Montreal (CNSNews.com) - An Arctic Inuit representative said the lower 48 states have a mild climate, and therefore Americans should have no problem turning down their thermostats in the winter to stop Arctic ice from melting.
"I don't know what [Americans are] doing to create all of this [greenhouse] gas emissions," said Meeka Mike of the Inuit Tapirit Kanatami, the national organization representing the Inuit peoples of Canada at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Montreal.
"I know it's [emissions] from cars. I know it's fuel. But you (Americans) live in a very hot climate. You don't need as much heating like we do," Mike said when Cybercast News Service asked what she would like average Americans to do to curtail the alleged "global warming" that some people link to melting Arctic ice.
Mike is part of a group that filed a "global warming" legal petition against the United States. At this week's climate change conference, she took part in a panel discussion called "The Right to Be Cold: Inuit Defend Their Human Rights in the Face of Climate Change."
The Canadian-based Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC) has petitioned the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, demanding that the U.S. limit its greenhouse gas emissions or "Inuit hunting culture will be destroyed in the next 100 years" because of rising temperatures.
Even though Mike believes her way of life is being threatened by U.S. lifestyles and government policies, she said she wants Americans to act voluntarily to correct the problem.
"I can't control you. It doesn't work that way, [it's] not in the spirit of the people and the earth," she said.
This is not the first time Americans have been told to turn down the heat in their homes. In a televised address during the energy crisis in 1979, then President Jimmy Carter implored Americans to turn down their thermostats and wear sweaters in order to conserve fuel.
Most of the Inuit peoples of the Arctic no longer live in Igloos, but rather in homes with running water and electricity. Some Arctic residents complain that their snowmobiles are more prone to break through Arctic ice, which is thinner, they say, because of human-caused "global warming."
"If people don't start lobbying their political leaders or [start] taking action" it will be too late, Mike said, referring to the international battle to restrict greenhouse gases through agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol. .
'A right to be warm'
The National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank, dismissed the notion that Americans are melting Arctic ice by enjoying overly warm homes.
"Inuit representatives have asserted their right to be cold at the U.N. conference. They called it a human right. If so, there's a right to be warm, too. Americans owe no one an apology for exercising it," said David Ridenour, vice president of the National Center.