President Barack Obama is on a three-day trip to Alaska to bring attention to climate change, and his pictures on the White House Instagram account give us a glimpse of the Last Frontier’s stunning natural beauty.
Obama is the first sitting president to visit the Alaskan Arctic. He kicked off his trip Monday with a speech about how global warming is a growing crisis and Alaskans are already feeling its effects.
If this continues, “We will condemn our children to a planet beyond their capacity to repair,” he said in the speech.
Here’s a pic of Alaska’s appropriately named Exit Glacier. The glacier has retreated more than 6,500 feet between 1815 and 1996 – about 43 feet per year, according to the National Park Service. In fact, the amount of water that has melted off Alaska’s glaciers over the past 50 years would fill a billion Olympic-size swimming pools.
The president took a selfie with this sign, one of many near Exit Glacier that show how much it has receded over time.
“The impacts of climate change are real, and the people of Alaska are living with them every day,” he wrote in the caption.
The president snapped a few aerial shots from Marine One near Seward, Alaska:
And one more:
As Mashable points out, Obama is a “#nofilter kind of guy.”
Obama showed off his witty sense of humor in this post with British TV adventurer Bear Grylls, on whose show “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” the president will make an appearance, according to NBC.
There’s even a petition going around begging the president to drink his own urine.
Earlier this year, Obama launched the Every Kid in a Park initiative, which lets every fourth-grader across the country visit our public lands for free during the 2015-16 school year.
Here he is posing with a young girl he met at Kenai Fjords National Park:
Starting today, every 4th grader can now visit our public lands for free. The fact that this young person I met at Kenai Fjords National Park and kids from every background all across the country will get a pass to visit our national parks is cool, but it also speaks to something bigger —we’re connecting kids with our heritage and history. -bo
You can watch the full YouTube video of Obama’s Alaska trip, posted by the White House, below: