National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen has recently filmed a video which shows how terrifying global warming really is. The video shows a weak, starving polar bear in a desperate search for food. It’s heart-wrenching, but more than that – it’s a warning of the planet Earth that an entire species may disappear if we don’t make a change.
Nicklen posted the video on his Instagram profile, and it soon went viral. As he writes, the heartbreaking scene made him and his entire team pushing through their tears and emotions while filming:
It’s a soul-crushing scene that still haunts me, but I know we need to share both the beautiful and the heartbreaking if we are going to break down the walls of apathy. This is what starvation looks like. The muscles atrophy. No energy. It’s a slow, painful death.
Nicklen writes that the bear wasn’t old, and sadly points out that it died within hours or days after being filmed. As National Geographic writes, the rise of temperatures and melting of the sea ice causes polar bears to lose access to the main staple of their diet—seals:
Starving, and running out of energy, they are forced to wander into human settlements for any source of food. Feeding polar bears is illegal. Without finding another source of food, this bear likely only had a few more hours to live.
The sad scene made Nicklen and his team cry while filming, and I am crying as I’m writing this. But there’s no point in crying and doing nothing else. No matter how heartbreaking this scene is, I believe it had to be shared. Maybe it can help us realize how devastating climate changes really are, and get us to make a change. As Nicklen points out, the solutions exist: “We must reduce our carbon footprint, eat the right food, stop cutting down our forests, and begin putting the Earth—our home—first.”