The thin ice shimmered underneath his feet. He
cautiously walked toward the open water, one step at a time. The
ice felt more unsteady with each step. Suddenly, a small noise
came from beneath his paws and a large crack was heard all
around. As if in slow motion, the ice cracked beneath him and his
large polar bear body fell in with a splash. Surprised and
scared, he started swimming towards the nearest ice. He struggled
to get on it only to fall back in moments later. After a long
struggle, he finally made his way into the open water and began
swimming farther and farther until he was no longer
His polar bear mate watched all of this helplessly
from a relatively safe spot on the main ice. When he was
completely out of sight, she sat staring into the still water,
Not too many years ago, this never would have
happened. She had never seen this much open water in their arctic
home until just the last few seasons. She and her mate used to
roam for miles without a break in the ice. They would find or
make a small hole in the ice and wait for seals to appear. Seals,
for some reason, would be attracted to the open hole. Those days
are over. With all of the open water now, she sees the seals
coming up where she can't reach them. The seals don't seem to be
interested in the holes. They don't come anymore. The
world has moved on since then…
A few days after her mate left, he still
hadn'treturned. She became increasingly worried. When a few days
became a few weeks, she knew he wouldn't be returning. She had
lost him. She was now left to care and feed their single unborn
In the past, polar bear
families used to be much larger. She herself had 2 other
siblings. For some reason, her and all of her friends had trouble
even having one new cub. Things have changed. The world
has moved on..
It had been weeks since her mates disappearance,
although it was still fresh in her mind. Since that time, her cub
was born. She struggled to feed it and keep it living. It was
painfully thin and nearing death, unless she saved it. She
finally decided that she only had one more option if she would
like to keep her baby living, she needed to go out into the open
water and get a seal, they clearly weren't coming to her.
Holding her frail cub in her mouth, she began
walking toward the open water. She was less than 3 meters from
the water when the ice beneath her heavy feet cracked. Shocked,
she tried walking back to the ice she was on before. However, the
ice breaks and she falls in, still hanging onto her baby. She
continues to attempt to get onto the ice behind her, but soon
finds it impossible, it kept breaking. Suddenly, she notices a
seal across the way. She quickly swims toward it in hopes that it
may save her and her cub's life. Much to her sadness, the seal
quickly swims away causing her to go tearing after it. Before
long it disappears. Sad and upset she begins swimming back. She
doesn't get too far before she finds her body becoming more tired
and slowing down. She swims a meter more before starting to sink
into the dark blue water, still hanging onto her small cub. Her
world goes black.
She knows it's the end and has her last few
Soon she and her baby will be in a better
place with her mate.
And slowly they drift into the light…
The world has moved on.
* * *
"Would you do anything if you knew the polar bears
and the arctic are in danger?" Environmentalist Johnny Smith
asked a class of Grade 8's.
He picked on the one hand that was raised and
wasn't the least bit surprised by the answer,
"No… I wouldn't care" She said, "It's not going to
affect me at all, after all they're just polar bears… It can't be
that bad for them!"
It saddened him each time he did a presentation
and found that many people didn't realize how bad global warming
was. And what's worse- some people didn't even believe it was
"Actually… It will affect all of us" He started,
"And… As polar bears, they are going through a lot"
He looked at a crowd of careless faces.
"Coming out here today, I realize that there's
many people who don't understand to the right extent how bad
global warming is. Today, I'm going to focus on the polar bears
and what's happening to them, but I want you to know, it's not
just the polar bears that are having trouble because of
Some faces turned toward him, anticipating what he
was going to say next.
Sighing, he said, "First of all, because of global
warming the arctic ice is melting, as many of you are probably
aware of. This is causing many problems. First of all… When it
melts many places will be flooded and we won't be able to live in
A few more faces turned up to look at him,
"Although, like I said that's not what I'm really
here to talk to you about. Because of the ice melting, there is
more open water. This is causing a few things. The polar bears
and walking along like usual and the ice is breaking and they
can't get back up. The other thing is polar bears instinctively
dig holes in the ice and wait for their favourite meal, the seal
to come up them looking for oxygen"
"You're probably wondering why they did this,
correct? Well… Seals are mammals and live off oxygen. Because the
artic was covered in ice, they used the small holes to get their
much needed air. Although now that global warming has occurred,
the artic isn't as much ice and has more open water, therefore
they don't need to come up the holes. This is causing polar bears
to become slimmer. Which then causes them to have less babies. Do
you guys understand?"
Everyone in the crowd nodded yes. Johnny
"The lack of food doesn't just cause less babies,
it also makes them have less energy. So for example, if they've
gone out into the open water they may not have enough energy to
swim back and sadly drown"
Sad faces nodded around the room and a hand shot
"Do you have a question?" Johnny asked the
"Yes" She said, it was the same one who answered
the last question, "What can we do?!"
"Lots of things," Johnny said happily, "Can you
think of any?"
Hands shot up from around the room and he picked
many of them,
"Turn the lights off"
"Carpool and use energy efficient cars"
"Lower your thermostat in the winter and higher it
in the summer"
"Energy efficient products"
"You're all correct" Johnny smiled, "But there's
one more, can anyone think of it?"
"Do what I'm doing!" He exclaimed, "Spread the
Smiles from around the room.
"You know, many people think there's nothing we
can do and it's too late to save our planet. but there's lots
that we can do and we need to start it now!
…because the world has not yet moved
The bell rang and the kids were getting restless
but he had just one more question.
"Now… Would you do anything if you knew the polar
bears and the arctic are in danger?"
The same hand was raised, he pointed at her and
was proud of her answer,
By Bailey Thompson
If you would like more information, you can
visit my website www.BaileyThompson.ca, I
have a "Global warming subsite" with information I researched,
also some links to some other informative sites.