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Environmental activists in kayaks protest the arrival of the Polar Pioneer, an oil drilling rig owned by Shell Oil, in Seattle. Backbone Campaign / Flickr

Moyers and McKibben: What to Do When Time Is Running Out for the Planet

By Bill Moyers

I wasn't one of the 50,766 participants who finished the New York City Marathon last weekend. Instead, I spent the average marathon finish time of 4:39:07 to read a book—obviously a small book. In the interest of disclosure, I didn't even start the race, but that's another and even shorter story than Radio Free Vermont, the book from which I did occasionally look up and out the window to check on the stream of marathoners passing our apartment, their faces worn and haggard.

A shame, I thought, that I couldn't go outside and hand each one a copy of the book that had kept me smiling throughout the day while also restoring my soul; I was sure the resilience would quickly have returned to weary feet and sore muscles now draped in aluminum foil for healing's sake. I admire those athletes, but wouldn't have traded their run for my read, because Radio Free Vermont is funny, very funny, all the more so considering the author is one of the more serious men on the planet—the planet he has spent his adult life trying to save.

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With the power still out on Oct. 20, surgeons in Puerto Rico used cell phones as flashlights. @agarciapadilla / Twitter

Puerto Rico Continues to Suffer Worst Electricity Failure in U.S. History

Hurricane Maria caused the largest blackout in U.S. history, according to a new report. An analysis released this week from the Rhodium Group finds that the hurricane caused a net loss of 1.25 billion hours of electricity since hitting Puerto Rico on Sept. 20—the largest in recorded history.

Nine of the 10 most severe power outages in the U.S. were the result of hurricanes, according to the report. Weeks after Hurricanes Maria and Irma passed over the region, 75 percent of Puerto Rico's 3.4 million inhabitants remain without power.

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Flooding covered much of Jacksonville during Hurricane Irma. Will Dickey / Florida Times-Union

Florida Faces 3 Toxic Crises Triggered by Flooding

By Dipika Kadaba

Ah, Florida—home to famous natural landscapes and amazing wildlife, but also to more than 20 million people and billion-dollar industries. Decades of booming development in Florida—all of it built in the path of Atlantic hurricanes—have brought to a head some toxic problems the state still struggles to solve. Every major flooding event, like the one following this year's Hurricane Irma, leaches toxic waste into people's homes and drinking water.

Florida is particularly vulnerable to storm surges and flooding from hurricanes like Irma. Scroll down to explore the natural disaster risks facing Florida and increasing its residents' toxic risks:

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Texas Army National Guardsmen assist residents affected by flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Lt. Zachary West

Poll Shows Most Americans Want Government Action on Climate Change, but There’s a Catch

By Farron Cousins

New polling data provides some inspiring news about the prospects for climate change action in the U.S.

According to public policy polling conducted by AP-NORC and the Energy Policy Institute at The University of Chicago, 61 percent of American citizens believe that climate change is a threat that the federal government should actively work to prevent. The poll also reveals that majorities in both major political parties—Democrats and Republicans—accept the fact that climate change is actually happening and that human activity is making it worse.

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The aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Saint Martin. Netherlands Ministry of Defense

In Shadow of Puerto Rico's Nightmare, Virgin Islands and Others Facing Intense Struggle

By Julia Conley

While much media attention has rightly been focused on the devastation in Puerto Rico this week as calls have grown louder for President Donald Trump to deploy more resources to help the recovery from Hurricane Maria, the White House's inaction has caused attention to be pulled away from the U.S. Virgin Islands and other parts of the Caribbean that were also ravaged by the storm.

Forty-eight thousand people in the U.S. Virgin Islands are without power following both Maria and Hurricane Irma, which made landfall two weeks earlier. More than 600 residents are still in shelters across St. John, St. Thomas, Water Island and St. Croix, which was spared much of the damage of Irma but overtaken by floodwaters after Maria.

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New Report Predicts Climate Change Could Cost U.S. $360 Billion Per Year

Extreme weather and public health issues related to burning fossil fuels could cost the U.S. up to $360 billion annually--nearly half of annual U.S. economic growth--within the next ten years, according to a new report.

The report from the non-profit Universal Ecological Fund found that the impacts of wildfires, hurricanes, heat waves and other extreme weather amplified by climate change, combined with air pollution, cost the U.S. $240 billion per year since 2007.

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Trump Tweets Puerto Rico 'Is in Deep Trouble' as Island Pleads for More Urgent Response

President Trump said Puerto Rico is in "deep trouble" following Hurricane Maria in a statement released on Twitter Monday, his first public remarks on the crisis since the storm hit the island last week.

The president has received widespread criticism over both his silence on the crisis as he focuses on NFL protests as well as his administration's seemingly muted response to the disaster compared to the action taken in Texas and Florida.

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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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