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SCShamrock 
Posted: 07-Dec-2005, 04:31 PM
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Here is an interesting story. Breitbart.com

QUOTE (Breitbart.com)
Dec 07 1:28 PM US/Eastern


The people of the Arctic filed a landmark human rights complaint against the United States, blaming the world's No. 1 carbon polluter for stoking the global warming that is destroying their habitat. The Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC), representing native people in the vast, sparsely-populated region girdling the Earth's far north, said they had petitioned an inter-American panel to seek relief for Canadian and US Inuit.


"For Inuit, warming is likely to disrupt or even destroy their hunting and food-sharing culture as reduced sea ice causes the animals on which they depend to decline, become less accessible, and possibly become extinct," said Robert Corell, who spearheaded an Arctic climate impact assessment.

More than 150,000 Inuit, formerly called eskimos, are spread throughout the vast frozen northern territories of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia and Russia.

These regions have experienced the most rapid and severe climate change on earth, according to Corell's assessment, which was prepared over four years by more than 300 scientists from 15 countries and six indigenous organizations.

Global warming has caused the northern ice cover to retreat, making it more dangerous for the Inuit to hunt food animals such as polar bears, seals and caribou, their investigation found.

These animals also face decline or extinction, unable to adapt to warmer temperatures as their own access to food sources, breeding grounds and migration routes are altered.

And, rising sea levels and flooding threaten coastal Inuit communities.

"Inuit are an ancient people. Our way of life is dependent on the natural environment and animals. Climate change is destroying our environment and eroding our culture," said Sheila Watt-Cloutier, the ICC chair.

"But we refuse to disappear. We will not become a footnote to globalization."

The petition urges the Washington-based Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to declare the United States to be in violation of the 1948 American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.

It also wants the Commission to recommend that the United States adopt mandatory limits of its greenhouse-gas emission and join international efforts to curb global warming.

And it wants the Commission to declare the United States should help the Inuit adapt to unavoidable impacts of climate change.

If the Commission rules in favour, the impact will be more political than legal, the ICC acknowledged.

The panel, part of the Organisation of American States (OAS), is empowered to investigate and comment on human rights abuses, but has no power of enforcement.

Rising emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases primarily caused by burning fossil fuels are expected to warm the Arctic about 4-7 C (7.2-12.6 F), about twice the global average rise, over the next century, the ICC report concluded.

These dramatic climate changes "violate the Inuit's right to practice and enjoy the benefits of their culture."

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin added to this gloomy tableau.

"High in the Arctic, in our interior and along our coasts, the country we know is being transformed," he said.

"Winters are growing milder, summers hotter and more severe, there is plant life where before there was none; there is water where before there was ice. Our permafrost is thawing -- and releasing methane gas into the atmosphere, accelerating climate change itself."

"Within short decades, the Northwest Passage, the famously un-navigable thoroughfare of history, may be passable -- a striking and unsettling example of our delicate balance succumbing to untenable strain," Martin added.

The United States, with only five percent of the world's population, emits some 25 percent of all harmful greenhouse gases.

Washington signed the 1992 Rio Convention on climate change and the Kyoto Protocol, but refused to ratify the latter.

The Inuit petition came as more than 100 ministers gathered Wednesday for the main part of a UN climate change conference in Montreal that has been going on since November 28 and is to end Friday.


Oh boy, can someone please pass the Prozac?

I found a couple of sentences in this report especially interesting.

QUOTE
And it wants the Commission to declare the United States should help the Inuit adapt to unavoidable impacts of climate change.


Of course, we should definitely concede that we are solely to blame for the climate changes of our friends to the north. Isn't that what any good, sovereign nation would do? After all, we are the wealthiest, strongest, most envied of all nations--so why even bother to look elsewhere for answers to the climate change, it has to be us, right?

