Polar Bears International

Sitting on Top of the World -- Or Just Beneath It Anyway

10/30/2013 4:10:04 PM

Sitting on Top of the World -- Or Just Beneath It Anyway

When I was first approached by Polar Bears International to join them in Canada for a series of web events I thought, "Cool, polar bears."

Well, folks... cool just got a lot cooler. In fact, I'm not sure there's really a word that describes this kind of experience. As I sit with my new mates enjoying a frosty Labatt's while watching the sun escape behind the frozen landscape (as I tap through my trove of polar bear pictures like a giddy school girl), I'm reminded of how few people get this opportunity. It's surreal.

So who are my newest mates, you ask? Well, for one, I'll be sitting side-by-side today on our webcasts with the legendary Steve Amstrup. Never heard of him? Think: Lady Gaga of the polar bear science community. Next up we have Marika Holland. Who, you ask? Think: Mumford and Sons of the sea ice science community - totally cool, and totally underrated. The two other ladies on the trip are of equal repute as Steve and Marika in their respective fields, but due to a word count limit, I'll simply introduce them as Fiona "Shared Value" Wilson, professor extraordinaire of social innovation at the University of New Hampshire, and Holly Fowler, corporate sustainability guru, maven of X-Box snowboard games. Last, but certainly not least, I give a well-deserved shout out to our driver/producer/webmaster, Baby John, better known by his adult name, BJ Kirschhoffer.

As we wade together through the maze of hijinks on Tundra Buggy® One, it's not lost on any of us why we're here. The Arctic (and the planet) are in trouble and we've been brought in to sound the alarms. ClichÌ©d as it may be, there's some serious worry that within the next 50 years, the ever-reliable polar bear community of Churchill, Manitoba will come no more to board the sea ice and hunt for food. And believe me, it's not because of the hospitality, which flows like wine up here. Cold wine, but wine nonetheless. The culprit in the looming extinction of our furry friends, unfortunately, is us. And when I say us, I don't mean just my gang of mates here in the north country, I'm talking indeed about our heavy-footed, life on the gas-pedal, fellow humans. If you're new to the idea of climate change and how the burning of fossil fuels is leading our planet down a path of destruction, stay tuned today for our webcast at 12:00 pm Central Time. If you miss this webcast, check out the entire Tundra Connections schedule for others.

We'd be honored to have you spend some time with us on top of the world... or just beneath it anyway.

A band of scientist has gathered on the tundra around Churchill to talk to you about climate change and polar bears.

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