Newspaper article The Canadian Press

2018 Needs to Be Year Feds Put Flesh on Bones of Climate Change Framework

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

2018 Needs to Be Year Feds Put Flesh on Bones of Climate Change Framework

Article excerpt

Climate framework rubber to meet road

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OTTAWA - Just as Canada's government prepares to mark the one-year anniversary of its national climate change action plan, comes a heart-wrenching video that could not drive home the consequences of a warming planet any harder.

The video taken by Canadian photographer Paul Nicklen shows an emaciated polar bear in clear distress, struggling to make his way over snow-free ground on Baffin Island in a desperate search for food.

Every step looks like it hurts, at times the bear plunges forward as if he can no longer go on, at others, one of his legs drags behind him. He reaches an abandoned Inuit camp and reaches into a barrel in search of food.

Nicklen, a photographer with National Geographic, posted the video to his Instagram account on Dec. 5, where it was viewed more than one million times in three days.

He says in the post "this is what starvation looks like" and says he expected the bear had just hours to live.

"My entire Sea Legacy team was pushing through their tears and emotions while documenting this dying polar bear," Nicklen wrote. "It's a soul-crushing scene that still haunts me."

He posted it hoping to draw attention to the devastation already resulting from a warming planet.

It is illegal to feed wild polar bears in Canada and even if the team had fed him it would have only put off the inevitable because the bear was at death's door.

Sea Legacy is a British Columbia-based conservation organization which Nicklen accompanied on the Baffin Island trip.

The video was taken a few months ago, at a time of year when polar bears would normally have been able to return to the Arctic sea ice to hunt seals. With ice gone for longer periods in the year, the bears have less time to hunt and more time without food.

It's killing them.

There are about 25,000 bears left and many researchers believe the entire population will be gone within a century. Nicklen urges people to think of all those animals sharing the agonizing death of the bear in the video.

He says everyone needs to consider what they can do slow the rate of climate change. …

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