Quantcast
Popular
www.facebook.com

Hurricane Maria Devastates Puerto Rico

By Andy Rowell

As new Hurricane Maria brings devastation to Puerto Rico, the governor of the island, Ricardo Rossello, has asked Donald Trump to declare the U.S. territory a disaster zone.

He has said that Maria could be the most damaging hurricane to hit the country in more than 100 years.

With maximum recorded wind speeds of 140 mph and rainfall of up to 25 inches or even higher, Mike Brennan, a senior hurricane specialist from the U.S. National Hurricane Center has also warned locals of flash-flooding and "punishing" rainfall. He added that the storm would remain "very dangerous" for the next couple of days.


"Rainfall is going to continue to be a problem there even after Maria's center begins to move away," Brennan said. "Everybody there should be prepared to stay safe the rest of the day and into tomorrow morning."

In nearby Dominica, the principal advisor to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, said "The island has been devastated. The housing stock significantly damaged or destroyed … The country is in a daze—no electricity, no running water—as a result of uprooted pipes in most communities and definitely to landline or cellphone services on island, and that will be for quite a while."

As Maria follows on after Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, there is rising anger in the Caribbean about hurricanes and climate change.

There is no one left on the Antigua and Barbuda islands after previous Hurricane Irma effectively destroyed the island's infrastructure and housing with 185 mph winds. All the inhabitants had to be evacuated.

The islands' prime minister, Gaston Browne, told IPS on his way to the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York. "Climate change is real. We are the victims of climate change because of the profligacy in the use of fossil fuels by the large industrialized nations."

He added: "These nations, that have contributed to global warming and sea level rise, have an obligation to assist in the rebuilding of these islands … Our common humanity, as citizens of a common space, called planet Earth mandates a spirit of empathy and cooperation among all nations, large and small."

The climate deniers in the Trump administration though don't want to talk about climate change or how our changing climate is making hurricanes more powerful.

Last week, Donald Trump said: "We've had bigger storms than this. And if you go back into the 1930s and the 1940s and you take a look we've had storms over the years that have been bigger than this."

The EPA Administrator Scott "Polluting" Pruitt added "Now isn't the time to talk about climate change."

But now is the time to talk about climate change. It certainly looks like our changing climate is playing a part, as 2017 looks set to be an unprecedented hurricane season.

According to the meteorologist Eric Holthaus, who tweeted:

There is still uncertainty if Maria will hit the U.S. coastline, but if it does, history will be made. And we are only in September.

The Washington Post's Chris Mooney wrote an article Wednesday entitled: What's scary about 2017's hurricanes isn't just their strength. It's how fast they're achieving it.

According to Mooney: "Rapid strengthening tends to happen when waters are warm, when that warm water is deep, when the atmosphere is moist and when there's little adverse wind flow that could disrupt the storm, according to research papers on the topic and interviews with experts."

And our changing climate is warming the waters and adding more moisture to the atmosphere.

So now is the time to talk about climate change. Pure and simple.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Climate
A child rides his bicycle in an area affected by the Hurricane Maria passing in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico on Oct. 5, 2017. RICARDO ARDUENGO / AFP / Getty Images

Hurricane Maria's Legacy: One Year Later

As Puerto Rico marked one year since Hurricane Maria made landfall yesterday, the Miami Herald this week ran extensive reports in English and Spanish on the island's continuing recovery.

Keep reading... Show less
Science
A foldable, biodegradable battery based on paper and bacteria. Seokheun Choi / Binghamton University, CC BY-ND

Could Paper Power the Next Generation of Devices?

By Seokheun Choi

It seems like every few months there's a new cellphone, laptop or tablet that is so exciting people line up around the block to get their hands on it. While the perpetual introduction of new, slightly more advanced electronics has made businesses like Apple hugely successful, the short shelf life of these electronics is bad for the environment.

Keep reading... Show less
Business
Blue Point Brewing Company

Long Island Brewer Launches 'Good Reef Ale' to Help Restore New York’s Oyster Reefs

Between the 1600s and the early 20th century, European settlers in New York City ate their way through 220,000 acres of oyster reefs covering 350 square miles, The Washington Post reported.

Keep reading... Show less
Oceans
California restaurants will only be able to serve plastic straws like these upon request. Horia Varlan / CC BY 2.0

California Becomes First State to Regulate Plastic Straws

California became the first state in the U.S. to ban plastic straws in dine-in restaurants Thursday when Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation to that effect, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The law, which will enter into force Jan. 1, prohibits restaurants from providing straws unless a customer requests one. It covers only sit-down eateries, not fast food restaurants, delis or coffee shops.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Animals
Giannis Giannakopoulos / YouTube

'Partying' Spiders Blanket Greek Beach on 1,000-Foot Cobweb

Arachnophobes beware. A shoreline by the Greek town of Aitoliko has been swamped by a mass of mating spiders and 1,000 feet of their cobwebs.

Earlier this week, a local named Giannis Giannakopoulos uploaded a YouTube video and posted several pictures of the spectacle on his Facebook page, showing shrubs, palm fronds and other greenery completely veiled by spider webs.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
Frank Straub / EyeEm / Getty Images

Greenpeace Report: Europe Has 10 Years Left to Ditch Fossil Fuel Cars

Europe must phase out the sales of new gasoline- and diesel-fueled cars by 2028 if it wants to live up to its Paris climate agreement emissions-reduction pledges, according to new research by Germany's Aerospace Center.

Even conventional hybrid cars, which feature gasoline-powered engines, would have to disappear by the mid-2030s if Europe intends to fulfill its part of the Paris deal to limit global warming to 1.5°C, according to the Greenpeace-commissioned study.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Climate
An ambulance crashed into a fallen tree from Storm Ali in Newcastle on Sept. 19. Owen Humphreys / PA Images via Getty Images

100 mph Winds Kill Two in First Named Storm to Hit UK and Ireland This Season

Storm Ali, the first named storm of the UK storm season, killed two and sent several to the hospital as winds of more than 100 miles per hour walloped Ireland, Scotland and Northern England Wednesday, The Guardian reported.

More than 250,000 homes and businesses in Ireland lost power and 30,000 lost power in southwest Scotland.

Keep reading... Show less
Oceans
Hawaii, Cauliflower coral (Pocillopora meandrina) with surface reflections. Robinson Ed / Perspectives / Getty Images

Hawaii's Cauliflower Coral Moves Toward Endangered Species Act Listing

Cauliflower coral, a bushy species in the Hawaiian Islands that has been devastated by ocean warming triggered by human-caused climate change, could soon get federal protection. The National Marine Fisheries Service Wednesday announced that listing the species may be warranted under the Endangered Species Act, based on a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!