We should not romanticize the region, talking about seals and bears and melting ice. Hard-headed attention is called for. We should all be concerned about this critical moment in which the future of the Arctic is being discussed.
It's not every day that someone gets an opportunity like going to the North Pole, especially from where I am from: a small island state in the Seychelles. You may ask, why is this guy even going there? The answer is simple: to protect the Earth.
While politics between the two poles are literally polar opposites, campaigning to protect these last frontiers from unbridled exploitation have much in common. The Arctic, like the Antarctic 25 years ago, is at a crossroads.
The message has been broadcast load and clear for some time now and yet, as in any tragedy plot arc worth its salt, we are not heeding. Are there, perhaps, entities watching from afar, entreating, " Wait! Stop! What are you doing?!"
As the ice disappears, polar bears are drowning and starving. Indeed, scientists have documented a wide range of impacts from the polar meltdown, from smaller body sizes to decreasing cub survival rates.
With at least 30 million viewers tuned in to each debate, there was an opportunity for serious discussion of this crisis, or at least a chance for the candidates to argue their differences. Yet, not a word by a candidate, not a single question from a moderator or the town hall audience. Why?