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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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By John Buell

Last winter when President-elect Trump tweeted: "United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes," the tweet was portrayed as shockingly new and threatening. As president, Trump continues his inflammatory rhetoric. Nonetheless, his nuclear posture is closer to his predecessors than is commonly recognized. It has long been U.S. policy and practice to seek and rely on nuclear superiority. The U.S. led every step in the arms race. That arms race remains the greatest immediate threat to the survival of human civilization and other living beings. That threat has persisted under every president from Truman to Trump.

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Jeremy Danger / Flickr

By Alexandra Rosenmann

Noam Chomsky has a message for the resistance movement and the mainstream media alike: "Ridicule is not enough" to defeat Trumpism.

"We have to be a little cautious about not trying to kill a gnat with an atom bomb," he told George Yancy in a New York Times interview on July 5.

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In this Democracy Now! special, we spend the hour with the world-renowned linguist and political dissident Noam Chomsky. In a public conversation we had in April, we talked about climate change, nuclear weapons, North Korea, Iran, the war in Syria and the Trump administration's threat to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and his new book, Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power.

Watch here:

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Noam Chomsky

In a new interview with BBC Newsnight, Professor Noam Chomsky repeated his previous claim that the Republican Party is the most dangerous organization "in human history," especially in their refusal to fight climate change or even denying that the global phenomenon is real.

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By Alexandra Rosenmann

Noam Chomsky ended his "Prospects for Survival" talk sponsored by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on April 13 with a bombshell report of a crucial event overshadowed by President Trump's election.

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