I am not sure if people realize the significance of the dramatic and probable, irreversible loss of Greenland's ice by warming oceans and atmospheric changes.
Most of the time I feel a good majority simply don’t give a rat’s ass. Here is a tip for you, if you even bothered reading this far, start planning to spend your 401K sooner than you expected.
It is officially time to panic because what happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic.
Greenland is technically part of North America, but the people identify culturally with Scandinavia. The massive ice cap was unknown to Europeans until the tenth century when Vikings settled parts of the frozen island.
Since 80% of Greenland's surface is ice, some areas several miles thick holding a significant store of the world’s freshwater, people settled along the edges of the ice sheet. The sea provided the protein they needed to survive in Ice-Age type of conditions. Today, the climate conditions that sustained the Inuit for centuries is unraveling.
The Inuit settled in Greenland a couple of hundred years after the Vikings. The Norsemen settlements had disappeared and the Inuit became the only inhabitants when they migrated from what today is Canada.
Today, the population is almost ninety percent Inuit. The climate change denying white nationalist President of the United States needs to educate himself on the demographics. He has made himself, once again, the laughing stock of the world with his absurd offer to buy Indigenous land. Imagine his fury when it finally discovers that Greenland is not populated by white Norwegians, but by people of the “land of the Kalaallit” which do not look like him or his supporters.
The hubris of the racist in chief to think that he can just take indigenous land is mind-boggling. He doesn’t care about the Inuit any more than he does for Puerto Ricans or the Maya from Guatemala and Honduras.
The climate crisis is causing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety to people in Greenland who are struggling to reconcile the traumatic impact of global heating with their traditional way of life.
The first ever national survey examining the human impact of the climate emergency, revealed in the Guardian on Monday, shows that more than 90% of islanders interviewed fully accept that the climate crisis is happening, with a further 76% claiming to have personally experienced global heating in their daily lives, from coping with dangerous sea ice journeys to having sled dogs euthanised for economic reasons tied to shorter winters.
According to the data, detailed in a Guardian investigation carried out across Greenland in the last month, the majority of local residents interviewed believe that the climate emergency will harm its people, sled dogs, plants and animals. The revelation contradicts arguments that local people believe climate breakdown will benefit the Arctic and raises concern over a growing mental health crisis around climate in the polar region.
Minor said: “We find that a large majority of the Greenlandic population thinks that local sea ice has become more dangerous to travel on in recent years, suggesting that perceptions of growing risk are widespread for this important social, ecological and economic platform used by residents from all regions. Importantly, we find that residents are more likely to feel negative rather than positive sentiment when thinking about climate change, recent changes in sea ice, as well as glacial changes.”
The survey is revealed as the Arctic faces potentially record warming levels. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado, US, Greenland has already lost more than 250bn tonnes from a combination of melt runoff and low total snowfall in July.
For mental health professionals who specialise in the polar region, the latest survey findings from Greenland will present another red flag for the Arctic’s vulnerable Inuit communities. According to Courtney Howard, the board president of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, who lives and works in the Arctic, the intersection between the climate emergency and mental and physical health will become one of the world’s major issues.