Heroes

How BP not caring about their environment plan actually helped this environment.

No new oil rigs in Australia's whale nursery. At least, not yet.

How BP not caring about their environment plan actually helped this environment.
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The Wilderness Society

A government regulator has put the kibosh on BP's plans to drill in the Great Australian Bight. At least, for a while that is.

But wait. Back up. What the heck is a bight?

The Great Australian Bight is this huge open bay off the southern coast of Australia. Lots of cliffs around it. Looks like this:


Some of the cliffs are over 60 meters tall. Wouldn't want to fall from that. Image by Takver/Flickr.

The oil giant wanted to put in four new exploratory wells here a little way off the coast. But their plan to protect the Bight against any ecological damage wasn't up to snuff, the government regulator said:

"After a thorough and rigorous assessment, NOPSEMA [the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority] has determined that the environment plan does not yet meet the criteria for acceptance under the environment regulations, and has advised BP of this decision."

You know that sinking feeling you get when you see "environment" and "BP" in the same sentence? Yeah, they had it too.

"After its Gulf of Mexico disaster, you would think BP would be at pains to demonstrate that it is going well above and beyond regulatory requirements to ensure its safety and environmental plans are the new standard of global best practice," said Wilderness Society South Australia director Peter Owen.

BP was, of course, the oil company responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010 that released 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. It was the worst marine oil spill ever, sledgehammering the Gulf's fishing and tourism industry.

The oil mucks up bird's feathers: They can't fly, they can't keep warm, and they can't keep dry after. It's pretty much a death sentence. GIF via Bloomberg Business/YouTube.

“It is very concerning that BP doesn't appear to be taking the potential risks drilling in our pristine oceans presents seriously at all," Owen continued.

Everyone raise their hands if they like non-oil-covered animals!

The Bight is an important sanctuary for many species. Whales live there — humpback whales, blue whales — it's even where many southern right whales come to give birth and raise their young. That's not to mention it's the home of sea lions, fish, seabirds, and countless other species.

How much would you pay to get that kind of view? GIF via Jaimen Hudson/YouTube.

And, oh yeah, humans live there too. For them, the coast brings in $442 million per year in fishing money and $1.2 billion in tourism.

BP may return. But we might be able to stop them.

According to NOPSEMA guidelines, BP now has the chance to edit and resubmit their plans. This is a crucial moment.

The Wilderness Society is calling for more donations to help them keep up their opposition. So far they've done some research and modeling and gathered signatures for a petition, but they've got more work ahead of them.

“It was only five years ago that BP caused one of the worst oil spills in history in the Gulf of Mexico," they said. "We won't let BP do the same to Australia."

Learn more about what you can do to support The Wilderness Society and keep BP out of this important natural sanctuary.

Courtesy of Creative Commons
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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.

Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.

But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:

"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.

"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.

"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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via Seresto

A disturbing joint report by USA Today and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found that tens of thousands of pets have been harmed by Seresto flea and tick collars. Seresto was developed by Bayer and is now sold by Elanco.

Since Seresto flea collars were introduced in 2012, the EPA has received incident reports of at least 1,698 pet deaths linked to the product. Through June 2020, the EPA has received over 75,000 incident reports relating to the collars with over 1,000 involving human harm.

The EPA has known the collars are harming humans and their pets but failed to tell the public about the dangers.

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