Why I'm loving that John Kerry and Leonardo DiCaprio hung out in Paris together.
True
League of Conservation Voters

I am all about the budding bromance between Leonardo DiCaprio and Secretary of State John Kerry.

The unlikely (but awesome) duo met in Paris this week to chat about ... well, the future of humanity.

Climate change, that is.


How much do you want to be one of those glasses of water right now?

Kerry shared the photo on Twitter after the two of them met up at COP21 to further combat global carbon emissions.

If you haven't heard, world leaders are gathered in France this very moment at the UN's climate summit, COP21, trying to solidify a global game plan to halt global warming.

And seriously, it's truly a global affair. With officials from more than 150 countries agreeing to take part, COP21 is the largest gathering of heads of state ever.


Seeing as the conference is still in its final stages of negotiations on a global climate deal, it's too soon to know how effective the summit will be. But judging from the ambitious goals put forth and the encouraging cooperation among the world's largest carbon emitters, it's easy to see why environmentalists are hopeful COP21 will be a turning point.

DiCaprio and Kerry must be feeling good about the progress taking place in Paris, too.

Because just days ago, the A-list activist — who is also a UN Messenger of Peace for the climaterallied about 1,000 mayors to commit to transitioning their communities to be entirely powered by renewable energy in the coming decades, including an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.


Major cities from around the world — such as Vancouver, Sydney, and Copenhagen — as well as in the U.S. — like San Diego and Las Vegas — are jumping on board.

"To all the mayors and governors in this room today, I implore you to join with your peers to commit to moving to no less than 100% renewable energy as soon as possible," DiCaprio told leaders. "Do not wait another day.”

Kerry hasn't pulled any punches when it comes to the talks in Paris, either. He's in favor of a "legally binding transparency system" to hold participants accountable after deals are reached, and he has boldly called out climate-change doubters for blocking progress.

“I know there are still a few who insist that climate change is one big hoax, even a political conspiracy. These people are so out of touch with science that they believe rising sea levels don’t matter, because in their view the extra water is going to just spill over the sides of a flat earth. They’re wrong, obviously.

For those who may still question the 97% of peer-reviewed studies on climate change, let me just underscore: You don’t need to be a scientist to know that the earth is round, that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and that gravity is the reason that objects fall to the ground.”

— John Kerry, to The New York Times



We don't know exactly what Kerry and DiCaprio chatted about in Paris yet (again, what I'd give to be one of those glasses of water)...

But I imagine the conversation topic would have put a smile on the face of anyone even a tad bit concerned about the future of our planet — and humanity.

If that's you, you can do something this very second to support a renewable energy future. Sign this petition by the League of Conservation Voters to throw your weight behind the EPA's Clean Power Plan. (If not for the sake of humanity, because you know it'd make DiCaprio proud.)

True

Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

Keep Reading Show less
True


Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.