This Washington Post story details the new challenges Inuit people are facing as a result of the warming climate. Hunting methods that have worked for generations are suddenly failing. Animal species the Inuit have never seen are moving north into their territory. The article contains many vivid examples, like this:
“These are things that all of our old oral history has never mentioned,” said Enosik Nashalik, 87, the eldest of male elders in this Inuit village. “We cannot pass on our traditional knowledge, because it is no longer reliable. Before, I could look at cloud patterns, or the wind or even what stars are twinkling, and predict the weather. Now, everything is changed.”
There are many troubling examples. This one is particularly troubling to me:
In this month’s issue of the journal Science, a team of U.S. and Canadian researchers said the Bering Sea was warming so much it was experiencing “a change from arctic to subarctic conditions.” Gray whales are heading north and walruses are starving, adrift on ice floes in water too deep for feeding.
Walruses starving! I can’t bear to think of it.
Global warming has begun. We have got to address this in our national discourse, or the next mammal starving could be us.
Oh, and in case you’re inclined to doubt global warming, let me present this graph (source):
Also, for more on the hilarious White House approach to this problem, see this previous entry about Greenhouse Gas Intensity.