U.S. intel chief warns of devastating cyber threat to U.S. infrastructure.

How are cyber security and environmental health linked? Just look at the health mess – still! – in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria leveled the grid.

While at first glance this story would appear unrelated to environmental health, it actually covers a story of vital importance to the environment, health, and climate change.


Cybersecurity attacks could take down parts or all of the utility grid, or other important components of a country's infrastructure, including in the United States. A few days without grid would be tolerable, but some plausible scenarios involve weeks or months—or longer—down times. Check out Ted Koppel's book "Lights Out."

A few weeks without a functioning grid would be devastating. Consider what the Hurricane Maria did to health, water supply, food security and more on Puerto Rico.

From the Reuters story:

Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are launching daily cyber strikes on the computer networks of federal, state and local government agencies, U.S. corporations, and academic institutions, said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Of the four, "Russia has been the most aggressive foreign actor, no question," he said.

Read the full Reuters story here.

To save water supply, Eastern Shore poultry farmers may get perks to switch aquifers

To save the Eastern Shore of Virginia’s limited drinking water, it’s time for chicken farms to tap into an alternative supply, officials say.

Get our Good News newsletter

Get the best positive, solutions-oriented stories we've seen on the intersection of our health and environment, FREE every Tuesday in your inbox. Subscribe here today. Keep the change tomorrow.

A Syrian seed bank’s fight to survive

Scientists have raced to safeguard a newly precious resource: plants that can thrive in a changing climate.

Microplastics may be cooling—and heating—Earth’s climate

Tiny bits of plastic are swirling in the sky, and a new model suggests they could be subtly affecting the climate.

Homeowners wait for long-promised state hurricane relief

Coastal residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed by hurricanes Matthew and Florence say they're frustrated with long delays, caseworker turnover and unfulfilled promises from Rebuild NC.

What IEA’s path to net-zero emissions means for Canada’s oilsands, LNG

Looking at different policy scenarios around climate change, agency report lays out path for holding warming to 1.5 C

Salmon need trees

A study shows that watershed logging can be as bad for salmon numbers as increased predation in the ocean.

The key insight that defined 50 years of climate science

A climate scientist has won the Nobel Prize in Physics for the first time. It’s a reminder that the field, which emerged from the mid-20th century’s biggest questions, hasn’t always been fraught.