These before-and-after photos of rising seas might make you demand climate action.

1. St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy

In Venice, the sea has always been close. After all, this is the city famed for its lovely canals and singing gondoliers paddling locals and tourists about. But after years of rising global temperatures, the water is rising, and engineers are finding it harder and harder to keep their beloved city above it. St. Mark's Square regularly finds itself calf-deep in seawater when high tides and full moons combine. Having floating seawalls and pumping groundwater out of city foundations helps hold back the rise — for now. But the city is sinking and sea levels are rising, and eventually one will prevail.

Here's what this public plaza looked like in 1955:


Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

And here's what it looked like a few weeks ago during Carnival.

Photo by Oliver Morin/Getty Images.

2. Shishmaref, Alaska

This tiny Alaskan village is located on a tiny island about 5 miles off the coast and 100 miles north of Nome. For the past 400 years, generations of Inupiat Eskimos have called it home. But as global temperatures rise and permafrost thaws, storm surges are quickly eroding the coast and undermining the town's homes, water system, and infrastructure.

Sea levels have been rising in Shishmaref for years. Here's what the community looked like in an aerial photo in 1998:

Image via Federal Aviation Administration, Alaskan Region/Wikimedia Commons.

This house once was waterfront. By 2006, the sea had claimed its foundation:


Photo by Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images.

3. The Rockaway Boardwalk in Queens, New York

After superstorm Sandy ripped the boardwalk from its foundations in October 2012, $140 million was invested in repairing it to its former glory. But as global temperatures rise, pumping more moisture into the atmosphere and fueling bigger, stronger storms, it's not a question of if another Sandy will happen but when.

Here's what the boardwalk looked like in August 2012:

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

And this is what was left of it in November 2012 after Superstorm Sandy roared ashore:

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

4. Pacifica, California

Nestled alongside the ocean, Pacifica looks like a dream. But for the people living in the cliffside apartments and homes that dot the coast, it's a slow-moving nightmare. For years, strong storms (which compelling evidence suggests are fueled by man-made climate change) have eroded and undermined its picturesque cliffs, leaving some buildings a few feet from collapsing and others literally hanging in the air.

Here's a cliff-top home overlooking the Pacific just last year:

Image via Google Maps.

And here's a photo of the same home from another angle taken Jan. 27, 2016:

Note the patio hanging over the edge of the cliff. Image by Josh Edelson/Getty Images.

5. Miami Beach, Florida

At the Miami debates, Florida mayors begged presidential debate moderators to ask candidates about their views on climate change. It wasn't an unreasonable request. South Florida — Miami in particular — is viewed by climate scientists as one of the most likely places to disappear as sea levels rise a predicted 6 feet before the end of the century. First to go? Potentially Miami Beach, whose movie-ready boulevards are already flooding ankle deep when high tides and full moons combine.

Here's Miami Beach in 1935:

Photo via Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

And this is what happened in August 2015 when a high tide, a full moon, and rising sea levels combined:

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

6. Grand Lahou, Cote d'Ivoire

The developing world — particularly in Africa's Sahel region—is already hard hit by our changing climate through extreme heat and unending drought. But its coastal regions are threatened, too. In Grand Lahou, a coastal village in Cote d'Ivoire, sea levels have encroached so far inland that they have washed rows of homes away.

Here is Grand Lahou's beachfront in 2007. Notice the tree in the center of the photo behind the house?

Photo by Issouf Sanago/Getty Images.

Here's a photo of that same beach — and same tree — taken just four years later in 2011:

Photo by Issouf Sanago/Getty Images.

It can be jarring to see just how quickly our world is changing from the effects of climate change.

But it's happening. Not 10 years from now. Not during our great grandchildren's generation. But right now in places we know and love. And if we don't get real about dealing with it, it'll only get worse.

Watching climate change transform our world can be paralyzing; it's hard to know what to do to stop a rising tide.

But there are people who can push forward the big changes that need to happen — and it's up to us to make sure they get there. The only thing that's going to drive the change we need is to push the people with power toward action.

And for some of them, the first step is seeing pictures like these that show what climate change might look like when it happens to them.

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When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

via idiehlpare / Flickr and ESPN

An innocent tweet by sports reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques erupted into a great discussion where people tried to describe the indescribable. "There's an unnamed media member in here who has never had a Dr. Pepper and asked what it tastes like," he tweeted.

"I have no idea how to describe it -- how would y'all do it?" he asked.

Marcel Louis-Jacques covers the Miami Dolphins for ESPN and appears on NFL Live, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio, and more.

The question feels like a Zen koan such as "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" or "What do you call the world?"

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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