The Festivus for the Ursus

My blog post ended up being pretty big today! I separated websites by category if you don’t want to go through all three!

Festive: In case you didn’t know, Happy Polar Bear Day! Since today is International Polar Bear Day, I’m going to stick with the theme and write about polar bears (AKA Ursus maritimus). Polar Bears International (PBI) is celebrating this holiday by reminding people about climate change and trying to improve public awareness about environmental issues, especially pertaining to polar bears. PBI is encouraging the public to take the “Thermostat Challenge,” which entails lowering/raising (depending on where you live) your thermostat a few degrees to decrease carbon emissions. This will help save sea-ice, which is required for polar bear survival. The PBI website is very informative about polar bear issues and has some interesting fun facts if you want to check it out a little more in-depth. It’s probably too late to do the challenge today, but nothing says you can’t try it tomorrow!

Polar Bear

Polar Bear (Photo credit: Carol Moshier)

Fun: I also found a cool article about a specific polar bear: Boris the Polar Bear Gets Root Canal Treatment in U.S. After Being Rescued From Mexican Circus. Boris is a 27 year old polar bear that was born in Germany and ended up in a traveling Mexican circus. He was rescued in 2002 by U.S. animal welfare officials and currently lives in the Port Defiance Zoo. It took a team of 12 people to safely sedate and transport the 922lb (weight is according to another website) bear. Boris underwent a four-hour exam including a root canal, claw trimming, and an eye surgery. This article isn’t really an article, it’s mainly really neat pictures. It’s incredible to see how huge a polar bear is next to regular people.

Fail: And last but not least, a super short article from the Center for Biological Diversity about polar bears and governmental regulations: Obama Administration Finalizes Polar Bear Extinction Plan. The article talks about how, despite the continued public support for the environment that the president boasts, the Obama administration passed a new regulation (modeled on previous Bush-administration plans) that excludes activities not directly relating to a polar bears habitat from regulation. In other words, it removed regulations on carbon emission from coal plants. This is ridiculous because “polar bears were the first species added to the endangered and threatened species list solely because of threats from global warming.” Carbon emission is inextricably linked to polar bear conservation. Obviously even though coal plants are not directly in the polar bear habitat, they have a significantly negative impact on the bears because of their contribution to the melting sea-ice. The National Snow and Ice Data Center stated that Arctic sea-ice last year hit a new record low. The article shows it is vital that polar bears be protected from greenhouse gases under the Endangered Species Act and that the president needs to stop being bi-polar.

Polar Bears. Wiki Commons: Mbz1

Polar Bears. Wiki Commons: Mbz1

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