No, this story doesn’t explicitly have to do with black people—it’s about a white bear in what is supposed to be a visually white area (Canada’s Baffin Island), but it is blacker than black in its bleakness.
A recently released video shows a polar bear dragging its poor, emaciated carcass across the tundra (I don’t know if it’s actually a tundra) in search of food.
Yes, polar bears are supposed to live on ice, and yes, they’re supposed to be fat off of seal meat and not resemble a dingy white bag of bones. So what gives?
The ice is what gives. The ice that is now gone because of global warming.
On Wednesday, Paul Nicklen uploaded video of the skinny bear that he shot over the summer summer when he was traveling with the Sea Legacy conservation organization. The bear was rifling through garbage cans like a homeless person looking for food.
Nicklen said that he and his team “stood there crying,” and wrote of his helplessness in “documenting this dying polar bear.” Nicklen said that he was even more distraught because it is illegal in Canada to feed wild animals. And so he and his team had to just bear witness to this travesty.
It’s a “soul-crushing scene that still haunts me,” Nicklen wrote in the post. “But I know we need to share both the beautiful and the heartbreaking if we are going to break down the walls of apathy.”
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. 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.
“When scientists say bears are going extinct, I want people to realize what it looks like. Bears are going to starve to death,” Nicklen said to National Geographic. “This is what a starving bear looks like.”
No word on what happened to the bear, but I do know what will happen to all of our black asses if we keep fooling with Mother Nature. And that video? That won’t be the half of it.
And to those who continue to deny climate change in the name of the almighty dollar, the blood on your hands will soon be enough to fill an ocean.
Read more at National Geographic.