A lesson for everyone

Published on 07.05.2007 - Global Warming 101 Expedition

After two weeks at Clyde River, the Global Warming 101 exhibition left the area with an important message from the Inuits living in the village. They are now heading for the west coast of Baffin Island.

There is no doubt that the members of Global Warming 101 will long remember the end of their stay in the village of Clyde River.

First of all, there was the surprise of seeing a group of young Inuits put on a hip-hop dance display for the travellers. They were astonished that this modern dance, which is usually seen at trendy nightclubs in the city, being performed in such an up-to-date way in one of the remotest parts of the world. The villagers replied that their young people had learnt the dance from a Canadian group that had spent a week visiting Clyde River in August 2006 and, after all, dancing was one of the most ancestral traditions of the region.

But looking beyond the performance itself, what also delighted the expedition members was the fact that this activity was one of the methods used in the village to ensure that their youngsters are not attracted by the siren call of the bigger towns and cities.

Pleasant surprises...

But the surprises were not over yet, because before leaving the village the next day and venturing into the interior for the crossing of the island, the expedition wanted to say a last goodbye to these schoolchildren at the end of the earth. When they arrived there, the pupils at the Quluaq secondary school showed them some of their latest drawings. They had expected to see the youngsters perhaps express their enthusiasm for that far-off, inaccessible civilisation that is ours. Well... no. Quite the opposite, in fact: instead of drawing sleek cars, scantily clad girls or video games, they had opted to show igloos, sledges, dogs, kayaks and tents, as well as some of the superb landscapes in their region incontrovertible proof that they have a deep love for their country!

The expedition members were then presented with messages from the older students, who had prepared a list of solutions for combating pollution on our Earth and protecting our environment. These solutions included:

  • living like an Inuit, simply, using local resources,
  • using skidoos less and walking more,
  • using kayaks, canoes and sailing boats, instead of power-driven craft such as zodiacs or speedboats,
  • using dog-sleds to get about instead of snow-bikes and, finally,
  • eating more raw meat and fish.

This surely is a message for everyone on Earth.

On 26th April, the expedition finally set out from Clyde River to undertake the difficult crossing of the island and the Barnes glacier, which has such a fearsome reputation.

The same day, the sledges overturned going down a slope, which caused a major delay. The following day, one of the expedition's sledges that was attempting to cross a frozen lake managed to slice through the ice. No serious damage, though. The latest news is that Global Warming 101 is approaching the end of its trek.

Photos credits: acknowledgments to the expedition.

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