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By Andy Rowell
He has said that Maria could be the most damaging hurricane to hit the country in more than 100 years.
With maximum recorded wind speeds of 140 mph and rainfall of up to 25 inches or even higher, Mike Brennan, a senior hurricane specialist from the U.S. National Hurricane Center has also warned locals of flash-flooding and "punishing" rainfall. He added that the storm would remain "very dangerous" for the next couple of days.
"Rainfall is going to continue to be a problem there even after Maria's center begins to move away," Brennan said. "Everybody there should be prepared to stay safe the rest of the day and into tomorrow morning."
In nearby Dominica, the principal advisor to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, said "The island has been devastated. The housing stock significantly damaged or destroyed … The country is in a daze—no electricity, no running water—as a result of uprooted pipes in most communities and definitely to landline or cellphone services on island, and that will be for quite a while."
There is no one left on the Antigua and Barbuda islands after previous Hurricane Irma effectively destroyed the island's infrastructure and housing with 185 mph winds. All the inhabitants had to be evacuated.
The islands' prime minister, Gaston Browne, told IPS on his way to the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York. "Climate change is real. We are the victims of climate change because of the profligacy in the use of fossil fuels by the large industrialized nations."
He added: "These nations, that have contributed to global warming and sea level rise, have an obligation to assist in the rebuilding of these islands … Our common humanity, as citizens of a common space, called planet Earth mandates a spirit of empathy and cooperation among all nations, large and small."
The climate deniers in the Trump administration though don't want to talk about climate change or how our changing climate is making hurricanes more powerful.
Last week, Donald Trump said: "We've had bigger storms than this. And if you go back into the 1930s and the 1940s and you take a look we've had storms over the years that have been bigger than this."
The EPA Administrator Scott "Polluting" Pruitt added "Now isn't the time to talk about climate change."
But now is the time to talk about climate change. It certainly looks like our changing climate is playing a part, as 2017 looks set to be an unprecedented hurricane season.
According to the meteorologist Eric Holthaus, who tweeted:
There is still uncertainty if Maria will hit the U.S. coastline, but if it does, history will be made. And we are only in September.
The Washington Post's Chris Mooney wrote an article Wednesday entitled: What's scary about 2017's hurricanes isn't just their strength. It's how fast they're achieving it.
According to Mooney: "Rapid strengthening tends to happen when waters are warm, when that warm water is deep, when the atmosphere is moist and when there's little adverse wind flow that could disrupt the storm, according to research papers on the topic and interviews with experts."
And our changing climate is warming the waters and adding more moisture to the atmosphere.
So now is the time to talk about climate change. Pure and simple.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The annual Arctic thaw has kicked off with record-setting ice melt and sea ice loss that is several weeks ahead of schedule, scientists said, as the New York Times reported.
'This Should Scare the Hell Out of You': Photo of Greenland Sled Dog Teams Walking on Melted Water Goes Viral
By Jon Queally
In yet the latest shocking image depicting just how fast the world's natural systems are changing due to the global climate emergency, a photograph showing a vast expanse of melted Arctic ice in Greenland — one in which a pair of sled dog teams appear to be walking on water — has gone viral.
By Tia Schwab
It has been almost a year since Hurricane Florence slammed the Carolinas, dumping a record 30 inches of rainfall in some parts of the states. At least 52 people died, and property and economic losses reached $24 billion, with nearly $17 billion in North Carolina alone. Flood waters also killed an estimated 3.5 million chickens and 5,500 hogs.
'Huge Victory' for Grassroots Climate Campaigners as NY Lawmakers Reach Deal on Sweeping Climate Legislation
By Julia Conley
Grassroots climate campaigners in New York applauded on Monday after state lawmakers reached a deal on sweeping climate legislation, paving the way for the passage of what could be some of the country's most ambitious environmental reforms.
Tens of Thousands Flee Extreme Heatwave in India as Temperatures Topping 120°F Kill Dozens Across Country
By Julia Conley
Nearly 50 people died on Saturday in one Indian state as record-breaking heatwaves across the country have caused an increasingly desperate situation.
By Will J. Grant
In an ideal world, people would look at issues with a clear focus only on the facts. But in the real world, we know that doesn't happen often.
People often look at issues through the prism of their own particular political identity — and have probably always done so.