| Special to the Canton Repository
The distance from Ohio to the Arctic Circle is around 3,600 miles.
For a lot of us, something taking place 3,600 miles away seems small, it may even seem too small to care about. But the distance we are from something should not stop us from taking action.
The Arctic is in great danger due to the effects of climate change and global warming. The ice is disappearing at an extremely fast pace and if we do not work together as a world to help it now, we may not be able to catch up to the rate at which it is melting.
The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) has found that: “We are losing Arctic sea ice at a rate of almost 13% per decade, and over the past 30 years, the oldest and thickest ice in the Arctic has declined by a stunning 95%.”
This is something that needs to be taken seriously due to the lack of time. The WWF and several other associations have been fighting this issue for quite some time and they have found that the worst is yet to come. That is, if we do not all take action.
Every decade is hotter than the last, even if it is only by a fraction of a degree. This is unnoticed by most, but the effects of it are unbelievably prominent to some and specifically, the species of the Arctic. The polar bear is one of those species.
Our mascot at Jackson Local Schools is listed as vulnerable and struggling to keep their numbers up. The WWF stated: “Because of ongoing and potential loss of their sea ice habitat resulting from climate change (the primary threat to polar bears Arctic-wide) polar bears were listed as a threatened species in the U.S. under the Endangered Species Act in May 2008.”
The polar bear population is predicted to decrease by 30% by 2050. Along with bears, there are hundreds of other animals and plants that call the Arctic home and are also struggling to survive. Such as the arctic fox, ringed seals, beluga whale and Pacific walruses.
Luckily, we are living in a time where helping situations like this is available at our fingertips, even if we are 3,600 miles away. There are a few ways in which you can take action. The first being through donations.
I have created a GoFundMe in which all funds acquired will be going to the World Wildlife Fund to help in its fight to save the Arctic. Specifically adopting polar bears and gathering equipment. Any amount of money will be greatly appreciated. (Donate by typing this exact link into your search browser: https://gofund.me/faab48c5).
Another way to help is through signing petitions. Sadly, parts of the Arctic are being sold for oil drilling and signing petitions will stop this from happening in Arctic refuge areas. (This is a great petition to sign: http://chng.it/vnRcbGkcM5.)
Along with this, hunting polar bears is legal in several locations. Hunting decreases this species’ population by around 900 per year. Speaking up about this awful action, and signing petitions fighting it, is a very fast and simple way to take action. (https://www.change.org/p/the-canadian-government-stop-the-legal-slaughter-of-polar-bears-bytrophy-hunters.)
The last and easiest way to help out is simply spreading the word. Telling your friends and family or sharing this on social media will go a long way. Thank you for taking the time to read and learn about this topic. The polar bears and I appreciate it greatly.
Meghan Dillon is a sophomore at Jackson High School.
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