For those of us just getting used to winter again -- where I am, the low was in the single digits last night -- it might be odd to think that permafrost would be missed. This is the soil that, in the colder climes, never thaws.
Well, almost never. Pacific Views has an excellent post outlining the problem. It was predicted that one of the costs of global warming would be the permafrost. What those of us in the Lower 48 forget is that thawed permafrost becomes marshy wetlands. The result? Inuit villages previously built on stable ground are now sinking, destroyed.
That's not the only reason they're angry. The always-reliable Samuel Taylor Coleridge Foundation tells us that the Inuits are framing the challenges they face, which also include threats to fishing and hunting, as a human rights issue since it threatens the very bases of their culture. The NY Times story STCF cites indicates that it's a strategy that might have legs.
It is not really true that Eskimos (a dubious term that includes Inuits) have 60 names for snow; it turns out, modifiers like adjectives are attached as suffixes, and so the idea of a "word" is not directly analogous to English. But one thing's for sure: Now they have at least 60 words for pissed off.