One U.S. island people lived on disappeared right into the ocean. Another one is on its way.
True
Natural Resources Defense Council

In 2010, the last remaining house on this Maryland barrier island toppled into the Atlantic Ocean.

A final glimpse before the ocean swallowed up the last remaining vestige of Holland Island. Image by Baldeaglebluff/Flickr.


Holland Island, once located in the Chesapeake Bay, had known this was coming. Rising tides and wind forced the island's residents, once numbering up to 360, to seek drier ground on Maryland's mainland between 1914 and 1922. The house seen in the picture no longer remains in place. It's been enveloped into the surrounding waters, dismantled by a storm in October 2010.

A similar story is in progress with nearby Smith Island right now.

It's not far from where Holland Island once existed, and it's the last remaining inhabited offshore island (inaccessible by car) in Maryland's waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

A report from 2008 forecasts an identical fate — that by the year 2100, the island will be "almost completely under water as the Bay's average level goes up nearly one-foot."

A once-grand home on Smith Island now seems to be waiting for time and the elements to take it. Image by Lee Cannon/Flickr.

That's why the state is trying to buy people out of their land and relocate them to the mainland.

Only a small fraction of Smith Island residents accepted the offer, though. Many of the 276 who remain seem to believe the rising tide predictions are horse-hooey. From a Newsweek interview with resident Tim Marshall:

"'The whole sea-level rise — it's BS,' he says, talking loudly over the boat's motor. 'I've lived here my whole life and haven't seen a difference.'"

But glacial melting is a bona fide fact that says otherwise.

Experts illustrate this expected rise with an image of nearby Deal Island (connected to Maryland's mainland by a bridge):

The red line depicts the approximate level of flooding if a Category 2 hurricane were to hit in the year 2100 (factoring in rising sea level plus the size of waves). Photo via "Rising Sea Level Guidance"/Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Here's the thing: Global warming isn't coming just for these unfortunate residents. They're just on the front end of the timeline. From the Natural Resources Defense Council:

"Scientists at the U.S. Center for Atmospheric Research predict that if the current rate of global warming continues, the Arctic could be ice-free in the summer by 2040."

If the ice caps continue melting at such an increased pace, it could mean the sea levels rising by 10 inches to 23 inches everywhere by the year 2100 (reminder — that's only 85ish years from now). The Gulf Coast, the state of Florida, and the whole Atlantic seaboard would be gone.

What prompts residents to hold fast to these islands in spite of the dire writing on the wall?

The small-town way of life, the remote and peaceful surroundings minimally touched by the modernization happening in the rest of the world, and generations of family ties are all some of the reasons residents might be holding on so tight. It must come down to love, right? Love of their lifestyle and love for the legacy of such a special place.

Smith Island is a 45-minute boat ride from Maryland's mainland shore. Image by Lee Cannon/Wikimedia Commons.

But as Don Henley and Patti Smyth once sang: Baby, sometimes love just ain't enough.

Love won't stop the sea level from rising. Love won't stop time from ravaging Smith Island just the way Holland Island was forced to succumb to the reality of global warming. So residents need to hear the facts, but environmentalists and government folks also need to hear the community perspective, including our calls for them to take action before local situations get this bad. Eventually everyone will leave the island — that's not optional, it's GOING to happen — but in the meantime, an open conversation could be the best way to help get people engaged and planning for their futures.

True

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday are teaming up to find the people who lead with love everyday.

Know someone in your neighborhood who's known for their optimistic attitude, commitment to bettering their community and always leading with love? Tell us about them for the chance to win a $2,000 grant to keep doing good in their community.

Nomination ends November 22, 2020

Acts of kindness and compassion are always inspiring. A veterinarian gave a different spin on the phrase "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

The poor little pup in this video walked into this shelter with a history of being abused. He was so traumatized that he wasn't eating. The vet treating him wasn't sure what to do, so he decided to book a table for two: a the dog's place. It is not clear whether he got an official invite from the canine in question, but he felt pretty safe about showing up unannounced. He walked into the cage and sat down next to the dog. With his back up against the corner of his new (and hopefully temporary) domain, the rescue stared apprehensively at his human guest. The vet presented a dog dish with food and put it in front of the dog. The frightened pup just looked at the dish and made no attempt to eat. Then he broke out another dog dish identical to the one he just gave to his four-legged patient and started eating out of that bowl. And then came the turning point.


Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
Anne Owens and Luke Redito / Wikimedia Commons
True

When Madeline Swegle was a little girl growing up in Burke, VA, she loved watching the Blue Angels zip through the sky. Her family went to see the display every time it was in town, and it was her parents' encouragement to pursue her dreams that led her to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.

Before beginning the intense three-year training required to become a tactical air (TACAIR) pilot, Swegle had never been in an aircraft before; piloting was simply something she was interested in. It turns out she's got a gift for it—and not only is she skilled, she finds the "exhilaration to be unmatched."

"I'm excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet," Swegle said in a statement released by the Navy. "It would've been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it's encouraging to other people."

As Swegle's story shows, representation and equality matter. And the responsibility to advance equality for all people - especially Black Americans facing racism - falls on individuals, organizations, businesses, and governmental leadership. This clear need for equality is why P&G established the Take On Race Fund to fight for justice, advance economic opportunity, enable greater access to education and health care, and make our communities more equitable. The funds raised go directly into organizations like NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, YWCA Stand Against Racism and the United Negro College Fund, helping to level the playing field.

Keep Reading Show less

Do you know that guy who has never had an issue with his TV/internet provider? Neither do I. If you claim you have never had issues with your bill going up without warning, then you are either lying or you own the cable company. Jake Lawson apparently does not own a cable company, and was prepared to communicate his frustrations regarding his bill in a most creative way.

First off, Jake understands what everyone should realize. The customer service representative doesn't own the cable company either, so yelling at someone who is just trying to make a living like all of us is not the answer. Their job is hard enough as it is so give them a break. Jake gave them more than a break. He gave them a song.


Keep Reading Show less