Still don't think climate change matters? Here's how it's hitting people where it hurts.

Climate change is an issue that impacts all of us. However, despite numerous studies and experts declaring it's really and truly happening, many people still aren't taking the threat seriously.

The reasons people ignore climate change vary — it's inconvenient, not concrete enough for some to understand, or just down right terrifying.

But there's so much work to do and time is of the essence.


Thankfully, on a community level, more businesses and government officials are seeking to reduce our collective carbon footprint by advocating for sustainable practices and moving towards eliminating the use of fossil fuels.

And while it's great that these larger entities are doing their part, it doesn't mean we don't all have a role to play in the fight to save our planet. All life forms are suffering and will continue to suffer the consequences of our apathy towards climate change.  

Perhaps the problem is few folks understand the way that climate change impacts us on the individual level.

Too often we focus on the efforts and perspectives of experts. However, we can’t keep a “leave it to the professionals” mindset if we want to offset these rapidly accelerating effects.

But what if we could see more of ourselves in the issue?

One way to do that is to put a wider spectrum of voices in the spotlight and show the world how climate change in impacting them.

Our Climate Voice is one grassroots organization that hopes to make the consequences of climate change easier to understand while applying an intersectional lens.  

Per its mission statement, OCV seeks to make discussions about climate change less abstract and more inclusive.

"Our mission is to humanize the climate disaster through storytelling, contribute to a shift in the climate change dialogue that puts the voices of those most impacted at the forefront of the conversation, and to connect people with ways to support the community-based climate solution-making work that frontline and vulnerable communities are already doing to combat climate impacts."

For the past three years, they've been sharing people's first-person encounters with climate change to make things more real for the rest of us.

They feature people's stories in a way that we can hear those obstacles in connection with concrete data. They're also giving marginalized people of color a chance to tell their unique stories — and that means a ton.

Stories like Miko Vergun's, a climate activist — also one of 21 youth suing the Trump admin demanding they take climate change seriously. During her interview, she talks about how climate change limits her access to the outdoors, an activity she's enjoyed since childhood, along with the ways climate change and environmental racism have impacted individuals from the Marshall Islands in Micronesia, where she hails.

Climate change hits each one of us in different ways. It's intensified severe weather patterns, threatened food supplies, and swallowed islands whole. It also increases food security and similar obstacles for marginalized and indigenous groups.  

Other stories on OCV like Azaria Mendoza's discuss the way climate change and things like pollution and contaminated water limited their ability to enjoy just being a kid.

Stories like these remind us that climate change isn’t an abstract, apocalyptic tale. It’s here, now, and personal.

If we don’t start listening soon, there will be nothing left to fight for.  

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

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One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

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He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.