Surviving change in the Arctic

A note from the editor

Jess Worth

Some like it cold

Am I a hypocrite? In order to put this magazine together, I flew halfway across the world, contributing to the very problem – climate change – that is threatening the Arctic’s future. Some of my colleagues felt that I shouldn’t have gone: it caused a heated discussion in the New Internationalist Co-op while I was planning my trip. They felt that the flight wasn't justified and that we risked losing our readers’ respect.

But what is the alternative? Could I have written with accuracy about this extraordinarily remote, unimaginably different part of the world if I had never set foot in it? More importantly, how can we fulfil our mission to tell the stories that are ignored and bring out the voices that seldom get heard if we do not, from time to time, venture off the beaten track to find them?

It’s a painful dilemma for anyone who is paying attention to the scale of the climate crisis – especially those of us who work on international issues. Here at the NI we will continue to wrestle with it. Don't worry, we're still all speaking to each other – but we’d love to know where you stand.

While I was breaking every rule in the Good Climate Citizen’s handbook, thankfully our Australian co-editor was Doing The Right Thing. Chris Richards attempted to survive without using her car. You can find out how she fared in this month's Special Feature.

In Mixed Media we review some fascinating documentaries – exposing the way NGOs are packaging poverty for Western consumption, and Big Pharma's latest money-spinner: 'female sexual dysfunction'. If that all sounds a bit heavy, then discover with us the powerful beats of Comrade Fatso, Zimbabwean rapper and modern-day freedom fighter. Enjoy!

Jess Worth for the New Internationalist co-operative.
www.newint.org

Keynote article.

An Inuit hunter jumps across a gap in the sea-ice. Climate change is causing the ice to melt, making hunting increasingly perilous. Photo: Bryan and Cherry Alexander

The ice pressure ridge with Kaktovik in the far distance.

Photo: Jess Worth

A slow earthquake

The Arctic is changing dramatically. Jess Worth finds out what it means for the people who live there.

Buy this magazine

Bruce Inglangasak scans the gleaming white coastal plain with expert eyes. He’s searching for caribou. Spring has finally come to the Arctic and the animals are starting to make their way down from the mountains. The villagers of Kaktovik greet the change in season with understandable enthusiasm. It’s been a long winter for this 300-strong Inupiaq village, perched at the edge of the Arctic Ocean where the sun doesn’t rise at all for three months and temperatures regularly reach -50°C.

...




Features.

High temperatures.

The Arctic climate

Facts and figures about the planet's thermostat.

Buy this magazine

Faith Gemmill and Robert Thompson make their point at a climate justice protest in Montreal.

Slick operators

Jess Worth meets two indigenous activists battling Big Oil's dirty tricks.

Buy this magazine

Caribou migrate across the tundra in summer, Hudson Bay, Canada.

A vanishing world

Images of the unique landscapes and wildlife under threat.

Buy this magazine

The Arctic: a history

A mythical place – land of the frozen ocean, the aurora borealis and the midnight sun.

Buy this magazine

Arctic explorer Artur Chilingarov shows a photograph of the Russian national flag that he planted on the seabed under the North Pole in August 2007. The provocative act, intended to stake a symbolic claim to the Arctic’s mineral riches, didn’t go down too well with Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay. ‘This isn’t the 15th century,’ he spluttered. ‘You can’t go around the world and just plant flags and say “We’re claiming this territory”.’

Who owns the Arctic?

Could countries come to blows over the North's resources? Professor Michael Byers explains.

Buy this magazine

No place like home: Roberta and Johnny, two residents of Shishmaref, sit where their house used to be before it was eroded by the sea.

When the ice melts

What does the future hold? Jess Worth learns from five leading figures.

Buy this magazine

Arctic - Links and Resources

Arctic - Links and Resources

Organizations, campaign groups, news, books & films on the Arctic.

Buy this magazine

Climate radio

Climate radio

Jess Worth talks about the NI magazine on the Arctic with Climate Radio.

Buy this magazine

Life without the car

Chris Richards goes cold turkey in her umpteenth attempt to do without her car – and fumes about the structure of modern life that makes the task so hard.

Buy this magazine

Blog.

Toxic waste

Toxic waste

The West has been using Africa to dump its toxic waste and unwantables for years and continues, despite it having being illegal since 1992.

Buy this magazine

Read more blogs...

Opinion.

Pardon the disturbance

In an upside-down world, there are many questions to be asked, writes Eduardo Galeano.

Read this article

Currents.

Absolute friends

The largest solidarity movement between two peoples offers hope in Western Sahara, writes Paul Rigg.

Buy this magazine

Unpopular poplars

Unpopular poplars

Environmentalists oppose the genetically engineered poplar trees for the production of cellulosic ethanol or industrial biofuel.

Buy this magazine

Regulars.

Hossam Bahgat talked with Alasdair Soussi.

Hossam Bahgat

Hossam Bahgat is one of Egypt’s most prominent and effective human rights campaigners. He explains why things are getting worse in his country.

Buy this magazine

Bernie Madoff

If you’ve heard of Ponzi Schemes, it could be thanks to Bernie Madoff. About time he got his comeuppance...

Buy this magazine

Obama's Cuba challenge

Obama's Cuba challenge

Previous US policy towards Cuba failed. Leonardo Padura Fuentes considers what needs to happen next.

Buy this magazine

Qatar

Nowhere near as religious as its neighbour, Saudi Arabia, nor as bling-obsessed as nearby United Arab Emirates, Qatar has astutely observed the paths other Gulf states have chosen, and then cherry-picked what seems to work best.

Buy this magazine

Turning Japanese

Maria Golia recalls a moment of cultural confusion.

Buy this magazine

Film, Book & Music Reviews.

Cutting for Stone

An excellent first novel, teeming with memorable characters and dealing with momentous events; the sort of old-fashioned yarn in which the patient reader can become immersed.

Buy this magazine

Defamation

Israeli filmmaker Yoav Shamir challenges the idea that there is a ‘new anti-Semitism’.

Buy this magazine

Episode 3 - 'Enjoy Poverty'

A gritty, uncomfortable offering from Renzo Martens that brought outraged responses from some of the NGO and media people in the audience.

Buy this magazine

Orgasm Inc

US documentary-maker Liz Canner takes on Big Pharma over the creation and marketing of a disease called ‘female sexual dysfunction’.

Buy this magazine

Black Wave – the legacy of the Exxon Valdez

This film documents the corporate chicanery and disinformation that has followed since the Exxon tanker dumped millions of gallons of crude oil into Alaska's pristine Prince William Sound.

Buy this magazine

Burma VJ – reporting from a closed country

This is the story of ‘Joshua’, an underground video journalist. By Anders Ostergaard

Buy this magazine

House of Hunger

An album that is very much the sound of a modern-day freedom fighter.

Buy this magazine

Within My Walls

An odd title, given the political geography of Israel/Palestine, this album projects a vision of multicultural music that seems to have little space for Palestinian musicians.

Buy this magazine

Murder In The Name Of Honour

A grim but compelling reading – a fitting testament to all the women killed who had sex outside marriage.

Buy this magazine

Back