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Friday, April 20, 2018

Solving the Caribbean’s power problems


Editor's note

Puerto Ricans were plunged into darkness again on April 18, seven months after Hurricane Maria first knocked out electricity. The island’s prolonged blackout highlights the urgent need for Caribbean countries to make their fragile, outmoded power grids more resilient by integrating clean energy sources like solar and wind. But climate change will complicate the region’s transition into renewables in unpredictable ways, writes Masaō Ashtine of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.

An FDA panel on Thursday unanimously approved a drug made from CBD, which is derived from cannabis, to treat two forms of epilepsy. Drake University pharmacy professor Timothy Welty explains why we shouldn’t expect other drugs with CBD, at least any time soon.

And Frank Nuessel explores the linguistic nuances of how marijuana dispensaries are advertising themselves. What happens when a drug subculture rich in slang goes mainstream and must be seen as a serious enterprise?

Catesby Holmes

Global Affairs Editor

Top story

Rising seas, harsher weather, rainier days. The impacts of climate change make it harder for Caribbean countries to plan their transition toward renewable energy sources. Ricardo Rojas/Reuters

Climate change may scuttle Caribbean's post-hurricane plans for a renewable energy boom

Masaō Ashtine, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus

The 2017 hurricane season showed that Caribbean nations urgently need more resilient power grids. But the effects of climate change – including more severe storms – complicate the shift to renewables.

Small vials of CBD, which some believe could be a cure for many ailments. Roxana Gonzalez/

Why marijuana fans should not see approval for epilepsy drug as a win for weed

Timothy Welty, Drake University

A drug made from a molecule produced from cannabis gained unanimous approval from an FDA panel. But the molecule, CBD, is decidedly different from some other ingredients in cannabis: It doesn't result in a high.

Pharmacy or marijuana dispensary? Scott Sonner/AP Photo

As marijuana goes mainstream, what's happening to the way we talk about weed?

Frank Nuessel, University of Louisville

Marijuana has a rich linguistic tradition. But drive by dispensaries like 'Advanced Medical Alternatives' or 'Alameda Wellness Center,' and you might think you’re passing the office of a physical therapist.


Economy + Business

Environment + Energy

  • Market forces are driving a clean energy revolution in the US

    Bill Ritter, Jr., Colorado State University

    A recent survey of electric utility leaders finds that Trump administration efforts to promote coal energy and roll back air pollution regulations have had little impact on their long-range plans.

  • Is Earth's ozone layer still at risk? 5 questions answered

    A.R. (Ravi) Ravishankara, Colorado State University

    Earth's ozone layer shields us from harmful ultraviolet radiation. Nations have been working to reduce ozone-depleting chemicals since the 1980s, but recent studies show that there is still work to do.

Politics + Society

Science + Technology

From our International Editions

Today’s quote

“In a recent poll, 41 percent of respondents said they did not believe that Puerto Ricans were U.S. citizens, and 15 percent were not sure.”


Are Puerto Ricans really American citizens?


Charles R. Venator-Santiago

University of Connecticut

Charles R. Venator-Santiago

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