - October 23, 2017

WASHINGTON — Fires, floods and hurricanes are already costing the federal government tens of billions of dollars a year and climate change will drive those costs ever higher in coming years, a new federal study warns.

The report by the Government Accountability Office, Congress’s auditing arm, urges the Trump administration to take climate change risks seriously and begin formulating a response.

The study, scheduled to be released Tuesday, says that different sectors of the economy and different parts of the country will be harmed in ways that are difficult to predict.

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Ocean Acidification Poses Threat to Sea Life, Research Finds

CLICK HERE - BROCHURE SUMMARY - Exploring Ocean Change - BIOACID - Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification (24 page .PDF file)

CLICK HERE - BIOACID - Exploring Ocean Change

news.sky.com - by Rebecca Taylor - October 23, 2017

Increased acidity in the oceans could affect many species including molluscs and corals, an eight-year study has found.

The research from more than 250 scientists also highlighted the risk of knock-on effect up the food chain.

Increased acidity in the oceans, called by some the "evil twin of global warming", compounds the effect of rising temperatures.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLES WITHIN THE LINKS BELOW . . .

CLICK HERE - More acidic oceans 'will affect all sea life'

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The Great Thaw of America's North is Coming

Vladimir Romanovsky crouches as he collects temperature recordings beneath the forest floor (Credit: Anthony Rhoades)

Image: Vladimir Romanovsky crouches as he collects temperature recordings beneath the forest floor (Credit: Anthony Rhoades)

bbc.com - Sara Goudarzi - October 17th 2017

Vladimir Romanovsky walks through the dense black spruce forest with ease. Not once does he stop or slow down to balance himself on the cushy moss beneath his feet insulating the permafrost.

It’s a warm day in July, and the scientist is looking for a box that he and his team have installed on the ground.

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The U.S. Solar Industry's New Growth Region: Trump Country

       

The Apple One 4.9 MW solar project, built by Cypress Creek Renewables, is pictured in Newton, North Carolina, United States in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters March 28, 2017. Cypress Creek Renewables/Handout via REUTERS

reuters.com - by Nichola Groom - October 12, 2017

President Donald Trump’s administration has vowed to revive the coal industry, challenged climate-change science and blasted renewable energy as expensive and dependent on government subsidies.

And yet the solar power industry is booming across Trump country, fueled by falling development costs and those same subsidies, which many Republicans in Congress continue to support.

Data provided to Reuters by GTM Research, a clean energy market information firm, shows that eight of the 10 fastest-growing U.S. solar markets between the second quarters of 2016 and 2017 were Western, Midwestern or Southern states that voted for Trump, with Alabama and Mississippi topping the list. And solar firms are ramping up investments in these regions, signaling their faith that key renewable energy incentives will remain in place for years to come.

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Federal Harvey Relief Funds Might Take Years, Officials Tell Legislators

           

Flood damaged debris piled outside of homes in Port Arthur Texas. The city saw 47 inches of rain during the storm. - Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

texastribune.org - by Brandon Formby - October 2, 2017

 . . . state lawmakers were told that Housing and Urban Development disaster relief funds, which includes money for extensive home repairs or rebuilds, could take seven to 32 months to work their way through bureaucratic processes and several layers of government agencies . . . Congress approved $7.4 billion in HUD disaster relief funds last month. But that may have to be shared with Florida and Puerto Rico, which have each been hit by hurricanes in the weeks after Harvey battered Texas, unless legislators approve another aid package . . .

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Wildfires Sweep Across Northern California; 15 Are Dead

Map of active north California wildfires as of Monday October 9th 2017. By The New York Times | Sources: NASA MODIS, Santa Rosa Fire Department.

Image: Map of active north California wildfires as of Monday October 9th 2017. By The New York Times | Sources: NASA MODIS, Santa Rosa Fire Department.

nytimes.com - Thomas Fuller, Jonah Engel Bromwich, Julie Turkewitz - October 10th 2017

Wine country was shrouded in a thick layer of smoky haze here on Tuesday as firefighters continued to battle wildfires that have left at least 15 people dead and have damaged or destroyed more than 1,500 structures, including wineries, homes and resorts.

State fire officials estimated that 17 separate fires, the first group of which began Sunday night, had burned about 115,000 acres over eight counties. More than 100 people had been taken to hospitals by Tuesday morning, and officials said that the tallies of the dead and injured were likely to rise.

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