I recently read an opinion article on CNN’s website regarding the plight of polar bears due to our ever-warming climate and subsequent melting of polar ice. In the article, the author poses a question that I had never considered. The question centers on the consequences of feeding polar bears by airdropping food to them. To my untrained way of thinking, that sounded like an excellent option. An expensive option, I’m sure; but hey, if it keeps them from starving to death, why not…right? Well, not exactly.
According to an expert cited in the article, polar bears that are given food by humans will most likely become dependent on that food. Thus, resulting in polar bears losing an intrinsic part of what makes them polar bears in the first place. In other words, they would no longer be the same wild polar bears that they have been for thousands of years. Instead, they would become partly wild, partly domesticated. They could become so dependent upon the readily available food supplied by humans, that if, by some miracle, the ice does begin to come back, they may forget how to hunt. The inherent predatory ability to hunt and kill food could actually be lost to them. If that happens, food would have to be airdropped to them indefinitely in order for them to survive. Financially, that would be impossible, and therefore, a temporary solution. If we stop feeding them; and the bears have forgotten how to hunt, the result would be the same as doing nothing. They will starve to death either way. I was absolutely astounded by this realization; and extremely saddened. I was immediately overcome by a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. There has to be a solution…doesn’t there?
The Only Solution
After reading the article, I came to the conclusion that the only real solution to this dilemma is to stop global warming. The plight of the polar bears is just one example of the effect global warming is having on our planet; there are many more if you care to do the research. Global warming must be stopped.
This can only be accomplished if the world population, as a whole, comes together and makes monumental changes. These changes must be made both politically and individually in order to have any impact at all. A few green-minded people aren’t going to get the job done. We all must do our part.
Do I think we’ll do what it takes? Sadly, no, I don’t. In my opinion, there simply aren’t enough people in the world who really understand, or care about, the consequences of global warming. Should we care? Absolutely. Do we care? As a whole, probably not.
The immediate sense of hopelessness and helplessness that overcame me upon first reading the article still lingers within my heart. Unless changes are made, it will remain so forevermore.