TED Conversations

Ashley Chambliss

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man-made iceburgs for the polar bears and the ecosystems relying on their well-being

Everyone is talking about reversing the effects of global warming. While we are figuring out how to 'save the polar bears' how about we actually save some in the mean time? The purpose would be to prevent widespread drownings which are increasing, and also to mimic nature as much as possible so that seals and other micro-organisms would be attracted to these floating 'iceburg' rafts. With all the recycled materials available, this project has the potential to make huge changes and create some sustainability in the arctic. Lets bring our creative compassion to their habitat. These areas could be protected zones and also have built in gps, cameras etc.. Somebody please pass this idea on because it floats!

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Closing Statement from Ashley Chambliss

of course it would be a large undertaking and so many choices and science involved, but it does seem like a no-brainer-consideration; a life raft. i originally imagined the rafts made of recycled plastic. thinking further on that, there's bpa and the long list of toxins we don't want to introduce. that's where the idea gets more difficult for me, but the ideal is still to offer some sort of respite from long swims. an exhausted polar bear would climb onto anything. we caused this, we should create the adaptations to assist wildlife in co-existing in the natural world we treat so poorly.

zoo's are the saddest places off all, it makes sense to reach out to nature to make a difference. if all the zoos with their captive wildlife, were to put their energy into something like this, it might actually create valuable and lasting change for a species and as it connects to all ecosystems.

studying the swim patterns happening now and such, obviously, there could be a focus on 'trouble' areas of long spans with no ice. this could begin somewhat small as an experiment and go from there. if extinction is predicted by 2050 http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/09/070910-polar-bears.html, and drowning and starvation is the cause, well-- that's not acceptable. this is something that we can do something about.

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    A wal

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    Sep 26 2012: That's a very interesting idea. All it would really need to do is be big, white and float. The problem though is that if it was made of real ice it would melt eventually but if not then polar bears are going to get frustrated that they can't smash through it. They'll know the difference straight away. Do you mean continuously making real ice bergs to replace the melting ones? I'm not sure how easy it would be to artificially make ice bergs, and also they'd have to be attached to the main body of ice or they'd just drift away like real ice bergs do, although there's no reason they couldn't have little motors attached. This sounds silly but it could actually work, maybe if they were part fake and part real ice. How would we go about making ice blocks that big though? The last I heard loads of ice came back during that epic winter but I haven't been keeping up. Has it melted already?