A sustainable future for Puerto Rico! The Climate Minute Podcast

Hurricane Maria slammed into the island of Puerto Rico, an American protectorate, a few weeks ago. While it is no longer making the top news headlines, the island is still in profound distress. Over fifty percent of the people are without clean water and eighty to ninety percent lack electricity for basic needs, let alone communication via cellphones or news access.

Puerto Rico had an old, fragile electrical system, and when the hurricane came through it knocked everything down. In a world trying to stop climate change, the island of Puerto Rico is an opportunity to rebuild in a sustainable way. Elon Musk, CEO and founder of Tesla,is in negotiations with Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Rosselló to revamp the island’s power grid using solar technology. Musk has rebuilt many smaller islands around the world using renewable energy technologies and says that the processis scalable. We discuss distributed generation—a system of electricity generation that relies on several small systems spread throughout a region vs. one central power station. To restore electricity to Puerto Rico, distributed generation could be coupled with solar and wind power as well as Tesla’s Powerwall battery systems, several of which have already been supplied to Puerto Rico by Musk. Guest speaker Carol Oldham, Executive Director of Massachusetts Climate Action Network, joins the podcast to discuss community choice aggregation and the potential for Boston to implement this as a power option. Listen in for more detail!

Because we recognize the necessity of personal accountability for our actions, because we accept responsibility for building a durable future and because we believe it is our patriotic duty as citizens to speak out, we must insist that the United States put a price on carbon.

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