The truly disappointing reason why Shell claims it stopped Arctic drilling
True
Sierra Club

Do you hear that?

Those loud cheers ricocheting throughout the country? That's climate activists screaming in euphoria.


And how can you blame them?

On Sept. 28, 2015, Royal Dutch Shell announced it's halting efforts to drill oil in Arctic waters off the north coast of Alaska.

Just a few months after the U.S. government cleared the way for the company to search for oil in the Chukchi Sea, Shell announced it'd be ending attempts to do so "for the foreseeable future."

"They had a budget of billions, we had a movement of millions," said John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace UK. "For three years we faced them down, and the people won."

Why are they backing out, you ask? Well, according to Shell, it's actually still about putting profits above our environment.

There's been a crazy amount of pushback against Shell for wanting to drill in the Arctic. Many orgs have come together to fight against it and publicize the many reasons why it's a horrible idea.

But sources from the company claim disappointing results from an exploratory well was the reason why it threw in the towel. (The project's projected massive budget and the U.S. government's complex regulations apparently didn't help either.)

So even if the company had been "surprised by the popular opposition it faced," as some say it has been, it didn't own up to it in the slightest.

Instead, Shell said it backed out because it didn't think it'd make enough billions to justify efforts. Hmm.

Photo via iStock.

This is great news (for basically everyone except oil executives). But it also means Shell still doesn't get it.

And that's all the more reason to keep the fight alive.

Although Shell has called it quits (for now), that doesn't mean the Arctic is off-limits. And there are plenty of reasons why it should be.

Take, for instance, the fact that icy conditions and little to no emergency infrastructure up there make an Arctic oil spill nothing shy of a nightmare to clean up.

Or the fact that any drilling of oil only worsens the effects of climate change.

Or the fact that Alaska's Chukchi Sea region is filled with wildlife that could be harmed by crude extraction — including polar bears, who use the area as birthing grounds.

Photo via iStock.

So how can you help keep Big Oil out of the Arctic?

You can fight alongside organizations aiming to do just that, like the Sierra Club. They've been devoted to keeping our earth green since 1892, and stopping Arctic drilling has become a top priority for the nonprofit.

"Wildlife like polar bears, seals and caribou rely on the Arctic's unique climate and pristine landscape for their survival," the group states on its website. "The consequences of an oil spill in this fragile wilderness would be disastrous, and we can't afford it."

Now's not the time to claim victory in our fight against Big Oil. It's the time to buckle down and get the job done for good.

True

This year, we've all experienced a little more stress and anxiety. This is especially true for youth facing homelessness, like Megan and Lionel. Enter Covenant House, an international organization that helps transform and save the lives of more than a million homeless, runaway, and trafficked young people.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is Delivering Smiles this holiday season by donating essential items and fulfilling AmazonSmile Charity Lists for organizations, like Covenant House, that have been impacted this year more than ever. Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a charity of your choice or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

With vaccine rollouts for the novel coronavirus on the horizon, humanity is getting its first ray of hope for a return to normalcy in 2021. That normalcy, however, will depend on enough people's willingness to get the vaccine to achieve some level of herd immunity. While some people are ready to jump in line immediately for the vaccine, others are reticent to get the shots.

Hesitancy runs the gamut from outright anti-vaxxers to people who trust the time-tested vaccines we already have but are unsure about these new ones. Scientists have tried to educate the public about the development of the new mRNA vaccines and why they feel confident in their safety, but getting that information through the noise of hot takes and misinformation is tricky.

To help increase the public's confidence in taking the vaccine, three former presidents have volunteered to get their shots on camera. President George W. Bush initially reached out to Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx to ask how he could help promote a vaccine once it's approved. Presidents Obama and Bill Clinton have both stated that they will take the vaccine if it is approved and will do so publicly if it will help more people feel comfortable taking it. CNN says it has also reached out to President Jimmy Carter to see if he is on board with the idea as well.

A big part of responsible leadership is setting an example. Though these presidents are no longer in the position of power they once held, they are in a position of influence and have offered to use that influence for the greater good.

Keep Reading Show less
True

This year, we've all experienced a little more stress and anxiety. This is especially true for youth facing homelessness, like Megan and Lionel. Enter Covenant House, an international organization that helps transform and save the lives of more than a million homeless, runaway, and trafficked young people.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is Delivering Smiles this holiday season by donating essential items and fulfilling AmazonSmile Charity Lists for organizations, like Covenant House, that have been impacted this year more than ever. Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a charity of your choice or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

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

Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down...in the most delightful way.

There are certain songs from kids' movies that most of us can sing along to, but we often don't know how they originated. Now we have a timely insight into one such song—"A Spoonful of Sugar" from "Mary Poppins."

It's common for parents to try all kinds of tricks to get kids to take medications they don't want to take, but the inspiration for "A Spoonful of Sugar" was much more specific. Jeffrey Sherman, the son and nephew of the Sherman Brothers—the musical duo responsible not just for "Mary Poppins," but a host of Disney films including "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," "The Jungle Book," "The Aristocats," as well as the song "It's a Small World After All"—told the story of how "A Spoonful of Sugar" came about on Facebook.

He wrote:

Keep Reading Show less