The Arctic Culture Area spreads across northern North America and is an area which can be described as cold desert. It is a region which lies above the northernmost limit of tree growth. The area has long, cold winters and short summers. During the summer, the tundra becomes boggy and difficult to cross. Shown below is some of the art work produced by the Native people of the Arctic which is currently on display at the Portland Art Museum.
( – promoted by navajo)
This is an attempt, by using the Eight Stages of Genocide by Gregory H. Stanton, to show how climate change is a human rights issue in our own backyard.
The Inuit in Alaska are the “canary in the coal mine,” while the rising sea levels from the melting Arctic ice endanger the coast line of Hawaii. As a measure of awareness and hopefully of prevention, six stages of genocide are given in word only in between quoted materials. The last two stages, extermination and denial, are not cited. Allow me to explain my justification.
If and only if the intent to commit genocide could be shown in terms of the state deliberately disallowing outside aid or the state not giving direct necessary aid itself for the sustaining of life, then it should be concluded that that said state willfully used a natural disaster as the extermination stage of genocide and then denied that extermination.
The 8 Stages of Genocide
Sheila [Watt-Cloutier] has provided a powerful description of some of the ways global warming is already affecting individuals and communities throughout the hemisphere. I would like to take a few minutes to discuss the relationship between these impacts and human rights, and what that means for the obligations of Members of the Organization of American States.
Sheila so clearly described — global warming has particular impacts on indigenous peoples throughout the hemisphere. The relationship between human rights and global warming must therefore be evaluated in the context of indigenous rights.
The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached a record high, according to new figures that renew fears that climate change could begin to slide out of control.
Scientists at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii say that CO2 levels in the atmosphere now stand at 387 parts per million (ppm), up almost 40% since the industrial revolution and the highest for at least the last 650,000 years.
– snip –
Scientists say the shift could indicate that the Earth is losing its natural ability to soak up billions of tons of carbon each year. Climate models assume that about half our future emissions will be re-absorbed by forests and oceans, but the new figures confirm this may be too optimistic. If more of our carbon pollution stays in the atmosphere, it means emissions will have to be cut by more than currently projected to prevent dangerous levels of global warming.
Because indigenous peoples’ traditional lands and natural resources are essential to their physical and cultural survival, the Commission and the Court have acknowledged that environmental damage — like that being caused by global warming — can interfere with the rights of indigenous peoples to life and to cultural integrity. We must keep these principles in mind in considering the relationship of the following rights to the effects of global warming.
The 8 Stages of Genocide
…it is estimated that between 3 and 7% of carbon added to the atmosphere today will still be in the atmosphere after 100,000 years (Archer 2005, Lenton & Britton 2006). This is supported by studies of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, a large naturally occurring release of carbon 55 million years ago that apparently took ~200,000 years to fully return to pre-event conditions (Zachos et al. 2001).
The 8 Stages of Genocide
Global warming is human rights issue: Nobel nominee
How hot is it? So hot that Inuit people around the Arctic Circle are using air conditioners for the first time. And running out of the hard-packed snow they need to build igloos. And falling through melting ice when they hunt.
Gregory Stanton: The Eight Stages of Genocide
To conclude, the premises is restated. If and only if the intent to commit genocide could be shown in terms of the state deliberately disallowing outside aid or the state not giving direct necessary aid itself for the sustaining of life, then it should be concluded that that said state willfully used a natural disaster as the extermination stage of genocide and then denied that extermination. Whatever the case, climate change is a human rights issue. That much is certain. The problem with unintended consequences and intended consequences is that the consequences are the same, though probably not in the same degree, when the forces of nature are involved; consequently, natural forces that human beings have unleashed or made worse by being poor stewards of the earth. What counts, is what states do after a situation that was beyond control. Whether or not the destructive forces of nature are “conveniently used” as the extermination stage of genocide and for cultural genocide for that matter will have to be watched and be questioned as –
…concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached a record high, according to new figures that renew fears that climate change could begin to slide out of control.
– without exception.
As long as there as those who idealize butchers like Stalin and there are private contractors like Blackwater, using a natural disaster for the last two stages of extermination and denial will remain more of a possibility than we would like to recognize.
