Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

Inuit Accuse U.S. Of Destroying Their Way of Life with Global Warming

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Environment/Energy Donate to DU
RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-10-07 10:10 AM
Original message
Inuit Accuse U.S. Of Destroying Their Way of Life with Global Warming
Edited on Sat Feb-10-07 10:14 AM by RestoreGore
I hope this is going to be groundbreaking in setting precedent. Could we see in the future, leaders of governments being sent to the World Court for crimes against humanity for allowing sea levels to rise causing islands to sink, or environmental devastation caused by war, or other preventable environmental catastrophes that cause casualties and the destruction of the way of life for the people who live there? It might just be one way to get progress. I think other developing countries should do the same to see this country and other countries like Australia who didn't sign Kyoto into joining the world community on this crisis and getting into the 21st Century before it is too late.

I heartily applaud Sheila Watt-Cloutier for bringing the plight of the Inuit people and the destruction of the Arctic to the global stage, and she fully deserves the Nobel nomination besides Al Gore as well and to win the prize, because her winning it as well would hopefully bring this truth to those who need to hear it and see it. This again is NOT a political issue but a moral one.

What our behavior is doing to affect the rest of the world is something we must morally address on all levels. I am happy to see this delegation going to Washington DC to hold all of them accountable for their indifference to the plight of other humans who are suffering because of their inaction. Next should be an African delegation, and one after the other coming to DC to hold them all accountable in front of the world for placing their own political agendas over the needs of all of us.

February 9, 2007 by the Independent / UK

Inuit Accuse US of Destroying Their Way of Life with Global Warming
by Andrew Buncombe

A delegation of Inuit is to travel to Washington DC to provide first-hand testimony of how global warming is destroying their way of life and to accuse the Bush administration of undermining their human rights.The delegation, representing Inuit peoples from the US, Canada, Russia and Greenland, will argue that the US's energy policies and its position as the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases is having a devastating effect on their communities. Melting sea ice, rising seas and the impact on the animals they rely on for food threatens their existence.

The Inuit's efforts to force the US to act are part of an unprecedented attempt to link climate change to international human rights laws. They will argue before the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights (ICHR) that the US's behaviour puts it in breach of its obligations. "The impacts of climate change, caused by acts and omissions by the US, violate the Inuit's fundamental human rights protected by the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and other international instruments," the Inuit argued in a letter to the ICHR. "Because Inuit culture is inseparable from the condition of their physical surroundings, the widespread environmental upheaval resulting from climate change violates the Inuit's right to practice and enjoy the benefits of their culture."

Indigenous peoples from the Arctic have long argued that global warming was having a dramatic effect on their environment. In 2002, villagers in the remote Alaskan island community of Shishmaref voted to relocate to the mainland because rising sea levels threatened to overwhelm their community. Data has been gathered to support their claims and scientists have recorded how polar regions are the most vulnerable to climate change. The most recent international Arctic Climate Impact Assessment suggested global warming would see temperatures in the Arctic rise by 4-7C over the next 100 years - about twice the previous average estimated increase.

The delegation to Washington will be led by Sheila Watt-Cloutier, the former chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference who was last week nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Speaking yesterday from Iqaluit in Nunavut, Canada, she said: "For us in the Arctic our entire culture depends on the cold. The problem of climate change is what this is all about. At the same time we will be bringing in lawyers to talk about the link between climate change and human rights." The invitation for the Inuit to give testimony before the ICHR next month comes just days after the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change provided a dire assessment about the threat of climate change. In the Arctic, scientists have estimated that summer sea ice could completely disappear by 2040.

more at the link.
You can read the ACIA here: /
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
oldtimecanuk Donating Member (601 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-10-07 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
1. Well, they better be looking at their own federal Government..
as well. The Canadian Conservative Government is in the same state of denial that Bush Administration is, as far as Global warming is concerned. It behooves me as to why the other parties have not called the Conservatives on this though....

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-10-07 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I hope so as well
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-10-07 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
3. kick
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-10-07 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
4. Mr. Gore Will Also Be In Toronto On February 21...

