Arctic Voices

Arctic Gardens Ebook - Preface

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Chapter Four: “Those Who Come for Business and Pleasure.”

Each year, droves of people come to the Arctic to hunt, fish, raft, and backpack. We have interviewed these visitors, and those who guide and fly them, to get varied perspectives on the tourism in- dustry in the Arctic. Since these people return in most cases to the Lower 48 and southern Canada, the opinions they take home with them are particularly influential in the political decisions made about this vast land.

Chapter Five: “The Warming of Arctic North America.”

Climate change is the joker in the deck in any contemporary analysis of an Arctic or Antarctic region. For the region covered in Arctic Gardens, the issue is significant enough in social, economic, and ecologi- cal terms to demand a chapter of its own. According to a recently completed international scientific panel, global warming in the Arctic is occurring at several times the rate of the temperate zones of the planet. Native residents speak of sinkholes in the tundra and river bank erosion caused by melting permafrost. They have also reported the early breakup and late refreezing of lakes and rivers, which cause all manner of modifications of human and animal movement. Thus, our selected voices will include the equally valid perspectives of both the scientific community and the Arctic’s Native residents. This chapter is written and organized by Dave Harman.

Chapter Six: “This I Believe.”

This concluding chapter reprises the issues of the previous five chapters. What are the common threads, both for voices in the same chapter, and between voices crossing chapter lines? What are the fault lines of differences between them? Clearly, this area of the Arctic is a complex place, and our ability to understand it depends on our careful listening to its many voices.

Because the Native people are the main source of information about the Arctic Gardens, the authors will contribute about 10% of the proceeds of the book to two Native non-profits. Ten percent will be donated to REDOIL (Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands), a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting Alaskan indigenous ecosystems, and 10% to the Gwich’in Steering Committee of the U. S. and Canada, dedicated to protecting the ecosystems of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by establishing it as a Wilderness Area.

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