Heart the People of the Arctic
First off, this post is a day late. It just happens sometimes. A weeks worth of posts was a lot of work. Some things didn't get scheduled. But the good news is that means an extra post tomorrow for the Official International Polar Bear Day!
If you haven't seen the documentary This Changes Everything you should go watch it (it's available on itunes, Google Play and Amazon). It's based on Naomi Kleins book of the same name (which I'm slowly getting through...) and it although it's about climate change, it's not about Polar Bears or melting glaciers, it's a tough look at the financial reality and impacts climate change is having on real live people. Really shakes up what you think you know about what is happening to our planet and our people.
This is why I wanted to talk about Arctic communities. In my Canadian travels I haven't been so far North yet, but there might just be a trip to the Yukon coming up this summer, so I've been researching the area the peoples and am really hoping the trip will happen because the area is slowly creeping up to the top of my travel must list! I talked a bit the other day about the Sami, but today we're bring it back to home turf (well my home turf here in Canada) and the effects the warming temperatures are having on their livelihoods. It's already tough to live in the Arctic, what with the insane prices they have to deal with on goods that are shipped up North, the lack of government support and the intense weathers. Now their way of life is being threatened.
- Changing temperatures result in changes to wildlife migration patterns, which in turns results in a decline in the ability to hunt for food. On top of the fact that we are seeing a decline in wildlife populations
- The warming ground results in essential foods thawing out throughout the summer months in traditional food cellars dug deep in the permafrost
- Northern communities rely on sea ice to travel to neighbouring communities to trade goods. With warming temperatures comes less months of ice to safely travel over and less opportunities to trade goods
- Excessive flooding is also cutting off road access to Northern communities, which they rely on to ship in necessities
- An increase in invasive insect species is starting to impact local vegetation
These Northern communities are finding ways to adapt to their rapidly changing environments in creative and inspiring ways (check out this great story about the community of Arviat who built a greenhouse to be able to grown their own vegetables) but it makes me wonder - what could I be doing to slow down the effects on their communities. It's not just about me and you, it's about all of us as one whole community.
This Changes Everything really did change everything for me.
Take a Hike. No seriously, put those legs to good use. Leave the car at home. Try it one day a week. It's an hour/15min walk home for me but I relish those days. Some people I tell consider this a waste of my time. I don't really care about them ;) Walking for me is the best time to let my mind run wild and think out ideas, plus I don't drive so it's a break from the insanity of transit. But if walking isn't your thing, ride your bike, or if you're a car person take transit. One day a week won't kill you.