Tuesday, November 15, 2011

If Polar Bears Could Talk

As I sat down this morning in Tundra Buggy Lodge over a bowl of oatmeal, I looked out the window and saw a polar bear casually strolling toward the window. She looked at me and I looked at her and the moment our eyes met, I felt as though she was pleading with me to help her. If polar bears could talk, what would they say?

But then I got distracted by movement over her shoulder and I saw another polar bear ambling along in the snow. Then another bear, and another. Within five minutes I counted seven polar bears! Not a bad way to enjoy a bowl of outmeal. I could have sat watching the bears from the comfort of Tundra Buggy Lodge all day, if it weren't for the five connections with the outside world that Buggy One was committed to delivering throughout the day :-)

I sat on a panel that conducted a video conference with a school in North Carolina and had a great time fielding questions from a large group of Grade 3/4 students. My favourite question was "Have you seen any tracks from the 'abdominal snowman'?". Just for the record, no, we have not...

Today's Tundra Connections webcast was focused on "Nanuq: The Great White Bear" and it was great. The many questions that were submitted by teachers and students made for a rich conversation and it was very comforting for me, as the facilitator, to see several familiar names and faces (okay, profile pics...) dropping questions within the Edmodo PBI Community.

I got to sit back and watch the two afternoon webcasts - one with University of Chapel Hill and a webcast on marine biology that attracted over 100 participants and covered some critical issues related to global climate change. There sure is a lot less pressure when you're off camera for these conversations!

Before heading back to Tundra Buggy Lodge at dusk (4:00pm), Buggy One had to connect with The Weather Channel for an interview spot. Kassie Siegel (Centre for Biological Diversity) went on camera to talk about the impact climate change is having on the polar bear population in this region. Cool to see these kinds of things play out before your eyes. There are so many steps that we can all take to educate the general public about the dire reality our planet is currently facing. Loved the parting words from The Weather Channel - "I hope the lake freezes soon" ;-)

With all the activity aboard Buggy One today, we sure didn't have much time for bear watching, so I'll share a few more pics from yesterday.

So, if polar bears could talk, what would they say? Think about it.
But we all know that polar bears can't talk, so we need to speak and act on their behalf.
What will you do or say to help the polar bears?


  1. These photos are AMAZING Andy! I would love to print a few to frame in my classroom. Let me know if you are willing!
    My students are gong now but we are going to read "Winston of Churchill" and your blog posts in the morning, and reply to your post here about what polar bears would say if they could talk.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. That's fantastic, Leslie - thanks for following along!

    As for printing my pictures - please do :-)

    I've licensed all of the images I uploaded to Flickr under Creative Commons, so you're welcome to use them as you wish...

    If you're printing & displaying my images, that would make me very happy!

  3. We are really enjoying these photos, Andy!
    Keep em' coming!

  4. Hello I name is Jada and i am in Mrs.Dent Scrcellos class.
    we have been on your blog all most all day and know polar bears are my new favourite know i think they are so cool and cute.
    Andy if polar bears could talk i think they would say " hey all ways recycle and and we LOVE trees"

  5. If polar bears could talk they would say please stop polluting around the world and stop wasting paper Matt.

  6. I have a few ideas on what if polar bears could talk. One idea is "What an intreating snowhill(buggy 1). and another is "Are you the one who's breaking our habitat?". My question is how long did you stay in the tundra?

    Mrs Dent Scarcello's student Ricky

  7. If polar bears could talk they would say "stop globel warming and recyle reuse and ice is nice"
    or "stop the trash and save more trees" and another one is "keep the ice then we can eat". what are polar bears like in person are they scared of you?


  8. Hi Andy Mckiel I think if polar bears could talk they would say "Turn off lights and TV and play outside to save energy!" and "Do not make oil spills in my water i need to eat seals and fish etc!" also "If you do not take the bus then walk or bike to school" finally "Just let me be when your touring(no bugging me)"! I was wondering how many polar bears to see each day? Thanks bye! -Brooke

  9. if polar bears could talk the would probly say te baby polar bears would say babys would maybe say mommy were is some food im hungry. Where are you going to go next in the world is you could.-Kirstyn

  10. Hello, your pictures are really cool! And cute.
    I think polar bears are really cute. I would love to go on one of those and see one in real life.
    I think that if polar bears could talk they would say this." I am starving here. It's all because, people are pulluting the air by using so much energy".
    I also have a question for you. Is this your full career? How are you liking it? Is it fun?
    A student from Mrs. Dent Scarcello's class

  11. So if polar bears could talk i think theyed ask for help because of global warming. Also theyed ask to stop driving and start walking to school more. Because driving is pullutineing the world.

    By: Zack.B

  12. I think if a polar bear could talk it would want the ice to freeze so that they could hunt seal and fish.And it would want it to never let its cubs go question is your favorite animal a polar bear?

    - Emily

  13. If polar bears could talk I think they would say

    STOP USING TONS OF PAPER AND HELP US!!!!!because people are using WAAAY too many papaer. It's getting kind of dangerous for us too.
    has a polar bear ever woke you up in the morning by banging the tundra buggy?