QUOTE
Winters are growing milder, summers hotter and more severe, there is plant life where before there was none; there is water where before there was ice. Our permafrost is thawing -- and releasing methane gas into the atmosphere, accelerating climate change itself.


Since this is permafrost, and it has thawed to the point where vegetation grows abundant, perhaps now would be a good time to do a bit of digging--you know, one of those corny archeological digs where God-only-knows what might be discovered? I would put my money on plenty of plant and animal fossils, but hey, I'm just an average Joe, a simple trucker.

So good luck all you poor Eskim....uh, er, Inuit. Maybe you'll strike gold before we strike oil. Now, I think I'll drive my SUV for the next 5 hours with absolutely no place to go.


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Shadows 
Posted: 07-Dec-2005, 06:42 PM
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Typical of people that think only their way is right!

I am not speaking of the Inuit.

Progress at any cost!


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SCShamrock 
Posted: 08-Dec-2005, 08:45 AM
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QUOTE (Shadows @ 07-Dec-2005, 06:42 PM)
Typical of people that think only their way is right!

I am not speaking of the Inuit.

Progress at any cost!

You're not speaking of anything to be honest.

Come on, you can do better than that. Who's way is better anyway, our's for being a rich, capitalist nation eating of the fat of our prosperity, or the Eskimo, who insists that we curtail our technology under the assumption that it disrupts their ability to live as their ancestors did 1,000 years ago. Speak up.
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Madadh 
Posted: 08-Dec-2005, 11:11 AM
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If the Inuit lived like their ancestors, they might have a leg to stand on. I do not believe that snow mobiles, high powered rifles, or motor boats were part of the equation. Besides, what problems have they introduced with the use of "our" technology?


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Swanny 
Posted: 08-Dec-2005, 01:28 PM
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QUOTE
Who's way is better anyway, our's for being a rich, capitalist nation eating of the fat of our prosperity, or the Eskimo, who insists that we curtail our technology under the assumption that it disrupts their ability to live as their ancestors did 1,000 years ago. Speak up.


Our way is better for us, their way is better for them.

The Inuit (and other Eskimo 'tribes') are not asking that we curtail our technology, they are asking that we use our available technology to reduce green-house gases and take better care of the planet, and that we pay for the damage they feel we have caused.

QUOTE
If the Inuit lived like their ancestors, they might have a leg to stand on. I do not believe that snow mobiles, high powered rifles, or motor boats were part of the equation. Besides, what problems have they introduced with the use of "our" technology?


Hmmmm. I wonder who introduced them to, and made good profits from the sale of, the snowmachines, rifles and outboard motors? I couldn't have been "us", could it?

What problems do you think have been introduced by the use of "our" technology? Air pollution, noise pollution, light pollution, hazardous materials spills and degradation of traditional customs and cultural practices and the ability to communicate and interact with the rest of the world. Oh, and the ability to either educate or hire lawyers to pursue their interests. That has become a big problem, hasn't it.


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stoirmeil 
Posted: 08-Dec-2005, 02:51 PM
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I'm not so sure about that all-or-nothing approach, Madadh, although I see your point in general -- "either eschew the snowmobiles et al., and remain essentially as purely neolithic as possible (including the high infant mortality rates and all that stuff, comes with the turf of noble savagedom, right?) OR you are a hypocrite, playing both ends against the middle, and so forfeit your legitimate right to protest about your ancestral environment and way of life shrinking out of existence?" It's too black and white framed that way, or at least it feels so to me. In any case, it's not for us to mandate that as a condition to being taken seriously.

As far as being at the top of the food chain and challenging anyone to dare tell us we can't blow filth into the atmosphere at any rate we choose -- and God knows it's not just the Inuit being affected: you watch what happens to your high priced Florida coastline in the next 50 years -- well, the right to swing your fist ends where the other fellow's nose begins. When the damaging material is loosed into the wind and water and you have no control where the currents take it -- and isn't that one reason why they made gas warfare illegal? -- that circumference of fist-swinging should be a great deal more circumspect.

