It is sad to hear of the loss of a young man in the frozen wastes, and also of the loss of one of the world’s deadly predators, a polar bear. Both were out on paths that brought them together in a way that led to two deaths, and some injuries for others.
To go to somewhere like where the Eton party ventured is dangerous, and that is what makes it attractive. Where there is danger someone might die or get hurt, but no-one expects that it will be them. It is always somebody though, and if you are there then it might be you.
It is a shame that the boys and the bear had to meet, but I do hope that this encounter does not stop the opportunities for people to do dangerous things. They are worthwhile doing; risk is what takes us forward as a species, and to eliminate all risk will kill us off as a race sooner rather than later. As individuals we are all going to die anyway, it is just a question of when. Is it better to stay safe and then die as your organs fail through age or disease, or to die having an adventure?
I can’t answer that question for you, but I would much rather go to my end experiencing something than to just rot away.
As for the bear, well that was just out foraging, doing what it had to. It didn’t have a lot of choice, and when aromas drew it to the boy’s camp there was going to be a tragic outcome of some sorts.
In amongst the good stuff talked about preserving our environment there is a lot of twaddle spouted, and one of the things that some rampant wannabee greens lose sight of is that we are only one species on this planet. The other species are just as important as the ozone layer, fossil fuels, emmision levels and climate change. I am fairly outspoken against a lot of elf & safety (see above), but one risk assessment I am supportive of is on the environmental consequences of what we do.
Yes I am in favour of people taking risk and doing dangerous things, but only in terms of personal risk. If you are in a group and agree to take group riskd that is fine, but when it comes to doing things that put other things that have no choice about joining in at risk then no: If you are up a mountain don’t risk an avalanche, if you are in the forest don’t set the place on fire, if you are poking your nose in where there are creatures that might kill you…..
Our environment is now short of one bear and one human and I don’t think that that was necessary.