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By now, millions of people around the world have seen the video: A polar bear, gaunt and weak from starvation, pawing through garbage at an abandoned fishing camp on Baffin Island. The bear seems so exhausted from hunger, it can barely stand. The filmmakers believe the bear was just hours from death.

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Chris Newman used to be a software engineering manager, well-paid, but he worked long hours, ate fast food and went to the doctor a lot.

Eventually, enough was enough. He and his wife moved from the Washington, D.C., area to Charlottesville, Va., to become farmers. Now he is healthier, has fewer stomach problems and can eat dairy products again. He raises pigs, ducks and chickens.

Cemeteries Turn To Swamps As Alaska's Permafrost Melts

Dec 16, 2017

This past September, after Maggie Mary Otto passed away, the village of Kongiganak, Alaska — also known as Kong — celebrated her life with a four-course feast. People filed into the old high school gym and piled their plates with seal stew and walrus meat, while children wrestled by the bleachers. It was crowded. Mrs. Otto was an elder and the de facto marriage counselor in town. She was beloved.

Mrs. Otto's daughter, Betty Phillip, sat in a corner. They put her mother to rest on high ground, she said, but not all of her family in Kong is so lucky.

Dawn and Dana Ceniceros always enjoyed walking visitors through their artsy Ojai, Calif., home in the remote Matilija Canyon. But the couple never expected to tour what was left of it.

Caught in the path of the massive wildfire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties — one of the largest fires in California history — their home is now mostly a pile of rubble and ash. It's one of more than 700 homes destroyed by the blaze that has already consumed more than a quarter of a million acres.

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Earth is facing an extinction crisis – and humans shoulder the blame.

Wildlife poaching and illegal trade. Climate change. Urbanization. Mining. These are some of the myriad things we do that endanger animals and, in the process, damage our own well-being.

Ron Fleming is 74 now, but he's spent most of his life trying to recapture what life felt like when he was 21, fighting in Vietnam.

Fleming was a door gunner in the war, hanging out of a helicopter on a strap with a machine gun in his hands. He fought in the Tet Offensive of 1968, sometimes for 40 hours straight, firing 6,000 rounds a minute. But he never gave much thought to catching a bullet himself.

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