For many people, the idea of a world without polar bears is eerie, but distant, like looking at photos of abandoned buildings. It's troubling, but in a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) sort of way. Except the problem is in your backyard...and in your bedroom.
As an urban dweller, I may finally have something to pin my personal angst on. The funny thing is that I suspected that air pollution may be impacting my mental health, just not in the way that one study suggested...
Current multi-year droughts in the western U.S. and elsewhere force policy leaders to recognize that the challenge is not just for poor people living in faraway places. Challenges of food and water security are here now. Our leaders are awakening to the fact that, even if scientists cannot attribute current drought entirely to human-caused climate change, this is what climate change looks like -- and we don't like that look.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of the Interior swung the door wide open to drilling in the remote waters of the iconic Arctic Ocean when it announced that it was reaffirming controversial Bush-era leases for the Chukchi Sea - a lease sale referred to as Lease Sale 193.
As summer and autumn sea ice diminishes in the Arctic Sea, polar bears spending more time on shore have been spotted eating eggs, hunting down the nesting birds that lay them, hunting other land animals and even chewing on edible plants growing onshore. But is that enough to sustain them in an ice-scarce Arctic? No, says a new study.
Society has a historic choice to make with the Arctic. Should we continue our industrial expansion into one of the last wild areas of the world, further degrading its environment? Or, should we choose to protect and sustain this magnificent place?
My Inuit guide Maurice is not free today but his brother Alan turns up astride the tracked metal beast, and I ensconce myself atop a plastic ice-cooler at the back of a sled behind a little on-board hut-type contraption.
There's a huge thick eiderdown on the sled and I burrow down under it, with only my head emerging, like a curious ninja turtle. But my feet are still freezing, my hands are frozen, my balaclava-ed face is stinging like old buggery, and, yes, my lashes have frozen over again.
I still have enough time in Iqaluit, Nunavut's capital, to recoup for my earlier failure to find Sylvia Grinnell territorial park. I find an office in a shack and enquire. "First right, first left, you can't miss it," I'm told.
For polar bears and for all of us, the world is starting to come together, with peer pressure, a drop in the cost of renewables, and a growing recognition of the need to take action all playing a role.
The Obama administration's recent announcement recommending a wilderness designation for the Arctic Refuge's coastal plain says the administration stands by our nation's legacy of conservation stewardship of important federal lands over short-term economic profits, drilling and destructive development.
As if it isn't bad enough that the Canadian seal hunt is the largest slaughter of marine animals in the world, now Canada is the only country still allowing polar bears to be hunted for their skins and body parts.
The Mad Hatter: "Have I gone mad?" Alice Kingsley: "I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are." ...
A three hour flight due north from Oslo brought us to Longyearbyen, a pocket-sized town on the island of Spitsbergen. Flanked by over-powering, jagged mountains, a curvy, deep fjord was its umbilical cord to the Greenland Sea.
Now, more than ever, we must all show our support for a low-carbon and sustainable future. We must speak up for polar bears, for cheetahs, for countless other species -- and for our children and grandchildren.
The Icelandic sagas speak of the epic journey from Greenland but for centuries nobody could identify the spot where young Leif and his crew set foot in what they called Vinland.