Homeless Polar Bears Take to the Streets in D.C. - Global Warming Refugees Have Arrived

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With Arctic sea ice at near record lows, Greenpeace today unveiled a collaborative art project in Washington, D.C. with well-known street artist Mark Jenkins to highlight the shared plight of polar bears and humanity in the face of global warming. And they are a preview of what we can expect as more climate refugees start appearing, as record temperatures, hurricanes, floods and rising sea levels continue to displace people and wildlife.

Street Bear 25The installation dramatizes how global warming is making polar bears homeless by causing the sea ice they rely on to melt, threatening many polar bear populations with extinction. The fourth piece in the series, featuring a homeless bear foraging in a trash can, was deployed Tuesday. It coincided with an announcement by the National Snow and Ice Data Center that Arctic sea ice has reached its second lowest annual extent in recorded history.  The Arctic sea ice has fallen to a low of 1.74 million square miles in September, roughly 860,000 square miles below the long-term average. 

Street Bear 4“That’s an area of polar bear habitat three times the size of Texas lost this summer as a direct result of global warming,” said Carroll Muffett, Deputy Campaigns Director for Greenpeace.   “Our intent with this project was both to communicate in human terms how that global warming is affecting the polar bear and to highlight the very real connection between the polar bear’s fate and our own.”
To date, four sculptures have been deployed throughout the Washington, DC area, in locations chosen to reach a variety of audiences and address different aspects of the global warming crisis.  One bear bore a sign reading “S.O.S.”, a second was accompanied by signs saying “Victim of Oil Addiction” and “Global Warming Refugee.  Help a brother out?”
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This is actually really funny, and it gets a good message across. Good job Greenpeace. Lets hope it has some powerful impact on the people.

Written in September 2008

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  • Posted on Sept. 17, 2008. Listed in:

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