Tag Archives: National Geographic

President Obama Gets it Right–Protects Arctic Environment

For the last 40 years, I’ve roamed the polar regions of our world. I started as a child, growing up in an Inuit community on Baffin Island, Canada, where I learned from the Inuit people not just to survive in our environment — but to thrive in and love the Arctic for all it had to offer.

Later, as a scientist, I tried using data to make the case for conservation. But it wasn’t until I became a polar photographer for Sea Legacy and National Geographic magazine that I finally found a way to convey the urgency of protecting this fragile ecosystem for the good of all humanity.

Photo by Paul Nicklen

Photo by Paul Nicklen

As a scientist, what I know about the Arctic is terrifying. Currently, it’s warming twice as fast as anywhere else on the planet. As a photographer, I can observe and document these effects first-hand: receding glaciers, struggling wildlife populations, and cities impacted by rising sea levels.

And as the landscape changes, driven by climate change, I am watching the Arctic region become increasingly vulnerable. In particular, we should see the rapid disappearance of sea ice here for what it is: a sign of imminent and catastrophic change. The danger of an oil spill would deliver a fatal blow to this pristine and critically important ecosystem.

This week,  President Obama designated vast portions of the United States’ Arctic Ocean as indefinitely off limits for future oil and gas leasing.

The new withdrawal — which encompasses the entire U.S. Chukchi Sea and the vast majority of the U.S. Beaufort Sea — will provide critical protection for the unique and vibrant Arctic ecosystem, which is home to marine mammals and other vital ecological resources and marine species, and upon which many Alaska Native communities depend. With this action, we’ve now protected nearly 125 million acres in the Arctic from future oil and gas activity since 2015.

Photo by Paul Nicklen

Photo by Paul Nicklen

This action also comes in conjunction with Canada’s announcement that it will freeze offshore oil and gas leasing in its Arctic waters, to be reviewed every five years through a climate and marine science-based assessment.

My career as a scientist, photojournalist, and co-founder of SeaLegacy.org has taught me that merely telling people the ice is melting doesn’t work. Temperatures are rising. Animals are struggling, starving and drowning. Water levels are gradually immersing cities. We can no longer just talk about this. We need to show the world how urgent it is with images and stories and, more importantly, with urgent action.

At this pace the Arctic will be void of ice by 2050. It’s a message that’s hard to hear but easy to understand when you see the damage at the poles of this great Earth. Species whose survival is at serious risk, like the Pacific walrus, polar bear, bowhead whale, fin whale, spectacled eider, and Steller’s eider will benefit from these protections, and so will the communities that rely on the Arctic ecosystem for their way of life.

–Paul Nicklen
Scientist, Wildlife Photojournalist
Nanoose Bay, British Columbia, Canada
This content (partially abridged), is copyright 2016, The White House, all world rights reserved. The Hollywood Sentinel.

President Obama Meets Leonardo DiCaprio Regarding Climate Change

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Earlier this year, President Obama stopped by South by Southwest  to issue a challenge to creative thinkers, innovators, and entrepreneurs across the country.  President Obama stated;

“We are at a moment in history where technology, globalization, our economy are changing so fast.  How can we start coming up with new platforms, new ideas, new approaches across disciplines and across skill sets to solve some of the big problems that we’re facing today?”

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In Austin, he called on creative thinkers and entrepreneurs from across the country to help tackle our toughest challenges, and to answer the above question. On Monday, October 3rd 2016, fans celebrated that spirit of innovation at South by South Lawn, a White House festival of ideas, art, and action.

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At SXSL, many celebrated the inspiring work that many Americans have already accomplished—asking everyone to discover their own way to make a positive difference in our country.

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President Obama joined conversation with Academy Award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio and climate scientist Dr. Katharine Hayhoe about the importance of protecting the one planet we’ve got for future generations.

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Following the conversation, attendees watched the domestic premiere of Leonardo DiCaprio’s new climate documentary film titled “Before the Flood,” presented by National Geographic in a first-of-its-kind film screening on the South Lawn of the White House.

Whether you love him–or hate his policies, one thing you can’t deny about President Obama–he is one cool cat.

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November 8th 2016 is the Final Day to Vote. You can actually Vote NOW. It’s Simple, and Free. Register now at the free links below and Vote in what is certainly one of the most important Presidential Elections of all time in the United States.

REGISTER TO VOTE (California Residents)
http://registertovote.ca.gov/

REGISTER TO VOTE (Rest of the U.S. outside of California) https://www.vote.org/

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This content is copyright, 2016, POTUS, The White House, and Hollywood Sentinel, all world rights reserved.