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Natural Resources Defense Council

You already know about the brutal attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015.

That senseless tragedy was orchestrated by a terrorist group called Daesh — although they'd prefer it if you called them ISIS, to reinforce their claim to be an independent nation-state made up of parts of Syria and Iraq. (Let's not give them that satisfaction.)

Daesh might be more interested in stoking anti-Muslim hatred for their own insidious ends than they are our warming planet, but the two are definitely connected.


The chaos in Syria helped lead to the rise of Daesh. And climate change played a big role in creating that chaos.

Image by Stolbovsky/Wikimedia Commons.

You read that right: Our increasing global climate has contributed to the spread of terrorism's climate of fear.

Between 2006 and 2009, a massive drought in the Syrian heartland caused an agricultural collapse. Food prices soared, along with nutrition-related diseases. Before long, 1.5 million Syrians abandoned their farms and headed into the city's urban centers, which were already overcrowded with refugees from Iraq.

That drought, of course, was the direct result of global warming. Our rapidly changing climate is creating unprecedented swings in weather that are getting harder and harder to predict or prepare for.

Photo by CIAT/Flickr.

So what happens when you have tons of hungry, desperate folks all crammed together in close quarters and fending off the freaky weather? Chaos.

And what do power-hungry megalomaniacs love more than exploiting civil unrest to further their goals? (That last part was rhetorical.)



This isn't just some crazy far-fetched fringe belief either.

Bernie Sanders knows it. Martin O'Malley knows it. President Obama knows it. Even Prince Charles knows it. (Also the National Academy of Sciences, but for some reason people aren't always that into listening to scientists when it comes to climate talk.)

Climate change and terrorism are arguably the two largest problems that affect the entire world.

In fact, climate change is a major factor in more than 400,000 deaths per year, compared to an average of 18,000 from terrorism across the globe.

But there's a silver lining in the city of love.

Just two weeks after the terrorist attacks that claimed 130 lives, hundreds of world leaders converged upon Paris for the 21st annual Conference of the Parties (COP21), an international climate convention organized by the United Nations.

The timing is pure coincidence, of course. But people also tend to come together in the wake of tragedies.

This sets up COP21 to be as much about solidarity as it is about renewable energy — which makes a whole lot of sense, given the connection between terrorism and climate change.

The City of Lights is a beacon of hope. Photo by Javier Vieras/Flickr.

Dr. Andrew Steer, president and CEO of the World Research Institute, released a statement, saying:

"Our team of experts will push forward in support of a climate agreement in Paris not only because of the urgency of the issue, but to show our deep solidarity with the people of France. Our hope is that this summit will demonstrate unequivocally that the global community can come together around common solutions. We will pursue a climate agreement that enhances safety for vulnerable communities, increases global prosperity, and protects people and the planet for future generations."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry echoed this, saying, "There is a clear strategy in place, and step by step, I am confident the momentum will pick up. [...] I think that will be an important statement by the world that no one will interrupt the business of the global community — certainly not despicable, cowardly acts of terror."

It's not just political figures behind this sentiment, either. In a recent interview on Boston Public Radio about the attacks, Charlie Sennot of the Ground Truth Project said:

"You have to almost think of this as two narratives: the narrative of ISIS which is about destruction, and violence, and dividing us. And then there's this other narrative about coming together as a world and really trying to focus on this enormous threat to our planet, climate change. I think that latter narrative is much stronger, and has much more ability to pull people together. [...] Climate change is a much larger threat to our planet than terrorism. And climate change, like the war on ISIS, is going to require a global response."

Photo by Le Centre d'Information sur l'Eau/Flickr.

We can't keep looking at these problems in isolation when the world is so interconnected.

Climate change, like terrorism, is a threat to all of us. And it's not something that can be solved on just a local level.

If we're all going to continue living on the same planet, we're going to need to find ways to work together.

The ultimate goal of COP21 is to emerge on Dec. 11 with a legally binding universal agreement to address the climate crisis. So let's unite and demand that our world leaders take action.

Now is the time for solidarity.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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