These gorgeous wildlife photos were retouched to show the effects of climate change.

On Earth Day we're reminded how precious our planet is and what will happen without meaningful change.

You probably don't spend much time thinking about your computer's screensaver. But what if something so simple could help make a difference for endangered wildlife around the globe?

Graduate student Lauren Race and three creative partners (Carl Jannerfeldt, Beth Kushner, and Nancy Black) retouched some of the most common screensaver images to reflect what they might more accurately look like due to the effects of climate change.


"There had been a discussion about how the current Mac screensaver images almost looked too perfect, too pristine," Race says. "They were beginning to feel obsolete due to climate change."

Images via Earthsaver.

The updated images are a harrowing reminder of what's happening to the planet and everyone who occupies it.

The ensuing project became Earthsaver, which uses the images to raise awareness and funds for the World Wildlife Fund. Those who download the images for their computer are taken to a direct donation page, where they can support the WWF, which is currently raising funds aimed at adding 3,000 new members to its roster of supporters before April 22.

Race and her partners worked with 17 creative retouchers to update each image in a way that accurately reflects how the artist sees the original composition being affected by climate change. Images in the Earthsaver collection include:

A whale and other fish dwarfed by a looming set of plastic drink rings:

A polar bear is replaced with a plastic bag:

Tourists visit the last of the dwindling ice caps:

A mother lion and her cub begin to starve from lack of available food:

Nonetheless, even stark messages can carry a ray of hope.

It can be difficult to look at these images, even knowing they are photo illustrations. However, the impact they show is a real possibility, and may soon become reality if more isn't done to stop the increasing effects of global climate change.

These images are also an opportunity for hope.

Organizations like the WWF are working every day to change the narrative of our wildlife and environment. And we can help that change — even by something as simple as updating the backdrop images on our computers.

"We know that downloading a screensaver that displays extremely depressing nature images drifting across your computer screens every day is a tall order," Race says. "For us, getting a conversation started and donating to the WWF is more important than downloads."

You can view and download all 17 of the Earthsaver images here and donate directly to the WWF here.

President Biden/Twitter, Yamiche Alcindor/Twitter

In a year when the U.S. saw the largest protest movement in history in support of Black lives, when people of color have experienced disproportionate outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic, and when Black voters showed up in droves to flip two Senate seats in Georgia, Joe Biden entered the White House with a mandate to address the issue of racial equity in a meaningful way.

Not that it took any of those things to make racial issues in America real. White supremacy has undergirded laws, policies, and practices throughout our nation's history, and the ongoing impacts of that history are seen and felt widely by various racial and ethnic groups in America in various ways.

Today, President Biden spoke to these issues in straightforward language before signing four executive actions that aim to:

- promote fair housing policies to redress historical racial discrimination in federal housing and lending

- address criminal justice, starting by ending federal contracts with for-profit prisons

- strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with Native American tribes and Alaskan natives

- combat xenophobia against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, which has skyrocketed during the pandemic

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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Gates Foundation

Once upon a time, a scientist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines.

After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything.

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via TikTok

Menstrual taboos are as old as time and found across cultures. They've been used to separate women from men physically — menstrual huts are still a thing — and socially, by creating the perception that a natural bodily function is a sign of weakness.

Even in today's world women are deemed unfit for positions of power because some men actually believe they won't be able to handle stressful situations while mensurating.

"Menstruation is an opening for attack: a mark of shame, a sign of weakness, an argument to keep women out of positions of power,' Colin Schultz writes in Popular Science.

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