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TED Conference / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Imagine being able to invite some of the leading minds of the climate movement over for dinner. You could pick anyone from anywhere. Who would be sitting around your table?

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The Climate Reality Project

In many places, the leaves have fallen and the first frosts have turned the air crisp. The days are getting shorter. Most birds are well on their way south, and the holidays are just around the corner. And in just a few weeks, on Dec. 3-4, we'll present our eighth annual global broadcast of 24 Hours of Reality.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Campaign poster designed by Shepard Fairey. The Climate Reality Project

Sunday's dire report from the United Nations is not just a wake-up call for governments around the world to fight catastrophic climate change, it urges individual action as well.

On Tuesday, former Vice President Al Gore helped launch a new get-out-the-vote initiative to get youngsters to register and to back green policies and candidates at the polls.

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Government inaction on climate change and climate deniers were called out by former vice president Al Gore and Samoan prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele separately this week.

Gore voiced his sentiment during an interview released Wednesday with Fox 11's Good Day L.A. co-host Elex Michaelson. Sailele made the remarks at his speech Thursday in Australia. They each spoke about the harmful effects of global warming and called for immediate action.

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In last year's virtual reality (VR) film Melting Ice, viewers traveled with former Vice President and An Inconvenient Truth star Al Gore on a trip to Greenland to "see" and "experience" ice sheets diminishing, glaciers collapsing and melting ice becoming raging rivers.

Now, and just in time for Earth Day 2018, directors Danfung Dennis and Eric Strauss have released three more, 10-minute immersive episodes in their This is Climate Change docu-series. Fire, Feast and Famine shows the powerful reality of global climate change, from California's burning blazes to drought-ridden Somalia—and you don't even need to leave your couch.

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Apple's Cupertino headquarters features a 17-megawatt solar installation. Apple

In its continued efforts to "combat climate change and create a healthier environment," Apple announced Monday that its global facilities are now powered with 100 percent clean energy.

All of the tech giant's retail stores, offices, data centers and co-located facilities in 43 countries use renewable energy sources, upping the ante from 93 percent two years ago.

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Northbrook Lyons Falls will redevelop an existing hydroelectric facility, leading to an increase in new renewable capacity of 3.23 MW. 95wombat / Flickr

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced $1.4 billion in funding for 26 large-scale renewable energy projects across the state, the single largest commitment to renewable energy by a state in U.S. history.

The awarded projects—including 22 utility-scale solar farms, three wind farms and one hydroelectric project—are expected to create more than 3,000 short- and long-term jobs, generate enough clean energy to power more than 430,000 homes and reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million metric tons, the equivalent of taking nearly 340,000 cars off the road.

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This was a year of tug-of-war for the environment. With Donald Trump becoming president of the U.S. at a time when wildfires, hurricanes, and floods were devastating the country, it was challenging for scientists, activists and concerned citizens to get their voices heard. But several stood out as global leaders on climate and helped give rise to those who were silenced. Below are 14 of the most notable influencers of 2017 and how they fought for a cleaner, safer environment for all.

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Twenty-four hours of inspiring stories of regular people taking their future into their hands and taking action on climate.

Twenty-four hours of eye-opening conversations with the business innovators, government leaders, scientists, community voices and more leading the fight for solutions all around the planet. Names like New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, California Gov. Jerry Brown and World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab.

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Twenty-four hours of inspiring stories of regular people taking their future into their hands and taking action on climate.

Twenty-four hours of eye-opening conversations with the business innovators, government leaders, scientists, community voices and more leading the fight for solutions all around the planet. Names like New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, California Gov. Jerry Brown and World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab.

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Neil H / Flickr

By Rachel Krantz

When I spotted fellow vegan James Cromwell in line for food at an advance screening of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, I couldn't help but try to talk to him. Recently arrested at a protest against SeaWorld, the Babe and Six Feet Under actor is a remarkable environmental and animal activist.

"Can you believe they're serving chickens here?" I asked him. "I mean, I guess it's a little better for the environment than eating cows, but it's still ironic to be serving animals at a party for a documentary about climate change."

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