Watching desperate polar bears searching for ice is truly heartbreaking

Illustration for article titled Watching desperate polar bears searching for ice is truly heartbreaking

This beautiful video shows something terrible: How polar bears now have to swim for incredibly long distanceslooking for ice to hunt their prey without being seen. Many of them drown. Some get back to land and die later, exhausted and starved. All thanks to the collapse of the northern ice sheets.

According to NOAA, NASA, and every single scientist expert in the Arctic, the "sea ice area is now significantly below the level of the 1980s and earlier." As a direct result of the ice shrinking, the population of polar bears has been decreasing for years. The two main reasons are starvation and drowning. Even while they can swim for 100 miles to find new ice hunting grounds, the sheets are becoming farther apart, making swimming dangerous for them. On top of that, there is less prey available and, since there is less ice, polar bears can't use their camouflage to hunt. And it's only getting worse each year.


As a result, polar bears were listed as a threatened species in the United States' Endangered Species Act of May 2008. Biologists are alerting that, given the current weather trends, their survival is doubtful.

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I can understand, sort of, the worldview of some of the wealthy, that, allegedly, we all have the opportunity to thrive if we are willing to "just work hard", and that the safety net for "taker" humans is expensive. But other species can't "bootstrap" themselves out of the shitty hand we've dealt them. I wonder if us poors would commend the 1% if they were to make saving animals a philanthropical race to the top, even as they turn their backs on their fellow human beings. Not watching the sad video, pass.