It would be great if he and Ms. Cloutier could meet.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-10-07 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
5. I just saw the movie, "The Fast Runner," about an Inuit tribe and its
confrontation with an evil spirit in one family, the consequences through several generations, and the ultimate restoration of order and compassion. It was absolutely fascinating watching an almost entirely hunting culture in such intimate depiction--hunting, sledding, building igloos icy brick by icy brick, sleeping and eating together in snug comfort, in the midst of an immense frigid wilderness--and the problems inherent in the utter dependence of the clan on the strength of the hunter.

Utterly amazing seeing how human beings have adapted and survive in that circumstance. Not just any wilderness--a wilderness entirely hostile to human life, which gives nothing--no easy food of any kind--and kills you in an instant, with the slightest misstep. Family and clan and cooperation are everything. Talk about "family values"!

Anyway, somewhere during the movie, I suddenly realized: This way of life may be gone within--not decades, not years, possibly months! We may be only months from losing an entire culture, due to the melting of the arctic ice.

Second thought: A point in Al Gore's movie--that the arctic wilderness is not just the scene of a unique and quickly vanishing way of life, and not just the drowning polar bears' habitat, and not just the setting for "Northern Exposure" and other pioneer lifestyles. The ice itself--as a massive platform of white covering the polar areas--reflects sunlight back into space, and PREVENTS global warming--and with every foot and mile of lost ice, more global warming occurs. We are ALL dependent on this ice staying frozen.

Back when the Exxon-Valdez oil spill occurred, it infuriated me that the negligence of our industrial society had destroyed the local Inuit and non-Inuit--but especially the Inuit--way of life, in subsistence hunting and fishing. Money cannot compensate the loss of wild life. It can only mitigate it--but, ultimately, that mitigation itself destroys the culture. Those who cannot obtain food from the environment become dependent on store-bought imported food, and gas-driven vehicles, and corporate-produced clothing--and ancient skills and ancient languages and ancient arts begin to be lost. It seemed deliberate, and, in a way, it was. Negligence is deliberate--driven by motives of ungodly profit. Disregard for SELF-SUSTAINING cultures--failure to protect them from such impacts--is deliberate--in corporate and fascist policy. The greedy couldn't care less about a self-sustaining culture, and often seek to destroy its self-sustaining features and force all to be dependent on industrial products. It's happening in the Amazon and many other places as well--both the deliberate, brutal extinction of local people and cultures, and the casual evil of negligence, such as with the Exxon-Valdez.

We should have been alerted THEN. And some of us were, truly. But not enough. We let OUR culture slide into Reaganism (horrible assaults on native and other "third world" peoples in Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador--while the rich get richer here), then Clintonism (global free piracy) then Bushism--outright fascist rule.

And now, we are all one family--the whole world--confronting an evil spirit among us--the ungodly greed that seizes the souls of the Corporate Rulers, and either we band together and learn to cooperate and to share, and to expunge this evil spirit from the earth, or we all die. Think of the icy wilderness as space--that vast, cold, endless nothingness, in which this beautiful little ball of life has somehow developed, like a cozy igloo. The hearth must be protected by collective action. There is nothing else. There is nowhere else to go.


Solutions for the U.S.? Lessons that I have gleaned from studying the success of democracy in South America:

1. TRANSPARENT elections.
2. Grass roots organization.
3. Think big.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-10-07 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Well said, thank you so much
Edited on Sat Feb-10-07 12:27 PM by RestoreGore
And yes, the ice in the Arctic is our world's mirror and the shield that regulates our global thermometer, and the more that ice disappears the more the way of life for us and many other species is at risk. It is truly sad how so many show little to no interest for people of this world who live as the Inuits do. Theirs is a culture of true family values and living as one with the Earth. So far from the reality TV, SUV, Big Mac, media sound bite culture we subsist in... And I say subsist, because to me that is not really living. How I long to see that way of life where the Earth in all of its natural splendor is truly cherished and the signs that it is not well taken seriously now on the part of all of us, for we are surely moving our way to a tipping point of our own doing by forgetting our stewardship to her, and that to me is absolutely incomprehensible and something we simply must not allow to continue. Thank you for your well thought out and heartfelt response.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
JohnWxy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-10-07 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
7. recommended.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sat Sep 23rd 2017, 04:33 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Environment/Energy Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC