Sunday, March 04, 2007

slipping through the cracks

It's finally happened, A/C's are on sale in the Arctic. That's right, at the moment it is so warm in the arctic circle that during the season of the midnight sun, the Innu who inhabit the area, need to use air conditioners to survive. The warmth has also ruined the centuries-old craft of building igloos, a self-insulated snow house, the only completely sustainable housing on earth using zero soil, trees or skins. Sure they have an unfair advantage of scarcity in the supply of usable soil, trees and animal skins, but the privileged Inuit people have never lorded it over anyone that their culture survived for thousands of years in harmony with the desert of the north. Finally, that ingenuity and pull-yourself-up-by-your moccasins attitude has paid off. At long last, the culture of the indoor-regulated temperate climate has come to the people above the 66th degree.

May I refer the regulars to the last suggestion I had for tidal generators off the coast of the arctic sea? They're gonna need power if they're gonna run refrigerators, air-conditioners and that new fangled electric heating we always say we're going to get up and running with. Speaking of running, how much clean, running water is on any given First Nations reservation in North America? It's not as much as you might think. I'll give you a hint: they're still dying of tuberculosis. And since the issue of sovereignty never leaves my pen (okay, keyboard) for long, may I suggest that since there are already people living in the north and gentrification is only a moist matter of time, we remind the international community that the ever-warming, ever widening Northwest Passage is ours to maintain, clean and protect, including the wildlife that lives on it's coasts and we need to restrict it's use for commercial traffic in terms of tolls and the right to say no. Included in this is a reminder to our own government who never seems to bother mentioning it in the least. Moreover, to every candidate who currently wishes to make known their environmental attitudes and yet who never bother to campaign in First Nation reserves or from less densely populated places of environmental concern.

Paul McCartney as well, and other celebrities who feel the hunt of seals, polar bears and other arctic creatures who don't immediately come to mind will be pleased to know that due to the rapidity of the melting glaciers, experienced Inuit hunters are literally falling through the ice into the northern oceans and in some cases drowning. That'll show those ignorant First Nations who hunt on a subsistence level and can mark the genealogy of every species with which they share the land. I can't wait for anyone living below the 49th parallel and who has never seen a seal, nevermind a real Inuit person, to find out that their long-fought battle for a cause they can't begin to understand is over. The polar bears are long as they can swim. Who knows? Maybe whales and dolphins were meant to be carnivorous. Maybe a little northern hors d'oeuvre is just what the evolutionary doctor ordered.

It has always been heartening to me to see the respect with which our cultures treat those who have stewarded the land they live on for as long as they can remember. We could have probably learned something about glacial melting points, early-warning signs and non-asbestos insulation for our homes during our own chilly seasons. But the joke's on them, now selling an air-conditioner in the arctic is funny because it is true!


Craig Sauvé said...

yikes! They put a golf course on Baffin Island too I heard. You going to see the Gorester with Suzukimania?

Freshwater Mermaid said...

I wish, it's worktime for this mermaid. Whatr u doing up so early?