It’s no secret that the Fives are fans of polar bears. With today being International Polar Bear Day, we are spending lots of time thinking about and discussing the challenges posed by a warming climate. While it may seem strange that the planet is warming when reports of record cold and snowfall in the Northeast U.S. dominate the local headlines, last month was actually the 4th warmest January on record.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of great books to educate children and adults alike about the science of climate change. Ms. Frizzle is second in our hearts only to polar bears, and we found lots of great information in The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. We also enjoyed learning more about polar bears themselves by reading Polar Bears by Gail Gibbons.
While the challenges facing polar bears and the planet are pretty desperate, we also know the importance of finding some way, no matter small, to make a difference. Today could be a great day to support organizations working to protect polar bears, such as WildAid, or those working to limit the impact of climate change, such as 350.org. There is also a Thermostat Challenge today of adjusting your thermostat a few degrees (up or down, depending your climate) and speaking up about a fair price for carbon emissions.
In the end, the fate of the polar bears is tied to our own. While they are certainly not responsible for our warming planet, polar bears are one of the species most likely to pay the price.