When talking about how climate change affects the planet, many people fail to understand the serious consequences that this phenomenon can have, until there is tangible evidence, that cannot be ignored.
There are many to continue saying that Global Warming and Climate change are not real and that most of it is just one massive conspiracy.
However, despite the fact that there are many people who refuse to ‘believe’ in Climate change, the evidence is all around us, and this heartbreaking footage of a starving polar bear, barely walking on iceless land is the ultimate slap.
The series of images were recorded by Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen, National Geographic photographers and founders of the Sea Legacy association.
“It’s a soul-crushing scene that still haunts me, but I know we need to share both the beautiful and the heartbreaking if we are going to break down the walls of apathy. This is what starvation looks like. The muscles atrophy. No energy. It’s a slow, painful death,” said photographer Paul Nicklen.
Speaking to National Geographic, he said: ‘We stood there crying, filming with tears rolling down our cheeks. ‘Of course, that crossed my mind, But it’s not like I walk around with a tranquilizer gun or 400 pounds of seal meat.’
At first glance, it looks like a polar bear in an advanced age that is in the last stage of his life; however, the image of the Polar Bear that the photographers portrayed is evidence of an animal in a serious state of malnutrition.
In one of the videos recorded by Paul Nicklen and shared on the Instagram account of National Geographic, you can see that the polar bear has difficulty walking on the iceless surface, due to the lack of energy which is the result of the lack of food.
According to the Polar Bears International organization, less than 25,000 polar bears remain in the wild.
For example, between 2001 and 2010, a population of the vicinity of the Beaufort Sea, located in Canadian territory, plummeted almost 40 percent, from 1,500 to 900 bears.
Video by @PaulNicklen // My entire @Sea_Legacy team was pushing through their tears and emotions while documenting this dying polar bear. It’s a soul-crushing scene that still haunts me, but I know we need to share both the beautiful and the heartbreaking if we are going to break down the walls of apathy. This is what starvation looks like. The muscles atrophy. They have no energy. It’s a slow, painful death. 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. There was no saving this individual bear. He was not dying of old age. People think that we can put platforms in the ocean or we can feed the odd starving bear. The simple truth is this—if the Earth continues to warm, we will lose bears and entire polar ecosystems. This bear certainly died within hours or days of this moment, 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. Please join us at @sea_legacy as we search for and implement solutions for the oceans and the animals that rely on them—including us humans. Thank you to our angel donors for your love and support and for keeping our team on location. #Followme at @paulnicklen to see more. With @CristinaMittermeier #turningthetide with @Sea_Legacy #bethechange #nature #naturelovers
The diet of polar bears is based mainly on seal meat, and they rely on oceanic ice sheets to hunt seals and other marine mammals; these frozen layers are disappearing alarmingly and the main cause is climate change.
The polar bear was listed as a threatened species in 2008 by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and according to experts, by the year 2050 Polar Bears could go extinct.
If drastic measures are not implemented to contain the planet’s temperature and counteract the advance of climate change, polar bears will probably disappear from a large part of their current range.
In order to save, not only polar bears but other species which face extinction, our society needs to realize that we are all ‘stuck’ on the same ‘island’ floating in space.
Instead of polluting and damaging it, we should look for ways to make it better, and the carbon footprint is where we should start.
“The simple truth is this — if the Earth continues to warm, we will lose bears and entire polar ecosystems. This large male bear was not old, and he certainly died within hours or days of this moment.
‘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,” Nicklen suggested.