Documentary on Global Weirding Seen by Inuits

Think there are not yet observable effects of global weirding? Think again, and ask some Inuit elders.

Of course, we write on the clear science showing global weirding is happening every day. And we write on the effects that are already being seen. But to learn what the Inuits are seeing, from a much more personal level, is something else.

As a nice intro to a new documentary coming out on just this matter, Guy Dixon of The Globe and Mail writes:

Imagine how this feels: The land and weather are turning erratic and dangerous. Warmer, unpredictable winds are coming from strange directions. Severe floods threaten to wash away towns. And native animals, the food supply, aren’t behaving as they used to, their bodies less capable in the changing climate.

Even stranger is the fact that the sun now appears to set many kilometres off its usual point on the horizon, and the stars are no longer where they should be. Is the Earth shifting on its axis, causing the very look of the sun and stars to change?

These are the drastic conditions Northern Canadians, whose lives depend from childhood on their knowledge of the most minute details of the Arctic land and skies, say they see all around them. These observations by Inuit elders are detailed in a groundbreaking new documentary, Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change, by acclaimed Nunavut filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk (The Fast Runner, The Journals of Knud Rasmussen) and environmental scientist Ian Mauro.

There was a screening of this documentary at Toronto’s imagineNATIVE film and media arts festival. This documentary “is the first to ask Inuit elders to describe the severe environmental changes in the Arctic they are seeing and to do so in their own language.” Though scientists going up to the Arctic may have a lot to teach us, so do natives who live there, yet we have ignored them.

“The tone of the film is intimate. The elders aren’t trying to cross a language barrier, or even speak to the Southern scientific community. They’re simply imparting their expert knowledge and wisdom – and the result will undoubtedly cause controversy.”

“Over the years, nobody has ever listened to these people. Every time [the discussion is] about global warming, about the Arctic warming, it’s scientists that go up there and do their work. And policy makers depend on these findings. Nobody ever really understands the people up there,” Kunuk says.

Looks like a great documentary. For much more on this story, including Inuit theories that the Earth’s tilt has changed (and why they would think so), check out the full story on this documentary on The Globe and Mail.

Photo Credits: christine zenino (chrissy575) via flickr (CC license); Douglas Brown via flickr (CC license)

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