Heroes

16 terrifying pics of Spain's growing desert you should show a climate-change doubter.

If nothing changes, southern Spain will be a desert by 2100.

16 terrifying pics of Spain's growing desert you should show a climate-change doubter.

If you're headed to the beach in southern Spain, this probably isn't what you're envisioning:

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

In July, this duo was spotted sunbathing at the Entrepenas reservoir in Duron, the second largest reservoir in Spain.

And the pics really are worth a thousand words.


Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

The reservoir has shrunken dramatically as water levels drop.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

The receding water has given way to cracked, arid soil...  

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

...and abandoned relics reflecting a region that once revolved around life on the water.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

Like the reservoir itself, tourism, and the local economy that benefits from it, are drying up too.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

So, what the heck is going on at the Entrepenas reservoir? Where has all the water gone?

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

The area's severe drought and dusty countryside are indicative of a larger force shaping landscapes across southern Spain.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

Yep, you guessed it: climate change.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

A 2016 study spelled disaster for the lush Mediterranean region due to human activity.

By 2100, southern Spain will have transformed into a desert, researchers have found — unless drastic measures are taken, like, now, to slash carbon emissions to curb the worsening effects of global warming.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

“The effect of the human is to deforest, to replace with agriculture and so on," lead author of the study, Joel Guiot of Aix-Marseille University, told The Guardian last year.

"You change the vegetation cover, the albedo, the humidity in the soil, and you will emphasize the drought when you do that," he continued, noting the Mediterranean is already very susceptible to the consequences of a warming planet. "If you have the [direct] human impact, it will be worse."

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

You don't have to be in southern Spain to see the alarming effects of climate change, of course.

In the U.S., researchers have pointed to similar dismal findings when it comes to global warming's impact on things like domestic tourism, expenses related to natural disasters, and food production.

Scientists, however, have not found a friend in the White House.

Unlike other prominent world leaders, President Trump has publicly rebuked the vast majority of climate scientists who say global warming is real and humans are to blame. He appointed Scott Pruitt — who's argued that the science surrounding climate change is still up for debate — to run the EPA. He's hellbent on resurrecting a dying, dirty coal industry and, in June, announced plans to pull the U.S. out of the world's best hope to collectively confront the woes of global warming: the Paris climate agreement.

Why doesn't Trump care?

Mother Nature certainly doesn't care about our national borders.

Similar consequences seen in southern Spain can also be seen in the U.S. and around the world.

Wildfires scorch the land near Santa Barbara, California, in July 2017. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

We need to act. Now.

Or else sad-looking beach day photos will become the norm.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

To learn more about climate change and to take action, visit the Sierra Club.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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