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16 terrifying pics of Spain's growing desert you should show a climate-change denier.

If nothing changes, southern Spain will be a desert by 2100. If you’re headed to the beach in southern Spain, this probably isn’t what you’re envisioning: Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images. In July, this duo was spotted sunbathing at the Entrepenas reservoir in Duron, the second largest reservoir in Spain.And the pics really are worth a thousand words. Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images. The reservoir has shrunken dramatically as water levels drop. Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images. The receding water has given way to cracked, arid soil…   Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images. …and abandoned relics reflecting a region that once revolved around life on the water. Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images. Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images. Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images. Like the reservoir itself, tourism, and the local economy that benefits from it, are drying up too. Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images. Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images. Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images. So, what the heck is going on at the Entrepenas reservoir? Where has all the water gone? Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images. The area’s severe drought and dusty countryside are indicative of a larger force shaping landscapes across southern Spain. Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images. Yep, you guessed it: climate change. Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images. A 2016 study spelled disaster for the lush Mediterranean region due to human activity.By 2100, southern Spain will have transformed into a desert, researchers have found — unless drastic measures are taken, like, now, to slash carbon emissions to curb the worsening effects of global warming. Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images. “The effect of the human is to deforest, to replace with agriculture and so on,” lead author of the study, Joel Guiot of Aix-Marseille University, told The Guardian last year.”You change the vegetation cover, the albedo, the humidity in the soil, and you will emphasize the drought when you do that,” he continued, noting the Medi

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A parenting expert said spanking is like breastfeeding. Science says that's nonsense.

“Good Morning Britain” recently hosted two parenting experts for a fiery debate on the topic of spanking as a form of punishment.One of the experts, Katie Ivens from the Campaign for Real Education, had some pretty strong words about why she believed physical punishment was not only OK but part of a healthy “tactile relationship”:”I’m saying we have a tactile relationship with our children; we hug them, we kiss them, we breastfeed them, and so on,” she explained. GIF via Good Morning Britain/YouTube. Using an example from her own life, in which she described firmly “shaking” her kids to deter them from running into the street, Ivens argued that physical punishment not only works but is good for kids, the same way breastfeeding or hugging them might be.Yikes. Unsurprisingly, Ivens’ advice is not grounded in any sort of scientific facts. (The CRE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)Studies on spanking show it has a negative effect on children.Joan Durrant, a child clinical psychologist and researcher from the University of Manitoba, puts it simply: “The research is really unequivocal at this point.”Though some of the benefits of breastfeeding may be exaggerated, it’s still a healthy, normal, and fruitful way for a mom to bond with her baby, all while providing vital nutrition. Spanking, on the other hand, has never, ever (did we mention ever?) been shown to have a positive outcome for children, according to Durrant.Kids who are spanked are more likely to: show higher levels of aggression, display poorer mental health, have a worse relationship with their parents, perform worse in school, and have slower cognitive development.”Any outcome that has ever been associated is a negative one,” says Durrant. “The only thing [spanking] can do, and unreliably so, is make a child comply in the immediate situation. But the child doesn’t learn anything from that.”If the science is so clear, why does physical punishment remain so prevalent?”Good Morning Britain’s

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A juice company dumped orange peels in a national park. Here's what it looks like now.

In 1997, ecologists Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs approached an orange juice company in Costa Rica with an off-the-wall idea. In exchange for donating a portion of unspoiled, forested land to the Área de Conservación Guanacaste — a nature preserve in the country’s northwest — the park would allow the company to dump its discarded orange peels and pulp, free of charge, in a heavily grazed, largely deforested area nearby. One year later, one thousand trucks poured into the national park, offloading over 12,000 metric tons of sticky, mealy, orange compost onto the worn-out plot. The first deposit of orange peels in 1996. Photo by Dan Janzen. The site was left untouched and largely unexamined for over a decade. A sign was placed to ensure future researchers could locate and study it. 16 years later, Janzen dispatched graduate student Timothy Treuer to look for the site where the food waste was dumped. Treuer initially set out to locate the large placard that marked the plot — and failed.”It’s a huge sign, bright yellow lettering. We should have been able to see it,” Treuer says. After wandering around for half an hour with no luck, he consulted Janzen, who gave him more detailed instructions on how to find the plot.When he returned a week later and confirmed he was in the right place, Treuer was floored. Compared to the adjacent barren former pastureland, the site of the food waste deposit was “like night and day.” The site of the orange peel deposit (R) and adjacent pastureland (L). Photo by Leland Werden. “It was just hard to believe that the only difference between the two areas was a bunch of orange peels. They look like completely different ecosystems,” he explains.The area was so thick with vegetation he still could not find the sign.Treuer and a team of researchers from Princeton University studied the site over the course of the following three years. The results, published in the journal “Restoration Ecology,” highlight just how completely the discarded

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Thrilling penguin news! Chile is killing an iron mine that would harm the waddly birds.

