Who knew? February 27th is in fact International Polar Bear day!
A few years ago we shared the following post, which includes some information from Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, where her and her son visit with a polar bear. The information presented – how to talk climate change, nature and wonder with our kids – remains relevant today! Enjoy…(The following post was first published in the ClimateMama blog in February 2016 – we have updated some of the links to bring you the latest information)
As Climate Mamas and Papas, we are hyper sensitive and attuned to the many articles, news items, videos and movies that sound the alarm about our changing climate. As parents, our hopes and fears for our children are tied very closely to these deafening alarm bells. We know that some of our planet’s species are more immediately threatened then others, with the polar bears often the poster “child” for threatened species. Sadly, the facts are in and with each new report on how quickly the Arctic is melting, it becomes clearer and clear that these special bears are loosing their habitat, their food sources and their lives.
So, how can we as parents turn this terrible tragedy – of our own making – into a lesson of hope for our children? I recently had the privilege of meeting an amazing Climate Mama, climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe. Dr. Hayhoe knows first hand how serious our crisis is, yet she is still able to exude hope and calm. Dr. Hayhoe shared a short video with us that she made with Polar Bears International and we wanted to share it with you. We love the magical moment that she and her son experienced with a polar bear cub. Grab the kids in your life, watch this short video with them and have them tell you about their own magical moments that they remember experiencing with and in our natural world too!
We think that Rachel Carson – writer, scientist and environmentalist – said it best: “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” In this special video, Dr. Hayhoe puts these words to life.
Let’s all make and take time from our hectic and frenetic lives today or tomorrow, and go out in nature with our sons and daughters. Make a family plan to explore a park near your home, organize a trip to the beach, to the mountains, or even just to your own backyard. Marvel at the wonders of nature and of all our creatures large and small. Dr. Hayhoe shows us how being in and appreciating nature can help us and our children learn and develop the values needed to consider and act on the impacts of our decisions on all species on this planet, us included.