lect_8_notes_fabbi_sust_soc_2009 - DRAFT COPY P LEASE DO...

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DRAFT COPY – PLEASE DO NOT QUOTE WITHOUT PERMISSION OF AUTHOR Inuit and Foreign Policy – Climate Change, Human Rights and Arctic Sovereignty for the wonderful students in Professor James Karr’s course FISH/ENVIR 439/PBAF 595 Attaining a Sustainable Society by Nadine C. Fabbi, University of Washington, nfabbi@u.washington.edu Last updated: May 2009 If we can reverse the emission of greenhouse gases in time to save the Arctic from the most devastating impact of global warming, then we can spare untold suffering for hundreds of millions of people around the globe. Protect the Arctic and we save the planet. Use us in the Arctic as your early warning system . Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Chair, Inuit Circumpolar Conference, 2005 Thoughts for FISH 439 If we are going to build a sustainable future , if we are going to restructure our global economy and our reproductive/consumptive behavior in order to achieve that goal, then global attitudes must shift and they must shift dramatically and quickly. I would like to suggest that there are two ways that this might occur. First, we need to realize the extent of environmental deterioration that is taking place. Second, we need to see climate change and environmental impacts in a new light – perhaps through the lens of human rights violations. One way to realize the extent of the impact of environmental degradation is to look at the Arctic . The Arctic has been called the “barometer” for global warming and the “canary in the coal mine” of environmental issues. What is occurring in the Arctic is causing the world to “wake up” and to realize the extent of the damage of industrialization. Second, when the people of the Arctic, the Inuit, emerge on the world stage as political actors, again, this has an impact and challenges the world to look at the environment and climate change from a new perspective. In the next 40-50 minutes I would like to summarize current environmental impacts in the Arctic and introduce the Inuit . I would then like to bring to your attention a series of recent events that illustrate how the Inuit are a new emerging and effective voice on the international scene . I would like you to think about the following: - What you know about the Arctic and does today’s presentation provide any new information or “surprises”? And, what is your current knowledge of the Inuit and did today’s presentation enhance this knowledge? - Most importantly, I will ask you to think about the role of the Inuit in the global efforts to attain a sustainable society and the unique influence the Inuit are having on this dialogue and may continue to have via enhanced involvement in international foreign policy. Do you think that Inuit political mobilization will alter global action in terms of building a more sustainable society in the future? The Arctic
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lect_8_notes_fabbi_sust_soc_2009 - DRAFT COPY P LEASE DO...

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