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Hurricane-damaged Barbuda. Caribbean Community / Flickr

Devastated Island Leaders: Climate Change 'A Truth Which Hits Us'

As residents in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands prepared to take cover from Hurricane Maria, representatives of island nations devastated by hurricanes made a plea to the UN for recovery funding.

In a hastily-convened special session, leaders of Barbuda, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and other nations detailed the billions of dollars needed to rebuild after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and argued that the increasing impacts of climate change on island nations required a rethinking of how the UN provides humanitarian aid.

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Hurricane Irma damage in northeast Florida. St. Johns County Fire Rescue

Why Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Won’t Lead to Action on Climate Change

By Scott Gabriel Knowles

It's not easy to hold the nation's attention for long, but three solid weeks of record-smashing hurricanes directly affecting multiple states and at least 20 million people will do it.

Clustered disasters hold our attention in ways that singular events cannot—they open our minds to the possibility that these aren't just accidents or natural phenomena to be painfully endured. As such, they can provoke debates over the larger "disaster lessons" we should be learning. And I would argue the combination of Harvey and Irma has triggered such a moment.

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Naomi Klein Warns Europe May Water Down Paris Accord to Win Support from Trump

President Donald Trump on Tuesday is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly. Climate change is expected to be high on the agenda at this year's gathering.

As the world leaders meet, another major storm—Hurricane Maria—is gaining strength in the Caribbean and following a similar path as Hurricane Irma. The current forecast shows Maria could hit Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm as early as Wednesday. The U.S. Virgin Islands, which were devastated by Irma, also appear to be in line to be hit by Maria.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that the Trump administration is considering staying in the Paris climate agreement, just months after the president vowed to pull out of it. The White House denied the report. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday signaled Trump may back away from the Paris accord, but National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster gave a different message on Fox News Sunday.

We speak with best-selling author Naomi Klein, a senior correspondent for The Intercept. Her most recent book, "No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need," has been longlisted for a National Book Award.

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U.S. Army soldiers drive a woman to safety following flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Orange, Texas. Spc. Austin T. Boucher

Beyond Harvey and Irma: Homeland Security in the Climate Change Era

By Michael T. Klare

Deployed to the Houston area to assist in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, U.S. military forces hadn't even completed their assignments when they were hurriedly dispatched to Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to face Irma, the fiercest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who had sent members of the state National Guard to devastated Houston, anxiously recalled them while putting in place emergency measures for his own state. A small flotilla of naval vessels, originally sent to waters off Texas, was similarly redirected to the Caribbean, while specialized combat units drawn from as far afield as Colorado, Illinois and Rhode Island were rushed to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Meanwhile, members of the California National Guard were being mobilized to fight wildfires raging across that state (as across much of the West) during its hottest summer on record.

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UN General Assembly Hall. Patrick Gruban / Flickr

Rumors, Mixed Signals Cloud U.S. Plans for Paris Agreement

Rumors and mixed signals on the U.S. plans for the Paris agreement swirled over the weekend as the Trump administration prepared for its first UN General Assembly meeting this week.

Reports surfaced that a White House senior official had indicated at an energy summit in Montreal that the U.S. might soften its opposition to the accord.

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Hurricane Irma with its eye completely encompassing the island of Barbuda on Sept. 6. University of Wisconsin / CIMMS

Now Is Exactly the Time to Have That Discussion About Climate Change

By Susan Glickman

As a native Floridian, I chose to ride out Hurricane Irma in my hometown of Tampa—just a few miles north of where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play football. Like millions of other Floridians who evacuated low-lying beach communities for higher ground, I had the obvious safety concerns and worries about whether I would even have a home to return to. But as a public interest advocate who has worked on climate and energy issues every day for almost two decades, I also have intense concerns about the growing climate change/hurricane nexus.

So when EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says it's insensitive to Floridians and Texans to talk about climate change during hurricane emergencies, I say he missed the boat as to what's truly insensitive.

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Gage Skidmore

Trump on Climate Change and Hurricanes: 'We've Had Bigger Storms'

Despite penning breathless tweets on the record-breaking size of both storms, President Trump rejected the connection between Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and climate change on Thursday. "We've had bigger storms" than these two most recent storms, Trump told reporters on Air Force One after being asked if the storms had shifted his views on climate change.

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#ClimateSilence: Corporate Media Called Out for Whiffing on 'Most Important Story in the World'

By Julia Conley

Using social media on Wednesday, advocates for climate action spoke out forcefully—and in huge numbers—against major media outlets that enable those who deny the connection between global warming and extreme weather events like Hurricane Harvey and Irma.

Using the hashtag #ClimateSilence, 350.org initiated a campaign aimed at calling out corporate media companies that have failed to include the issue of climate change—and humans' role in accelerating global warning—in most of their coverage of the recent hurricanes that have devastated Houston, the Caribbean and South Florida.

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Good Morning America / Screenshot

After Irma, Deadly Heat in Florida

Eight patients have died and 120 were evacuated Wednesday after a Florida nursing home lost air conditioning due to Hurricane Irma. The deaths of the patients at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, whose ages ranged from 71 to 99, occurred after a transformer powering the facility's air conditioner was damaged by the storm.

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