Polar bears may not be a common sight on the streets of London, but a new video from Greenpeace aims to raise awareness of the plight of the Arctic and its inhabitants. The clip, featuring music from Radiohead and a voiceover by actor Jude Law, encourages individuals to join Greenpeace's campaign to "Save the Arctic" and help polar bears before they become homeless.
The World Wildlife Fund explains that "Climate change, which leads to the loss of Arctic sea ice, is the leading threat to polar bears." Although polar bears aren't presently listed as endangered, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species currently lists the animals as "vulnerable." The listing is based on "a suspected population reduction" of over 30 percent "within three generations (45 years) due to decline in area of occupancy (AOO), extent of occurrence (EOO) and habitat quality."
Reports have suggested that polar bear cannibalism could be on the rise due to climate change, as photos emerged last year of a polar bear eating a cub in the Arctic. The photographer wrote in the journal Arctic, "As the climate continues to warm in the Arctic and the sea ice melts earlier in the summer, the frequency of such intraspecific predation may increase."
Recent data has shown that minimum Arctic sea ice levels could approach record lows this season.
Radiohead's lead singer, Thom Yorke, said in a statement, "We have to stop the oil giants pushing into the Arctic. An oil spill in the Arctic would devastate this region of breathtaking beauty, while burning that oil will only add to the biggest problem we all face, climate change. That's why I'm backing this campaign."
Controversy surrounding the future of the Arctic region and its resources is heating up, as Shell is preparing to send vessels to northern Alaska for exploratory offshore drilling this summer.
Along with Jude Law and Radiohead, other celebrities have joined Greenpeace to advocate for Arctic protection and conservation. Actor Ed Norton spoke at the recently-concluded U.N. Rio+20 summit in Brazil, saying, "You can't protect something that people don't value. So we have to work to make sure that people value biodiversity and see how it has value in their own lives."
Learn more about Greenpeace's Save the Arctic campaign here.