What Causes Us to Take Action?

This last weekend, I rented Arctic Tale, a film produced by National Geographic, because I was in the mood for something fun and light (and I couldn’t resist the picture of the adorable polar bear cub on the front). Little did I know I was in for a depressing ride. In fact, I don’t think I’ve cried that hard in a long time.

In general, I have trouble watching nature films because I always feel bad for the innocent victims of the food chain, but this was different. All of the animals in the arctic share a commonality-they are all victims of climate change.

Watching a bear cub freeze to death because of an unordinary blizzard (caused by climate change) is the first time I lost it. Watching a momma bear break away from her cub at a very early age because she could no longer provide for them both (their hunting season was reduced by three months due to anthropogenic climate change and rising temperatures), did not help my mood. Watching a beautiful, strong polar bear swim through the open ocean trying to get to a rock island to find food to survive, and then practically drown was heartbreaking. Watching an entire herd of two-ton-each walruses almost drown together while swimming for weeks through the open ocean to get to a rock island to find reprieve from the cold water that threatens to freeze them to death was devastating.

This movie was not an uplifting film, but a reminder of the importance of why we must change our lifestyles. It is a reminder every time we leave a room to turn off a light; it is a reminder every time we do our wash to use cold water and save energy; it is a reminder every time we have an opportunity to change an incandescent light bulb to replace it with a compact fluorescent. Even if we have already made many lifestyle changes, it is stories like this that can inspire us and push us further to make a difference and change our lifestyle even more.

I highly recommend Arctic Tale to gather insight into what life is like in the Arctic, and how our actions and consumptive lifestyles are changing the climate and impacting the beautiful lives that exist there. These animals rely on age old wisdom and instinct, and are unable to adapt to the ever-changing climate. The movie is causing me to once again reevaluate my lifestyle, and take even greater action.