Rob's comment along the lines of "Let it thaw. You'll probably strike gold anyway:"

"Since this is permafrost, and it has thawed to the point where vegetation grows abundant, perhaps now would be a good time to do a bit of digging--you know, one of those corny archeological digs where God-only-knows what might be discovered? I would put my money on plenty of plant and animal fossils, but hey, I'm just an average Joe, a simple trucker.

So good luck all you poor Eskim....uh, er, Inuit. Maybe you'll strike gold before we strike oil. . . . "



frankly makes me want to ralf bigtime -- sorry to be so vehement, but it's just the simple truth. The reasoning is, or appears to be, that a way of life, personal and group history, and relationship to the environment, on the one hand, and money, on the other, are fungible. If the Inuit got filthy rich overnight on gold or oil and had to sacrifice the quality and essential nature of the land for it (and even if they were allowed to do so without a hell of a lot of interference and attempted exploitation), it would be sickening. Not to ME. To THEM. That is what THEY are trying to tell you. I don't see where you are standing experientially to say it's a crock of crap.
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SCShamrock 
Posted: 08-Dec-2005, 03:30 PM
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Lynn, Swanny, all. The reason this causes me so many laughs is because there is not one shred of credible evidence, hard evidence, to prove the US or any other nation is responsible for the thawing of the Arctic Ice shelf. You can find just as many qualified scientists that assert the climate changes are cyclical, having nothing to do with and of the so-called man-made greenhouse gases. However, even if it were proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that man's activities were directly related, why would the Eskimos or anyone else for that matter place 100% of the burden on America. Isn't every nation under the sun burning "fossil" fuels? Don't we all share in the "blame?" It's patently ridiculous to hold America solely accountable for anything the entire globe is engaged in. And what with China spewing noxious fumes at an alarming rate, I think the finger is limited in its ability to point simultaneously to all polluters simultaneously.
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Shadows 
Posted: 08-Dec-2005, 06:07 PM
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Again typical!

Change your agrgument in mid stream.

I am out of this lack of discussion!
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Madadh 
Posted: 08-Dec-2005, 06:20 PM
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My problem is that they are trying to have it both ways. Their land is changing and they cannot hunt the animals as they use to, so they want us to what fix it or pay for it? With change (rifles, snowmobiles, health care, etc) comes changes.

I do find it interesting that in nature the ability to adapt is what allows a species to survive and that the failure to adapt causes extinction. Note: This was going on long before man came into the picture. Why is it that not everyone has learned this simple lesson from nature?
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sniper 
Posted: 08-Dec-2005, 07:14 PM
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Exactly who is going to take responsibility when the sun goes supernova?


The folly of global warming, laughable.



Oh but wait! The end of the mini ice age coincided closely to the industrial revolution!

False dilemma. rolleyes.gif


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Swanny 
Posted: 08-Dec-2005, 09:01 PM
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QUOTE
why would the Eskimos or anyone else for that matter place 100% of the burden on America. Isn't every nation under the sun burning "fossil" fuels? Don't we all share in the "blame?" It's patently ridiculous to hold America solely accountable for anything the entire globe is engaged in. And what with China spewing noxious fumes at an alarming rate, I think the finger is limited in its ability to point simultaneously to all polluters simultaneously.


EXCELLENT - we have finally found a valid argument. Good Job, SCShamrock.

I don't know why the Inuit chose to target the United States when indeed the entire "Industrialized World" is at fault, especially considering that most of the pollutants found in the circumpolar region originate in the former Soviet Union and Eurasia (reference http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF12/1279.html

I can only guess it is because the United States has failed to ratify the Kyoto Treaty. Currently the United States is the world's leading producer of so-called "greenhouse gases", but it's estimated that China, an emerging economy that will therefore face no consequences under the Kyoto Protocol, will take the lead in about 2020.




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