Photo by farenheit75/Flickr. Ah, Chile. While not typically top of mind for the average American, the unassuming coastal strip has quietly become a sort of … yang to our yin. The delicate floral sucking candy to our taste-bud-annihilating chocolate-caramel-peanut butter-sour-red-hot mouth bomb.And, increasingly, they are the #RESIST window sticker to America’s MAGA hat. While the Trump administration rolls back LGBTQ protections, Chile’s president is touting a marriage equality bill. While dozens of U.S. states are trying to regulate out as many Planned Parenthood clinics as the law will allow, Chilean lawmakers recently relaxed the country’s abortion ban, which was one of the world’s strictest (though their new law carves out several exceptions, the procedure is still largely banned in Chile, but still — progress!). Now, the skinny South American nation is once again playing the U.S.’s bizarro world doppelganger — by siding with a bunch of penguins in a dispute with a mining company. Photo by Martin Bernetti/Getty Images. According to an AFP report, Chile recently killed a $2.5-billion iron-mining project to save the health (and, potentially, lives) of thousands of the waddly little birds. The project was slated to be built just south of three islands where over 80% of the world’s Humboldt penguins live and would include a port to ship iron all over the world. A review by 14 agencies found that the plan failed to sufficiently guarantee that the animals would not be affected.”We are not against economic development or projects that are necessary for the country’s growth, but they must offer adequate solutions for the impact they will have,” Environment Minister Marcelo Mena told the AFP. That’s not just the polar opposite of what the U.S. would do. It’s the polar opposite of what the U.S. government actually is doing. Blowing up this mountain in Virginia to get at the coal underneath seems fine. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images. In August, the Interior Departme

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She was told that extreme sports aren't for blind folks. Now she's proving them wrong.

And now she’s helping others do the same thing. Nancy Stevens is an adventurer. She’s biked cross-country, walked the Grand Canyon, and climbed huge mountains. Image via Death to the Stock Photo. Nancy also happens to be blind.”I’m kind of a risk-taker, and I enjoy the challenge of it,” she says. Blind since birth, Nancy has never seen the view from the summit of a mountain she’s climbed or the ocean from a kayak she’s paddled. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t had incredible experiences on each and every one of her adventures. Nancy having a great time kayaking. Image via Nature Valley. For Nancy, being out in nature, hearing the trees blowing in the wind, and feeling the kayak paddle cut through the water fills her with the same joy a sighted person might experience. Image via Death to the Stock Photo. That feeling translates over to the many endurance sports she’s tried.  “It’s fun to try different sports so that when I dream, I have all these experiences, and that’s part of my dreams,” Nancy explains. But she doesn’t just try her hand at sports, she pushes herself to the limit. In 1998, Nancy competed in the Nagano Winter Paralympics in cross-country skiing. She also happens to be the first blind woman to climb the Grand Teton Mountain. When she sets her cap at achieving a new athletic feat, you better believe she’s going to make it happen. Nancy at the summit of the Grand Teton. Image via Nature Valley. Today, she’s using her fearlessness to help other disabled people set out on their own adventures.She works as an outreach coordinator with Oregon Adaptive Sports, which organizes outdoor recreational activities to people with disabilities in order to help them be more active and independent. Nancy hugging an Oregon Adaptive Sports member after a race. Image via Nature Valley. If she can help people who also live with disabilities have unforgettable experiences, they’ll likely gain the confidence to try more exciting things. One memorable example of this

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Chelsea Clinton comes to Barron Trump's defense after conservative criticism.

