The alarming spread of the Zika virus is looking more like a public health catastrophe. But it's also something else: The latest example of how human alterations to their environments can empower disease-carrying organisms and the viruses they bring with them.
Whitewater rafters, indigenous people and other advocates of the world-famous Pacuare River say it would be a disaster to dam this national treasure to produce electricity. They're currently in talks with the Solís administration to produce a presidential decree preventing the damming of this river for the foreseeable future. But with the Costa Rican Electricity Institute having promised in 2009 to build nothing on the Pacuare for 20 years, how real is the threat?