Michelle Goldberg, “Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism” p.160.
…Constitutional lawyer Edwin Vieira discussed Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion…which struck down that state’s antisodomy law…Vieira accused Kennedy of relying on “Marxist, Leninist, Satanic principles drawn from foreign law… “What to do about Communist judges in thrall to the Devil? Vieira said, “Here again I draw on the wisdom of Stalin. We’re talking about the greatest political figure of the twentieth century…He had a slogan, and it worked well for him whenever he ran into difficulty. No man, no problem.'”
The Artificial Famine/Genocide(Holodomor) in Ukraine 1932-33. A Man-Made Famine raged through Ukraine, the ethnic-Ukrainian region of northern Caucasus (i.e. Kuban), and the lower Volga River region in 1932-33. This resulted in the death of between 7 to 10 million people, mainly Ukrainians. This was instigated by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and his henchman Lazar Kaganovich.
The frightening — and possibly illegal — presence of heavily armed private forces in New Orleans only demonstrates what everyone already feared: the utter breakdown of the government.
The men from Blackwater USA arrived in New Orleans right after Katrina hit.
The company known for its private security work guarding senior US diplomats in Iraq beat the federal government and most aid organizations to the scene in another devastated Gulf. About 150 heavily armed Blackwater troops dressed in full battle gear spread out into the chaos of New Orleans. Officially, the company boasted of its forces “join[ing] the hurricane relief effort.” But its men on the ground told a different story.
Katrina, Rita and the Houma Tribe: A Nation Recovers
Louisiana may be best known as the home of Mardi Gras and the football Saints, as a stirring pot of jazz and blues and zesty cuisine. Thanks to hurricanes Katrina and Rita, it may forever be the memory stick for disaster, for images of broken levees and a stifling Superdome, and for tales of heroism and despair in now-familiar places like the Ninth Ward of New Orleans.
But it is also Indian Country, land of the mostly forgotten. It is home to the United Houma Nation, nearly half of whose members were displaced up and down the bayou, their homes battered by hurricane winds or flooded by avalanches of water.
“Our people suffered a lot, and many people don’t know that,” said Brenda Dardar Robichaux, principal chief of the Houma Nation. “We’re still recovering, and it’s been a slow process.”
Climate disintegration is a human rights issue. It is time for the United Nations to consider expanding the definition of the extermination stage of genocide in the face of present and looming climate devastation on the horizon to include a state using a natural disaster as the extermination stage of genocide, as well as the subsequent denial thereof.
The legal definition of genocide
Deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to destroy a group
includes the deliberate deprivation of resources needed for the group’s physical survival, such as clean water, food, clothing, shelter or medical services. Deprivation of the means to sustain life can be imposed through confiscation of harvests, blockade of foodstuffs, detention in camps, forcible relocation or expulsion into deserts.
( – promoted by navajo)
…but the Arctic is the scene for a new kind of international gold rush…
Arctic a potential conflict zone, Europe warned
BRUSSELS, Belgium – European Union leaders will receive a stark warning next week of potential conflict with Russia over energy resources at the North Pole as global warning melts the ice cap and aggravates international security threats.
The first question asked in “The Dawes Commission: And the Allotment of the Five Civilized Tribes” by Kent Carter is, “What can you do when you discover a continent but there are already people living on it?”
People, what people?
The Ice People By Alberto Leoncini
The ambient devastation and the climatic changes have become an actual debate on the polar areas and its destiny; they are also well known as geopolitical and energy areas.
But very little attention is given to the people that live and of course are born in those areas and especially in the Arctic area. The reference is obviously to the Inuit culture, known as “Eskimos” (recent studies state that this word, referring to the Arctic Population that speak the family Eskimo- Aleuta language, means “those who speak a foreign language” and not “raw meat eaters”, as it was known up to a few years ago; as states and theated at p. 27 of the catalogue “inuit and the ice people” mentioned in bibliography), bearers of a stratified culture reinforced in the centuries by the severity and the adversity from the atmosphere and climate conditions.
What are they going to do with the Inuit, treat them as human beings or as “problems” to eradicate?
Will the United States look the other way yet again?