Come on, folks. It’s not often that the Tucker Carlson-founded Daily Caller criticizes President Trump, but that changed on Monday when the site went after his son. No, not Eric. Not Don Jr., either. The Daily Caller had a bone to pick with Trump’s youngest son, Barron.Of all the things to raise the conservative outlet’s hackles, it wasn’t the president’s coddling of white supremacists, his failure to enact any major pillars of policy, or his snap decision to ban an entire population group from the military — but rather the fact that his 11-year-old son wears T-shirts and shorts on summer vacation. To that, I have to ask: Are we still f-ing doing this? In this photo from June, Barron wears jeans and a T-shirt. You know, like regular kids wear. Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images. The article, “It’s High Time Barron Trump Starts Dressing Like He’s In the White House” by Ford Springer, lambasted the youngest Trump for looking “like he was hopping on Air Force One for a trip to the movie theater” in a photo of the family returning from a recent trip. (The article also refers to President Trump, he of the ill-fitting suits and cartoonishly long ties, as “dapper” — so maybe Springer isn’t the best qualified person to write about fashion? Sigh.)It was just a few months ago that we were all reminded that presidential children are off-limits.When a “Saturday Night Live” writer made an insensitive joke about Barron Trump, the White House responded, news outlets (including the Daily Caller) covered it, and the writer was eventually suspended (again, covered in detail by the Daily Caller, so they definitely know that the whole “criticizing presidents’ kids” is a big no-no, right?). So why would the Daily Caller criticize Barron, and why would they do it now? Maybe it’s for the sake of consistency since they regularly targeted Sasha and Malia Obama? Why are you doing the same thing you slammed others for doing, Daily Caller? Let’s at least agree to leave Barron and futur

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Finally, a white player knelt during an NFL protest — the biggest one so far.

Monday night’s NFL game between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants wasn’t particularly consequential. It’s still the pre-season — the games don’t technically count, new players are just getting their feet wet, and the matches unfold with a fraction of the fanfare we’ll see on display in October. But if you happened to watch the game at FirstEnergy Stadium on Aug. 21, you may have witnessed a big moment in NFL history.The largest NFL national anthem protest to date took place during the game, with nearly a dozen players kneeling in unison.The league’s national anthem protests, which began last year, are focused on drawing attention to the social injustices faced by people of color. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images. Another four athletes showed solidarity with their protesting teammates by standing alongside the huddled group, their hands placed supportingly on the kneeling players’ shoulders.As Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer reported, Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson, Jabrill Peppers, and Christian Kirksey were among the handful of players who participated. But it was tight end Seth DeValve’s participation that’s especially noteworthy.DeValve became the first white NFL player to protest by also kneeling during the national anthem on Monday night. #Browns : An “emerging” SethDevalve ready to step up in our TE room » https://t.co/9W6HhXAgmJ pic.twitter.com/Z8WoDl6DdP pic.twitter.com/DSiSzUboU1— AFC NORTHERNERS (@afcnortherners) June 9, 2017 “We wanted to do something with our platform,” DeValve told reporters after the game.The kneeling players, he explained, chose to pray together instead of stand. #Browns TE Seth DeValve said players wanted to use anthem to “pray for our country.” pic.twitter.com/3twqsbduaq— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) August 22, 2017 The Browns’ protest comes almost exactly one year after Colin Kaepernick first made waves for refusing to stand during the national anthem. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images. Kaepernick, a former quarterba

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Donald Trump's worst nightmare is running for governor of Maryland.

Krishanti Vignarajah is a force to be reckoned with. “I hope Marylanders will agree the best man for the job is a woman,” Krishanti Vignarajah announced, officially declaring her entry into Maryland’s gubernatorial race.”I am running for Governor because I am worried my daughter will not have the same opportunities my parents gave me when they brought our family here when I was a baby girl.”Vignarajah has never held elected office before, but she was policy director for former first lady Michelle Obama and senior adviser to Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. On Aug. 9, she announced that her name would indeed be on the ballot in Maryland’s 2018 election. For Alana’s 1st #IndependenceDay, we took her to @FortMcHenryNPS to see where “that star spangled banner yet wave”… She slept. pic.twitter.com/YYLEyRRV5C— Krish Vignarajah (@KrishForMD) July 4, 2017 Vignarajah, who helped launch Obama’s Let Girls Learn initiative in 2015, wants to bring her passion for improved access to education to the people of Maryland. In her campaign announcement, she lists education, the economy, drug addiction, infrastructure, and the environment among her priorities. Just as important, she says, “We need a new generation of leadership that will make progress at home, while standing up to a White House that threatens the very values that unite and define us.”A woman, an immigrant, and a new mother, Vignarajah embodies both the American Dream and the current president’s worst nightmare.In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Vignarajah discussed her family’s journey (they fled Sri Lanka on the brink of civil war when she was nine months old for the U.S. with $200 in their pockets) and reflected on whether they would even be allowed to enter the country had their trip happened in 2017 instead of 1980.”President Trump, he can demonize immigrants to our country, but the truth for me is there’s a family just like mine out there who applied, and they waited their turn, and they w

