Heroes

Environmental anguish getting you down? Bill Nye and Arnold Schwarzenegger have some advice.

'Deniers, quit denying — and we can all get to work and change the world.'

Environmental anguish getting you down? Bill Nye and Arnold Schwarzenegger have some advice.
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The Wilderness Society

Bill Nye is a very sad Science Guy.

Our climate is changing, and the planet is in danger. The science that lends Bill Nye his nickname — the thing he's dedicated his life to — is the only thing that can save us.

Unfortunately, there's a small but incredibly vocal minority who refuse to yield to facts — and whose stubborn resistance has already done massive damage to the planet we call home.


What's a bow-tied educational entertainer to do?


Sad Bill Nye is sad. All GIFs via " National Geographic."

Easy: enlist the aid of Dr. Arnold Schwarzenegger, world-renowned psychologist.

Wait what?!

That's the delightful setup for a recent episode of National Geographic's "Explorer."

If you don't have 45 minutes to watch the whole thing, below are the highlights of how Arnold guides the Science Guy through those famous "five stages of grieving" for our man-made planetary disaster. (But don't worry — there's a happy ending, just like the real fifth stage!)

1. Denial

Ignorance is bliss, so Nye travels to Florida on a quest to learn from the most masterful of those who reject mainstream climate science. How are they able to live such happy lives, blind to the painful, glaring reality of the disastrous future on the near horizon?

Nye speaks with Florida state Rep. Mike Hill, who basically sticks his fingers in his ears and says, "LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU" when Nye presents him with evidence of global warming. Also, did you know that government employees in the state of Florida aren't even allowed to say the words "climate change?"

2. Anger

In Alberta, Canada, big oil companies are physically forcing themselves onto protected land and drilling for tar sands — which are both environmentally hazardous and economically impractical.

Nye joins the frontlines of the fight alongside the activists and protesters who are screaming for a change. Because, hey, if someone came in and permanently ruined your home and then turned around and tried to charge you for it, you'd be pretty pissed, right?

Spoiler alert: Yup, they're pissed. But a few small grassroots efforts can't stand up to the combined might of Big Oil all by themselves.

3. Bargaining

There has to be a middle ground, right? A truce or a sacrifice we can make to appease the carbon-producing corporations and also save the planet at the same time ... right?

Not so much. As the Science Guy finds, every time we try to find a compromise, carbon emissions still come out on top. Unless we make a unilateral change across the board and bring an abrupt end to fossil fuels, we're only delaying the inevitable.

4. Depression

When we're depressed, we sometimes feel like we're drowning, waves of misery crashing all around us until the pressure is too much to fight and we just stop swimming.

For the people who are already dealing with the effects of the changing climate, that's not a metaphor.

In this section, the Science Guy visits South Pacific islands and American coastal towns to see how the rising water levels and chaotic patterns are ravaging the homes of real people. The truth is ... not so pretty.

5. Acceptance

After a heartbreaking conversation with ecologist Guy McPherson, the Science Guy becomes the Whiskey Guy. With so many barriers in the way of a solution, he has no choice but to turn to his old friend Jack Daniels for solace.

But wait! If we truly accept these three important facts, things will actually look up:

  1. Climate change is real.
  2. It's happening now, and it's getting exponentially worse.
  3. And there's a still chance to make it better.

And that science that Bill Nye has dedicated his life to? That's what's going to help us.

"There's enough energy in most places — wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal — to run the whole world. What we need is to DO IT. We need to get started," the Science Guy said.

That's great news! Let's start listening to it!

You can make a difference right now! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to sign this petition to stop risky off-shore oil drilling in Australia — and help shield our planet from catastrophic climate change.

After you're done with that, you can watch the full episode of National Geographic's "Explorer" online — it's well worth* your 45 minutes!

*And not just for Arnold's corny puns.

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Among many notable moments in Joe Biden's presidential inauguration, Amanda Gorman's recitation of her original poem "The Hill We Climb" stood out as a punctuation mark on the day.

It's perhaps fitting that Gorman herself stands out in several ways. The 22-year-old former National Youth Poet Laureate is the youngest poet to compose and deliver an inaugural poem. Like Joe Biden, she struggled with a speech impediment as a child, which makes reciting her poetry in an event broadcast around the globe all the more impressive. But what's most striking in this moment is what she represents—the bright and hopeful future of America.

For four years, we've had an administration focused on reversing progress and taking the country backwards to a mythical era in which the country was better. The slogan "Make America Great Again" has always implied a yearning to return to some kind of ideal past—one which, in reality, didn't exist (unless you're actually into white supremacy). The U.S. was built on high ideals but has always grappled with the advancement of some at the expense of others, with the legacy of racism and sexism ever-present in our politics, and with injustice being inseparable from our imbalance of political power.

Today, though, we marked a distinct shift in that balance of power. We swore in our first female vice president, in addition to our first non-white vice president. And in adding the voice of a young, Black, female poet to artfully contextualize the occasion, we see an emphasis in leaning into that shift. In Amanda Gorman, we see an America looking to the future as we honestly assess our past.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.