Will the main press who could and should make a difference by at least mentioning their presence in their five second sound bites, give the needed attention to the people living there and their dire situation?
Inuit have settled into 53 communities as far west as Aklavik, NWT within close proximity to north Yukon border; east to Kikiak (Rigolet), Labrador; north to Grise Fiord, on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, approximately 640 kilometers from the magnetic North Pole; and south to Kuujjuarapik, PQ on the south east shore of Hudson’s Bay. Just under 10% of the Inuit population live outside their respective land claim regions most notably Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia.
Inuit have a homeland that covers almost a third of Canada. The Inuit AHRDAs serve vast areas where air travel is the only alternative. 50 of the 53 Inuit communities in the 467,107 square kilometers of Inuit settlement land rely heavily on air service for regular supplies and passenger service. Regular air scheduled service can be sporadic due to extreme weather conditions. During the short summer months – July to September heavy equipment, bulk cargo, and building materials are delivered by sea lift or river barge.
Dire situation, what dire situation?
Ice Melting Under The Inuit & Action Call!
Miller: A ‘new world’ to claim – the Arctic
Governments are even now engaged in asserting sovereignty over these assets. Canada, Denmark and the United States are already involved in disputes over these issues.
For example, Canada and Denmark have sent diplomats and warships to plant flags on Hans Island near Greenland.
Manifest Destiny is alive as it aims itself at the Arctic, once again placing human greed above human beings.
In the 2001 Census, about 46,000 people living in non-reserve areas reported having Inuit identity. This group represented about 6% of the total non-reserve Aboriginal population. The majority of Inuit lived in the following four Inuit regions of the Canadian Arctic as defined by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; the northern coastal and southeastern area of Labrador, home to 7% of Inuit Nunavik, which lies north of the 55th parallel in Quebec, where 19% of the Inuit population lived the territory of Nunavut, home to about one-half of the Inuit population the Inuvialuit region in the northwestern corner of the Northwest Territories, home to about 7% of the Inuit population.
(Emphasis and illustrations mine)
For thousands of years, Inuit people made their homes from natural materials native to their Arctic surroundings. They built snow shelters known as igloos to house entire families through the long winter. Igloos were complete with snow benches and beds, warm furs for blankets, and long entry tunnels to keep out the wind and cold.
The inside of an igloo was often quite comfortable, with temperatures at or just above freezing. In the summer months many families built skin tents framed with whalebones for structure. The tents were easy to set up and take down as the Inuit lived nomadically, following the animals that provided their main food source. While modern day Inuit may still use an igloo for shelter during a winter hunt, pre-fabricated houses have replaced the igloo as permanent housing.
These houses sit on the permafrost — a layer of earth that remains permanently frozen throughout the Arctic year. Today’s Arctic villages have elaborate systems adapted to the permafrost with water and sewage piped above ground. Global warming threatens to melt the permafrost and disrupt the very foundation on which the modern Arctic infrastructure rests.
What are the Inuit going to build their homes on when the ice melts underneath them? They will be forced to relocate.
Here is a message from the Inuit leader, Aqqaluk Lynge.
We ask you to be responsible.
The ice is melting underneath the Inuit while there is “a new kind of international gold rush.” Why should people be so alarmed?
This is a difficult connection for some to make: that gold, coal, and silver rushes have led to genocide against indigenous people. Simply put, coveted resources have been on indigenous land, and “No people, no problem” as Stalin gruesomely stated once. In addition, people are already in a habit of ignoring genocide against American Indians.
…denial of the genocide of Native Americans is still very strong. It works primarily through omission; people just refuse to talk about the issue.
Next, there is something we need to avoid and acknowledge in this discussion.
Let’s not make the mistake of presentism, but look at the present.
…The NSA demands that elders give up their lands to
build the levee, and further, that they travel a distance of 3 miles, to go
through checkpoints, to walk, recreate, and to farm and herd goats and
cattle, ON THEIR OWN LANDS.
This threat against indigenous people, life ways and lands has been
very very serious and stress inducing to local leaders…
Whether or not the Inuit are treated as human beings or “problems” to eradicate, remains to be seen on a massive scale five centuries after Columbus. I hope the United States and the other countries choose the former and reject the latter.