via USDA

The Dust Bowl was the worst environmental disaster in American history. Throughout the 1930s, severe dust storms ravaged the Great Plains states, claiming thousands of lives and causing over two million people to leave the region.

The devastating storms destroyed farm houses and crops, choked livestock and, at times, blocked out the sun.

Much like the climate crisis we face today, the Dust Bowl was man-made. In the early 1920s, farmers began using new mechanized farming techniques that ripped up the prairie's natural drought-resistant grasses and fertile topsoil.

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Planet

Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado has seen a lot of devastating things in his life, but the state of his family's land in Minas Gerais, Brazil in 1994 likely ranks at the top.

He had just returned from reporting on the genocide in Rwanda which was traumatizing in its own right, but seeing his family's land that has previously been a fecund rainforest stripped of vegetation hit him at his core.

“The land was as sick as I was – everything was destroyed,” Sebastião told The Guardian.

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Heroes

Natasha Rossi believed she had the perfect life.

She had two awesome kids — two and a half-year-old identical twins — and the love and support of her boyfriend, Desi. Life, she thought, could only get better.

All photos via Upworthy/Walgreens.

Then, in January 2019, she was hit with some of the hardest news that anyone can hear.

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feel more like you
True
Walgreens

Hello, human!

1. A tree grows amid a field of flowers. Photo by Guillaume Souvant/AFP/Getty Images.

Yes, you down there. We're talking to you.

2. Stars twinkle in the night sky over the treetops of a forest in Frankfurt. Photo by Patrick Pleul/AFP/Getty Images.

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Heroes