Polar Bears on Thin Ice

Skating on thin ice.  That could be the story line for polar bears this past summer in the Norwegian Arctic.  When I was up there in the waters around Svalbard, Norway it seemed as if the ice was disappearing faster than in previous years.  Without ice the polar bears, don’t have a platform from which to hunt seals, the main source of fat rich food.

We did get lucky and see a good number of these, “ice bears”, from the deck of our ship, Lindblad Expedition’s National Geographic Explorer.  Part of the reason for our good fortune may have been due to bad news for the bears in that there were more open seas and less ice on which they could roam or hide out.  Sometimes we would spot the bears off in the distance and slowly move the ship towards them, and other times the bears would spot us and come in for a closer look.

Lindblad naturalist Steve MacLean talked with me for my radio show National Geographic Weekend about some of the problems facing polar bears and other arctic creatures due to a warming planet.  Here’s part of that interview as well as video of some of the polar bear action we got to enjoy.

John Sununu Frequent Flyer

When John Sununu appeared on the front pages this week as a political spokesperson offering to define what constitutes an honest, effective, real American leader, I was reminded of a time a few years ago when Sununu was also in the headlines, with a political lesson for all of us.

Back then Sununu was using his position as Chief of Staff for the first Pres. Bush to book military planes for personal travel including ski vacations and a trip to his dentist.  The flights were considerably more expensive than had he flown commercial, even on a first class ticket.  His initial response was, I’m a busy important guy and deserve special rules.  The public and the President thought otherwise and Sununu was asked for his resignation.

At the time I got some friends of mine known as the Fiasco Brothers to put the whole episode into a musical number called “Travelin’ John Sununu”.  This seems like the perfect opportunity to replay that blast from the past.