Heroes

We didn't believe it. So we fact-checked it (twice). Now let's talk about how to take it worldwide.

Note: This #UpChat has concluded, but don't worry! You can check out our recap of the discussion below and here.It's happening — what you've all been waiting for ... an #UpChat (on Twitter!) to talk about climate change, leading up to the United Nations 2014 Climate Summit. This is not a drill, y'all. Be there on Monday, Sept. 15 at 11 a.m. Eastern time to talk realities and solutions with us!

We didn't believe it. So we fact-checked it (twice). Now let's talk about how to take it worldwide.
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Unilever and the United Nations

So you might have heard that Upworthy is doing something special for the upcoming United Nations Climate Summit ... like, say, a Twitter chat about climate change.

Talking about climate change can be frustrating. Like, ugh, climate change, right? Sometimes it feels like we're too busy debating people about whether it's real to put any real solutions in place. It's disheartening! Kinda makes you wanna give up, right? Because it certainly makes me want to sometimes.


(Pictured: me, giving up. Because climate change.)

But here's the thing: It doesn't have to be this way. Check this out:

That's right! The German state of Schleswig-Holstein (yes, Germany has states — 16 of them!) is kickin' butt and takin' names when it comes to renewable energy.

The first time I saw this stat, I didn't believe it, so I looked it up.

Then after I did that, I was still unsure, so I had Upworthy's crack team of fact checkers look it up. And here's what they found: This is legit. And that's amazing.

More importantly, these results don't have to be limited to a state in Germany. (No offense to Germany.) This could be every nation in the world working together, contacting their world leaders, and asking for action. So this isn't really all that hopeless after all. We can act together on climate change — and the time is now.

Exciting, right?!

(Pictured: me, being excited. Because OMG, talking about climate change!)

So, where are you going with this exactly?

Um, we're going somewhere amazing — otherwise known as the Internet (you know, the place where you're reading this right now) for an #UpChat!

Sounds great! But what exactly is an #UpChat? What's the deal here?

An #UpChat is just a casual chat on Twitter where we discuss a certain topic. This chat will be about climate change — specifically, what's the deal with climate change, how it's affecting the lives of everyday people across the world, and what steps we can take as a global community to take action. It will be with Upworthy (hi!), the United Nations, and tons of other participants (including you!). Basically, it's going to be really fun and really educational. And what's better than that? (Answer: nothing. #UpChats are the best.)

OK, can you tell me what I can do now?

I love your enthusiasm! The biggest, most crucial part of all this is to have people like YOU — yes, I am talking about YOU — join in and make your voice heard! Here are the three steps to get this educational party started:

  1. Follow @Upworthy on Twitter.
  2. Check out the #UpChat and #Climate2014 hashtags on 9/15 at 11 a.m. Eastern — and join in the conversation!
  3. Check out all the awesome folks joining us, including Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). You can learn more about the UNFCCC in the Newsroom.

BUT I JUST CAN'T WAIT UNTIL THEN. I NEED TO DO SOMETHING NOWWWW.

I know it's hard! I can't wait either. But you and me, pal, we can get through this trying time together. In the meantime, here's some other neat stuff you can check out to get pumped:

...aaaaand that's all, folks! You are now officially prepared for #UpChat! See you on Twitter on Monday, Sept. 15 at 11 a.m. Eastern time!

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Temwa Mzumara knows firsthand what it feels like to watch helplessly as a loved one fights to stay alive. In fact, experiencing that level of fear and vulnerability is what inspired her to become a nurse anesthetist. She wanted to be involved in the process of not only keeping critically ill people alive, but offering them peace in the midst of the unknown.

"I want to, in the minutes before taking the patient into surgery, develop a trusting and therapeutic relationship and help instill hope," said Mzumara. Especially now, with Covid restrictions, loved ones are unable to be at the side of a patient heading to surgery which makes the ability to understand and quiet her patients' fears such an important part of what she does.

Temwa | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Dedicated to making a difference in the lives of her patients, Nurse Mzumara is one of the four nurses featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series by CeraVe® that honors nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to their patients and communities.

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Canva

As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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