Regardless of how loud climate change deniers refute science, one cannot win an argument against clear plain facts and photographic proof. Images of starving polar bears have become a tragic symbol for the drastic detrimental effects of climate change.
The Arctic is warming at rates twice as fast as the rest of the world and the sea ice is breaking from within and melting, which then leaves wildlife like polar bears desperately searching for territory and food sources. Paul Nicklen, wildlife photographer and founder of Sea Legacy, recently shared a video of a starving polar bear who had withered away into a slow-moving mound of loose patchy fur and bones. He was a young bear who would naturally be robust and full of energy, but his muscles had atrophied and he barely had the strength to dig his nose into a trash can in an attempt to find a bite of sustenance. It was predicted he died within hours or days of this footage.
In the caption of this video, Nicklen says he was in tears capturing this sight but was unable to do anything but film it for the world to see since feeding polar bears is illegal. He went on with an activist’s message, stating, “When scientists say polar bears will be extinct in the next 100 years, I think of the global population of 25,000 bears dying in this manner. There is no band-aid solution…The simple truth is this — if the Earth continues to warm, we will lose bears and entire polar ecosystems…But there are solutions. We must reduce our carbon footprint, eat the right food, stop cutting down our forests, and begin putting the Earth — our home — first.”
Despite heart-wrenching real-life stories like this one, greedy politicians still want to drill in the Arctic. A petition on Care2 has been set up to provide an outlet for people to contact their Congressional representatives and speak out against these plans for Arctic drilling and propose plans for clean energy instead. In addition to polar bears, other wildlife like arctic foxes, muskoxen, caribou, and 200 migratory bird species are also affected by these devastating effects of climate change, and they cannot wait for us to act — we must speak up and do something NOW.
Please take a moment to sign the petition in support of the Arctic and clean energy. And please remember to share this with your network to further spread awareness and support for this pressing issue that affects the entire planet.
Image Source: paulnicklen/Instagram