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Bear Grylls prays with Barack Obama before recording TV adventure in Alaska

by Desmond Busteed

President Obama was on a three-day trip in Alaska highlighting the effects climate change. 

The president is counting on Alaska's exquisite but deteriorating landscape to elicit a sense of urgency for his call to action on climate change.

The prayer is a verse from 1 Corinthians 13:7, in which Paul celebrates the centrality of love in the Christian faith.

"President Obama will become the first US president to receive a crash course in survival techniques from Bear Grylls. The visit will be taped and aired on NBC later this year," said an NBC statement before the recording.

In the adventure TV series Grylls takes celebrities on a two-day trip in the wilderness, with Zac Efron, Ben Stiller and are Kate Winslet taking part in stunts which have included Grylls drinking his own urine and disembowelling a dead camel before climbing into its carcass.

However, it seems unlikely the White House will have approved such activities for the president during the show.

Press secretary Josh Earnest said: "I will not deny your suspicion that there may have been some suggestions put forward by the Bear Grylls team that were not approved by the Secret Service."

The President also took to social media by posting a selfie with the British survivalist Scout leader to the White House Instagram account.

"Glad this is the only Bear I met in the park - bo," wrote Obama.

Mr Obama's trip was more about visuals than words, and the White House has put a particular emphasis on trying to get the message across to audiences who do not follow the news through traditional means.

His itinerary included the first presidential visit to the Alaska Arctic, which comes amid concerns that the US has ceded influence to Russia in strategic Arctic waters.

Melting sea ice has been making way for shipping routes that never existed before, but the US only has two working icebreakers, compared to the 40 in Russia's fleet - with another 11 on the way.

Although Mr Obama's trip has not entailed new policy prescriptions or federal efforts to slow global warming, he has said the US is doing its part by pledging to cut carbon dioxide emissions up to 28% over the next decade.

He set that target as America's commitment to a pending global climate treaty that the president hopes will define his environmental legacy.

Despite his efforts, the US is not a shining example when it comes to greenhouse gases.

Each American emits more than twice as much carbon dioxide as a Chinese person and 10 times that of someone from India, energy department figures show. China, the US and India are the world's top three polluters.

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