What have we done? Report after report. Article after article. I fall into a pattern, guilt bubbling up when I hear once again about how we're impacting the far north, the frontier of global warming, the glimpse of things yet to arrive in our warmer climes.
But wait! What is this I'm hearing on the radio?
"We get journalists up here year-round. They come in migrations just like the snowbirds and the other animals and they want to see eskimos falling through holes in the ice or houses falling off of bluffs. We'll roll with whatever's going on. Our culture's built on change. We're strong, durable people and we just keep adjusting."
I have to admit, that got my attention. And the rest of the story held it there--right over the edge of discomfort. Discomfort and guilt. It was then that I realized, in a way I hadn't before, the complexities and the personal conflicts raised and around global warming. The denial of people already in the line of fire. The oversimplification of painting the scene with a broad brush.
The segment above comes from an interview with Richard Glenn, of Barrow, Alaska, who joins other Inupiat Eskimos and northern dwellers on public radio's excellent series--Frozen Assets, on Marketplace. True to form, this series makes you squint at global warming in a slightly different and illuminating way, if you know what I mean.
Give the series a listen or a quick read. I think we in the lower 48 can all use a dose of reality as seen through the eyes of people who are already dealing with what's to come. Real people. Some facing problems. Others opportunity. But still, another wake up call for us all.