Obama eats bloody salmon, talks climate with Bear Grylls

Bloody salmon cooked over a fire and tea made with glacier ice were on the menu for President Obama during his appearance on NBC’s “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” on Thursday night.

But the president also made time to talk about his climate change policy as he and Grylls hiked along the Exit Glacier and through the Alaskan wilderness during the hour-long show. Obama taped the episode during a trip to the state in September.

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The pair discussed wildlife and the wilderness, and they swapped personal stories about their backgrounds, families and Obama’s life in the White House. 

Grylls also instructed Obama on how to handle an encounter with a bear and he cooked the president a piece of salmon that had been previously gnawed on by an animal (for his part, Obama roasted Grylls a s’more). 

“I’ve seen some of the things that Bear eats, so hopefully he's got something you might see on a plate,” Obama said on the show. “At minimum, it’s got to be something that doesn’t still have its legs and eyes on it.”

Obama and Grylls both ruminated on the effects climate change will have on the world. Obama said he’s made climate change a priority because he wants to help preserve the environment for future generations. 

“I’ve got two daughters, and I don't want grandchildren too soon, but eventually I hope to have some, and I want to make sure this is there for them, not just for us,” he said.

Obama and Grylls filmed the episode when the president visited Alaska on a high-profile trip to discuss climate change’s impact on the state.

The Obama administration heavily publicized his trip so as to further spread the word about climate change. Obama himself got in on the action, posting personal photos to the White House Instagram page and filming a video on the Exit Glacier with a selfie stick. 

The “Running Wild” episode was another aspect of that outreach, and Obama used the show to make his pitch for climate action. 

Standing on the glacier, Grylls and Obama noted how far it has receded in recent years, something they attributed to climate change.

“When you see this glacier it gives you a sense of the magnitude of it, but it also gives you a sense of how far it’s already receded just since my presidency,” Obama said. 

“It underscores once again why it’s so important for us to pay attention to climate change and understand that there’s something we can actually do about it.”