People love stories. Sometimes they make them dream, sometimes they frighten them, but stories always make people think.
The story I want to tell is the story of a small village in Greenland, Uummannaq. It is situated on a small island in a remote area of the west coast of Greenland and preserves the tradition and culture of dogs. It is one of the few places in the World where people still use dogs for their survival. In recent years, however, a big change is happening so fast to endanger the adaptability of these populations.
In 2013, for nine months, fishermen and dogs were not able to go on the fishing areas due to the thickness of the ice and they have not been able to have fresh food for three months. In the past, the ice reached a meter thick, now in the same season it is just a few centimetres thick. Here people depend on ice, but due to global warming the ice is getting thinner and people do not trust anymore in Nature. Today, in order to survive the hunters began to kill the dogs.
The houses built on the permafrost begin to collapse because this layer of hard an iced soil is slowly melting. With the melting of the permafrost bacteria proliferate and Tetanus and Hepatitis B are becoming a serious health problem difficult to manage with regular vaccination because of the natural environment tends to isolate the population in small settlements. In Greenland, people are dying of Tetanus.
In Ummannaq climate change brings along an unprecedented change that involves not only the environment and the ecosystem but also the economy, health, safety, food resources and traditions. Over the past 200 years, since the start of the Industrial Revolution, human being has gradually disconnected from nature. His behaviour “Buy and throw away” is the modern lifestyle mantra, now embraced by almost 7 billion of people and it does not fit into the circularity of Nature. We are now entering a period of consequences that anyone could experience it and time has come to change this mantra forever.
In order to take back control of our destiny and create our future, we must implement a profound transformation of thought, in which to recreate a new relationship between the power of human beings and the ecological system of our planet. A more balanced relationship between civilization and the future, a more sustainable connection between the linearity of the economy and the circular processes of nature I believe it could be the answer.
The recognition of the right to a secure, healthy and ecologically balanced environment as Human right’s in itself, will be a significant step in promoting the paradigm shift to deal effectively with the climate and the depletion of natural resources. In this challenge, an education aimed to creating connections between information and knowledge practices, better use of modern technologies and new ways of teaching towards the creation and engagement of students in practical projects could play a crucial role in reconnecting human being to Nature.
*Photo credit Joe Capra. Follow him