The Last Polar Bear

That damn global warming: First it made the weather wacky. Now it’s melted enough Arctic ice to threaten polar bears with extinction. And while the Lords of the Arctic have a reputation for being stealthy, ruthless killers, the exhibit “The Last Polar Bear: Facing the Truth of a Warming World” (through Dec. 31) evokes sympathy for their plight. Photos from Steven Kazlowski’s recent book (of the same title) are well accompanied by video and audio by half-frozen filmmaker Arthur C. Smith III, and museum placards accompany each display. But contrary to standard museum fare, this exhibit is geared to send thought-provoking chills down your spine. There are tips and exhortations to reduce everyday greenhouse-gas emissions. The exhibit’s cautionary-educational component stops just short of having its own Smokey Bear sagely advising, “Only you can stop global warming.” Even if Dick Cheney isn’t likely to visit the Burke—where he’d no doubt try to rewrite all those warnings—Kazlowski and his adorably furry friends are only asking for some ice. Burke Museum, UW campus, 543-5590, www.burkemuseum.org. $5–$8. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. JOSHUA LYNCH

July 20-Dec. 31, 10 a.m., 2008

 
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