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Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa


 

Arctic Sea Ice Day takes place on 15th July

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There’s a lot of talk about sea ice melting at the moment, and charity Polar Bears International have created Arctic Sea Ice Day to call attention to the sea ice loss in the Arctic.

Arctic Sea Ice Day is on 15th July, because the breakup on Western Hudson Bay has historically been in mid-July.  These days, the break-up is 3 weeks earlier on average than it was in the 1980s.

Polar Bears International say that key to getting our climate back to working the way it should – and to give polar bears a future – is to move away from using fossil fuels for energy altogether. We need to shift to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. This will help reduce the carbon emissions which are warming up the planet and melting sea ice.  It will also create jobs – and improve the environment and our health.

This shift to renewable energy is making progress.  Polar Bears International say solar and wind power cost less than coal now.  Over 9.8 million people around the world work in the renewable energy industry.  In the US for instance, jobs in wind and solar outnumber fossil fuel jobs 5 to 1.

Crucially, the future generations of polar bears, all Arctic animals in fact, and people depend on the actions we all take today.  Using less energy produced by fossil fuels will reduce our carbon emissions and can slow or even stop global warming and improve our climate. 

Ways to help

1. Learn more about your local and regional renewable energy options and programs.  Find out what’s available with solar and wind.  Use solar chargers where you can.  Look for local programmes which reduce emissions.
2. Support a state/province/country-wide renewable energy program.
Vote for politicians who commit to investing in programmes which make renewable energy affordable and accessible. Show your support for carbon pricing plans – a highly effective path to a renewable energy future. You can start by calling, writing a letter, or reaching out on social media.
3. Share facts about Arctic sea ice.
Read (and share) Polar Bear International’s post "9 Facts About Arctic Sea Ice." You'll learn surprising facts about sea ice, including the role it plays in our global climate.
4. Learn from experts.
Join Polar Bears International for live chats on our Facebook page as part of our Arctic Sea Ice Day celebration.

Without sea ice, polar bears will decline in range and numbers.  They will be more vulnerable to extinction. 

But sea ice doesn’t just help polar bears.  It is our global air conditioner, and helps cool the earth.

We need to preserve the conditions which have allowed people to flourish.

The other thing I think we all need to do is simply switch off more often.   In the old days, people didn’t have items which used up electricity and power supplies. They didn’t use heating in the same way we do now.  We all need to look at our habits and see what we can do to change them.  

 

 

 

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