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The conversation at CBC News headquarters in Toronto went something like this:
Peter Mansbridge (anchor of The National, almost grandfatherly, and impeccably dressed): Claire, how's the weather looking for the coming week?
Claire Martin (impossibly perky and possibly British, waving over the middle of the map and smiling): Well, Peter, it's looking very HOT this week in southern and eastern Ontario.
Peter Mansbridge: Sounds like a good time for a cruise.
So our hero, now the dean of North American broadcasters, really (since Brokaw, Rather, and Jennings have departed the scene), has set out on a journey through the Northwest Passage, through the islands that make up Canada's far north. And really, how could he resist visiting towns such as Resolute (average annual temperature of −16°C) and Kugluktuk*? He's anchoring the news from the deck of the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis St. Laurent, interviewing scientists who are studying the Arctic and the people who live there. Here's the intinerary and background.

The Canadian arctic could take on considerable importance in the coming years. Until recently, the waterways between the islands of the Northwest Territories—which are now part of the territory of Nunavut, formed in 1998—have been frozen over year-round. Now the ice is melting due to this global warming that we've been hearing about. There are two major areas of concern as a result. One is the effects on the environment, the people, and the wildlife. For instance, polar bears rely on the icepack so they can travel to hunt—actually so do the Inuit. With less icepack, hunting is less possible. The Inuit way of life may have to change. The polar bears would be a lot less lucky.

The other area of concern is a national sovereignty issue. Canada claims the waterways between its islands as under its control. A U.S. ambassador has already averred that those are international waterways. It wasn't an issue when they were not navigable. If the Northwest Passage is truly opening up, it will attract a lot of interest as a shipping route. Ergo Canada's concern regarding sovereignty.

Anyway, I'm finding this all fascinating (I warned you, I am a geek), so I'll be watching The National this week for sure. The coolest thing about this is, all the people are being shown wearing insulated vests and coats, because it's still cold there. If I try real hard, I can almost forget that it's way too hot here.

______
* Dear Inuit: I love some of your town names. Kugluktuk is a lot of fun to say. More fun than the former name, Coppermine.

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
primroseburrows
Aug. 2nd, 2006 06:20 pm (UTC)
...and Tuktoyaktuk means "resembling a caribou"
No, really, it does. Gotta love random Inuvialuit legends.

I wonder if there's a way for those of us who don't get the CBC to access these broadcasts? Maybe an internet link to recordings of them? Because that would be so very cool. *restrains self from making terribly punnish temperature references*

Enquiring Canadaphiles wanna know.

Also, I now have Stan Rogers singing in my head. This is not necessarily a bad thing, mind you. :)





songdogmi
Aug. 3rd, 2006 12:58 am (UTC)
Re: ...and Tuktoyaktuk means "resembling a caribou"
Hm. Does that mean I can call someone Tuktoyaktuk if I want to tease them? (The language probably doesn't quite work like that.)

CBC.ca seems to support RealMedia. There are a bunch of links to video from the Monday and Tuesday reports so far on the page I linked to in the main post. I think there's a lag of a few hours or so from the time they're broadcast (10-11 p.m.) and the time they go live.

One could do far worse than having Stan Rogers in one's head.
primroseburrows
Aug. 3rd, 2006 03:09 am (UTC)
Re: ...and Tuktoyaktuk means "resembling a caribou"
Well, I don't know. I don't speak whatever the langage is called. Maybe it's just called Inuvialuit, but I have my doubts. Maybe something else with a lot of Ks and Us.

And yay, I'll look for it when I'm back from Oregon. Getting on a computer here is like, well, I don't know what it's like. It's not easy.

Yes, one could do a lot worse. I could have the Partridge Family stuck in my head. Not that I am in any way comparing Stan Rogers to the Partridge family. That would be, liek, blasphemy or something. I'd pay in pure karma.

songdogmi
Aug. 3rd, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
Re: ...and Tuktoyaktuk means "resembling a caribou"
I'm trying to picture the Partridge Family singing "Northwest Passage"... it's somehow not working.

Tonight's installment on The National covered a lot of the history of the exploration of the Northwest Passage. There was also an interesting bit about researchers who say that polar bears in the Davis Strait area may be increasing in numbers despite the warming.
primroseburrows
Aug. 5th, 2006 07:09 am (UTC)
Re: ...and Tuktoyaktuk means "resembling a caribou"
I was going to try and do a quick filk, but I couldn't get anything to Rhyme with Tuktoyaktuk.

You realise that this will sit with me for days. Over and over in my head, Shirley Partridge singing about the Bluenose or something. Or maybe "Danny's Privateers."
altivo
Aug. 2nd, 2006 07:50 pm (UTC)
Not to mention the towns in Alaska, such as Eek, Shaktoolik, and so forth.

I'm inclined to treat Canada's claims as valid. The US has an ugly history of insisting that it has sovereignty over a long distance out from shore, while trying to deny similar claims on the part of other nations. It's disgusting.

Canada should sue the US for destroying its climate.
songdogmi
Aug. 3rd, 2006 01:01 am (UTC)
Eek ... *chuckles*

I'd be inclined to go with Canada's viewpoint on the Northwest Passage, too. The clip of the U.S. ambassador to Canada saying that they're international water just made me angry and embarassed -- typical ugly American, he was. They'll be international waters until there's an oil spill that washes up on the shore of one of the islands; then it'll be Canada's problem. Grrr.

Can we sue the U.S. for destroying the climate too? (So what if we ARE part of the U.S.?)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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