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A major university in the South just removed its Confederate statues overnight.

Bravo, Texas. The University of Texas at Austin quietly removed four campus statues honoring the Confederacy on Aug. 21, 2017. University of Texas removes Robert E. Lee, other Confederate statues from campus. https://t.co/rF6cu942UD pic.twitter.com/ioyTurB3cl— TorontoStar (@TorontoStar) August 21, 2017 Monuments of generals Robert E. Lee and Albert Sidney Johnston, as well as Confederate politician John Reagan and Texas’ 20th governor, Stephen Hogg, were hauled off campus overnight, just 10 days before fall classes start, The New York Times reported.Preserving history is important, university president Greg Fenves said in a statement, but the symbolism behind those statues “run counter to the university’s core values.””We do not choose our history,” Fenves said. “But we choose what we honor and celebrate on our campus.” #Confederate statues removed from University of #Texas at #Austin campus https://t.co/xbTs42dB3Z #wftv pic.twitter.com/EGHPPDTCoW— WFTV Eyewitness News (@WFTV) August 21, 2017 The university’s swift decision comes amid a growing movement to remove Confederate monuments from public spaces. Last week in Tampa, Florida, donations poured in to move a Confederate monument from the city’s downtown area. Organizers had 30 days to raise adequate funding to get the job done — they raised it in 24 hours.The day before that, news broke that Baltimore removed all four of its Confederate monuments in a span of hours. The University of Texas followed in the city’s footsteps, taking action in the dead of night. Workers place statues of Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson on trucks in Baltimore. Photo by Alec MacGillis/AFP/Getty Images. The push to remove Confederate monuments follows the deadly protest by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, in reaction to the city’s decision to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee. A believed far-right terrorist allegedly murdered counter-protester Heather Heyer with his car, injuring at least 19 others in t

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The 9 MVPs of this week's horribly bittersweet episode of 'Game of Thrones.'

Welcome to “A Song of Nice and Fire” Upworthy’s weekly series recapping one of the most brutal shows on TV. Since brutality is not really in our wheelhouse, Eric March has taken it upon himself to dig deep, twist and turn, and squint really hard to see if he can find the light of kindness in all the darkness. He may not always succeed, but by gosh if he won’t try his best. Here’s what he found on this week’s “Game of Thrones.”Last week, Jon Snow and the magnificent seven-ish went striding beyond The Wall, into the unknown and certain danger. So. How’d it go? Image by Helen Sloan/HBO. While Team Ice Eagle Justice technically achieved what it set out to achieve — capturing a white walker — in true Thrones style, it failed to do so without racking up some horrifically tragic collateral damage, paving the way for even more horrifically tragic collateral damage to come in next week’s season finale.In such a boondoggle of an episode, it was hard to find MVPs. Still, I have to give credit in the vanishingly few places where credit is due. Here are the MVPs of niceness and kindness from Game of Thrones, season 7, episode 6:1. Tormund Giantsbane, who defended the honor of gingers everywhere Honor. Dignity. Freckles. Image by Helen Sloan/HBO. Though the witty banter of gruff dudes trekking through the snow proved particularly saltily entertaining this expedition, special points to Tormund for characterizing pale, freckled redheads as “kissed by fire.” Representation matters! Even for pasty white people. Tormund earns double points for puncturing The Hound’s self-serious facade for a second and a half, and triple points for giving the entire U.K. a much-needed post-Brexit morale boost. 2. Arya’s bag of faces, for enabling a medieval feminist fantasySometimes when you snoop in your sister’s bedroom, you’re going to find something you wish you hadn’t, whether it’s a M-A-S-H note to your crush or a satchel full of flesh-covered masks. Understandably, Sansa is a little disturbed