Skip to main content

Iconic Images Offer Pristine View of a Threatened Arctic

A ringed seal is on the lookout for polar bears as it surfaces.

A ringed seal is on the lookout for polar bears as it surfaces.

Paul Nicklen/National Geographic Creative

Every month a new issue arrived. I opened the cover and sat, transfixed, until I closed the last page and added the yellow-spined magazine to my family’s collection. There were words, but really it was the photos that drove the fascination. Every new picture asked me to think about the world and dream about my place in it.

I grew older and became a photojournalist. I developed my own collection. I learned the photographers’ names.  As my collection grew from the magazine to books the photographers created, the wonder created by the photos only became stronger.

When Earthjustice press secretary Betsy Lopez-Wagner told me she wanted to create a photo essay about the Arctic and the threats facing this top-of-the-world wonderland, I went straight to the photo source that had enthralled me since childhood: National Geographic.

If every photographer’s dream is to shoot for National Geographic, then certainly editing Nat Geo pictures must be a close second. In Frozen Treasure: Defending The Arctic, National Geographic images help our audience learn about the thriving and diverse Arctic ecosystem—and the greedy oil companies that threaten it.

As my colleagues and I were scouting an array of amazing images by National Geographic photographers we came across a TED talk by the legendary Paul Nicklen. He has made it his lifelong mission to protect the Arctic with his images, and his passion for this wild place is evident in the talk. We share Nicklen’s love of the Arctic, and it’s an honor to feature his photographs on our website.

Please take a few minutes to check out Frozen Treasure: Defending the Arctic. Share the story with your friends and take action to prevent arctic drilling that threatens the regions' animals, people and landscape. The arctic is a magical place, too special to be run over roughshod by greedy oil companies. If anyone should be exploring the northernmost reaches of our planet, it should be National Geographic photographers. 

Terms of Use

The Earthjustice blog is a forum for public discussion of issues related to Earthjustice’s work. Commenters are asked to stay on topic and avoid content that is defamatory, offensive, abusive or intended to promote commercial interests. Because Earthjustice does not support or endorse candidates for any elective office, comments should refrain from endorsing or opposing candidates for office and political parties, either explicitly or by implication. We reserve the right to remove any comment that violates these terms.