Cold Hard Fact 

As the bears go, so go we

Arnold Brower Sr. has lived his entire life in Barrow, Alaska, which had a population of double digits when he was born. Brower remembers digging out a cellar in the permafrost to hold food. "Now I go out there and hunt, but my cellar has water in it. The permafrost is melting," Brower tells an interviewer. "What's really happening?" Brower asks rhetorically, then proclaims, "Maybe the whole world is sick." A lifetime spent subsistence hunting and fishing on the ice gives Brower a depth of knowledge about the world and how it's changing that no lower-48 politician can pretend to argue against. That's the recurring story in Steven Kazlowski's book, The Last Polar Bear. Kazlowski spent eight years in the Arctic photographing and learning about polar bears and the people who live among them, and he learned that their world is shrinking year by year. Coincidentally, that world is ours, regardless of how remote and alien it appears in Kazlowski's gorgeous, evocative photos. Kazlowski comes to the Living World center in the Saint Louis Zoo in Forest Park (314-781-0900 or at 7:30 p.m. tonight to discuss his book, the shrinking north and the endangered polar bear. Admission is free.
Wed., Sept. 24, 2008

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