Monday, 3 September 2007

Climate change hits Inuit way of life

Climate change is something that we sometimes perceive as abstract and a bit unreal at the moment, in our country at least. We have not really had to experience the devastating effects of global warming on our way of life, yet. For the Inuit people of Canada, Greenland, Alaska and Russia’s far east, climate change is real and it is current. Rising temperatures, melting ice and rising sea levels are affecting entire communities and their traditional way of life. This is not something that they need to worry about in the future, this is their reality now. Sheila Watt-Cloutier, the former president and international chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC) is trying to raise awareness of the effect of global warming to her people. She talks about increasing numbers of hunters falling through the ice. She explains about her neighbour: “He fell through the ice and found him two days or three days later when his legs were frozen…

…It's a remarkable story because he is an experienced hunter yet even he couldn't read the condition of the ice. What you see on the surface of the ice may look like what you've been taught for generations, but the ice is forming differently because the Arctic sink is warmer”

She goes on to say: “In Baffin, yes, the floe edge is much closer than before. In Greenland, the ice sheet is melting much faster than anything that they have ever experienced in the past few years. Alaska has been hit very hard as communities are literally falling into the sea.” This really brings home to me how important it is for us to do everything we can to reduce our own carbon footprint. It is not just about us, and our future, it is about other people around the world and their present. We owe it them.

[Via The Guardian]

1 comment:

Tiff said...

this is actualy amazing
iv used it for my geography research!
good work my friend