  14. Hi Andy if polar bears could talk i think they would say...
    ice is nice we love trees ride more bikes save more power save more Bear`s!!

    I think they would say these things because well they dont want to go instinked.

    From Nicks. in ms. dents scarcello`s class

  15. If polar bears can talk what would they say...

    I think they would say ice is nice.

    Please recycle to save the climent.

    Quite smokeing it causes climent change.

    Print less paper.

    Do not cut down trees.

    Why the bears would say these things because they like the cold weather and like the ice so if you do all that stuff it could cause globle worming.
    -Lucas from Mrs.Dents class

  16. If polar bears could talk they would say......

    Where is my ice?
    Please save me and my family by turning the t.v off and lights off when your not in the room.
    (Baby) Mommy, look at the car!
    (Mom) Son that is a buggy... AHHH!!RUN!!
    Ride your bike or walk!
    If you were a polar bear, what would you say?
    - Katie

  17. If polar bears could talk they would say why cant you get that seal mama. Because the ice did not freeze yet cub.They would also say when will the ice melt so we have water.

  18. So if polar bears talk their probably going to ask for help to stop wasting papers, saving enery,watch tv less and turning lights off. Also stop the greenhouse poluttion because cubs are trying to survive.

    by: Maxel Mae

  19. Hello Andy Im in Mrs. Dent Scarcello`s class and I think if polar bears could talk I think they would say...
    Ice is nice, Save the trees, Hey Bob ever heard of recycleing? recycle!, save power and a bear, Please take short showers.
    I think they would say these things because they want to reduse global warming so it would be colder. -Jessica

  20. If polar bears could talk i think they would say where are all those seals. Ithink they would say that because the ice would be breaking.
    Or git off my propirty to another animal. They would say that because the animal would be on it's propirty.

    Nick m.

  21. If a polar cound talk i think that they wound say...
    We need ice befor it is to late.If thery is no ice then we cant hunt seals.
    And i got a question how do polal bears servive in the heat?

  22. If Polar Bears could talk I think they would say "Stop polluting and save our ice" because the heat is rising because of pollution and if the heat is rising the ice is melting and ruining their homes.


  23. Thanks for all of your amazing comments, boys and girls!!!

    To those students who asked me questions, I've answered all of them here in the order that I read them :-)

    Ricky - I'll spending a total of 6 days in Churchill and 5 days on the tundra aboard Buggy One

    Mason - polar bears are cute and look cuddly but they would eat me if they could

    Brooke - I've seen an average of about 12 polar bears each day

    Kirstyn - my next trip will be to Ottawa, which isn't as cold as Churchill

    Madison - I usually work in schools and classrooms with teachers and students in Winnipeg, but this has been an incredible experience

    Emily - I think the polar bear is now my favourite animal after seeing them this way

    Rachel - I have not been woken up at night by a polar bear... my snoring might scare them away ;-)

    Katie - if I were a polar bear, I would say "Do whatever you can to protect me!"

  24. Hi Andy,
    I think that if a polar bears could talk they would say....
    Ice is Nice or Save energy by turning off lights and your TV's. Maybe they might say Use both sides of the paper before taking another one.
    The polar bear is now my favourite animal. Is it your favorite animal? Do you know how many polar bear you have seen in total.(Sorry my question mark is not working)

  25. Hi Ashleigh - it's hard to say for sure how many different polar bears I've seen because a lot of them look similar to each other. Some have scars on their noses that make them easy to recognize. Others have missing ears from fights with other polar bears. Some are really big and some are a little smaller. My guess would be that we're seen close to 20 different polar bears and we've seen some of those polar bears several times each :-)

  26. They would say please save us.They probly think if you gyes have a house than we should to.
    Is there a way you can tell what age they are or do you guess.

  27. If polar bears could talk they would say I need food. And don't pollute beacause it melts the ice.


  28. Hi Kayla - in today's webinar, Dr. Greg Thiemann mentioned that bear's teeth grow much like trees. Every year a new layer grows. So, if a scientist finds a bear that has died and cuts a tooth in half, they can find out exactly how old the bear was by counting the 'rings' inside the tooth...

  29. farrah ,mrs blacker's classNovember 17, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    if polar bears could talk they would say? SAVE our world, we need our food

  30. Hi Mr McKiel
    We are looking forward to you coming to visit us on Thursday. We read all the comments above - these are great ways to help the polar bears. We have some questions - Do polar bears eat fish? Can you tell us all about polar bears? How cold was it in Churchill? Can you bring your pictures of polar bears? Please tell us a bit about what it was like to be there and to work with them.
    Thanks! Room 15 Mrs. Hrom's class

  31. Hi Mrs. Hrom's Class :-)

    I'm looking forward to coming to your school to share some stories and pictures with you on Thursday!

    Yes, polar bears do eat fish. Churchill wasn't as cold as I expected, but it was still colder than Winnipeg has been over the last several days.

    I will share lots of stories with you soon :-)