The Courier-Mail

President to run with the Bear in Alaska


ANCHORAGE: Extreme adventurer Bear Grylls will host US President Barack Obama in an episode of Running Wild.

Mr Obama is on a three-day trip to Alaska, including the first visit by a sitting president above the Arctic Circle, which began with a doomsday scenario speech on climate change.

In his opening speech he warned of a future of submerged countries, abandoned cities and floods of refugees if there was not urgent action on climate change.

“On this issue, of all issues, there is such a thing as being too late,” Mr Obama said. “That moment is almost upon us.”

The television appearance was part of Mr Obama’s push to engage the public and to highlight his reformist efforts on everything from same-sex marriage to prison management and climate change.

During his tour of Alaska, Mr Obama planned to hike on a glacier, converse with fishermen and tape the survivalis­t reality TV show.

Even before he departed, Mr Obama made waves as he announced his administra­tion would change the name of North America’s highest peak, Mount McKinley, to Denali, its traditiona­l Athabascan name.

The gesture was a major show of solidarity with the Alaska Arctic’s native people, who have received less attention amid Mr Obama’s recent efforts to improve conditions for Native Americans in the mainland US. But it prompted a backlash from legislator­s in McKinley’s native Ohio.

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