The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Puerto Rico Officials Claim Power Is Completely Restored to All Homes
Power has officially been restored to all homes in Puerto Rico impacted by Hurricane Maria, nearly eleven months after the storm hit, the island's utility announced Tuesday.
Experts say that the grid's restoration, which cost $3 billion, by the troubled Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority does little to improve the grid's fragility, and full improvements are estimated to cost an additional $26 billion.
And not all Puerto Ricans agree that the power is back: residents in El Yunque National Forest told CNN that power has not been restored to their area, citing a conflict between PREPA and the U.S. Forest Service.
"At first, a lot of agencies came, giving water and food," Jazmín Méndez, one of the last residents to get power restored, told The New York Times. "But that ended, so now you really have to do everything yourself. I don't know where Puerto Rico is going to end up. It seems everything went from bad to worse."
As reported by The New York Times:
After spending $3.2 billion, erecting some 52,000 new electrical poles and stringing 6,000 miles of wire from the federal government alone, the Puerto Rico electricity system is not in much better condition now than it was before Maria cut power to every home and business on the island.
Even as some of the last customers are reconnected, many billions of dollars more must still be spent to reconstruct the system and fortify the transmission lines that have been so tattered and poorly maintained that when a mishap occurs, the lights can go out on the entire island.
For a deeper dive:
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Danielle Nierenberg and Katherine Walla
As the holiday season ramps up for many across the world, Food Tank is highlighting 15 children's books that will introduce young eaters, growers and innovators to the world of food and agriculture. Authors and organizations are working to show children the importance — and fun — of eating healthy, nutritious and delicious food, growing their own produce, and giving food to others in need.
By Lauren Wolahan
For the first time ever, the UN is building out a roadmap for curbing carbon pollution from agriculture. To take part in that process, a coalition of U.S. farmers traveled to the UN climate conference in Madrid, Spain this month to make the case for the role that large-scale farming operations, long criticized for their outsized emissions, can play in addressing climate change.
They're prepared from puréed acai berries — which are fruits grown in Central and South America — and served as a smoothie in a bowl or glass, topped with fruit, nuts, seeds, or granola.
By Elliott Negin
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' recent decision to award the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to scientists who developed rechargeable lithium-ion batteries reminded the world just how transformative they have been. Without them, we wouldn't have smartphones or electric cars. But it's their potential to store electricity generated by the sun and the wind at their peak that promises to be even more revolutionary, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and protecting the planet from the worst consequences of climate change.