You may think  the Arctic is mostly unpopulated, given that in some areas you could travel for weeks without seeing a soul. But the staggering increase of the world’s population is putting a lot of pressure on the pristine ice, lands and waters.

As fossil fuels become a rare commodity in long-time traditional areas of exploitation, energy companies are looking for oil and gas farther and deeper, and using more unconventional techniques. The gasoline of today has new relatives: they are called tar sands, hydraulic fracturing, and now… Arctic oil. A scary family, indeed.

With hurricanes increasingly approaching northern latitudes and permafrost melting right before your eyes, there is much talk these days about climate change. But due to the geographical location of the Arctic, as well as the high use of coal in more populated southern countries, the North is really feeling the effects..

A lot of the world's C02 emissions find their way North and into the animals, plants and people. The Arctic is one of a kind. The fragile way of life intertwined with a direct connection to the land, makes the people, plants and the animals that live there incredibly unique. Unfortunately, the outside pressure is challenging this pristine wilderness and fragile ecosystem.  To make matters worse, researchers have established that the equivalent of 1,672 billion tons of carbon are trapped in the form of methane in the Arctic permafrost.  Why is this a cause for concern? Methane has 20 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide. The total amount of carbon trapped in the Arctic permafrost is 250 times greater than the annual U.S greenhouse gas emissions. If released, this will result in accelerated warming.

The Arctic is not only under threat from climate change but also from the propositions of off-shore oil drilling and industrial fishing. 2012 has seen the lowest sea ice levels since satellite measurements started in 1979. The size of the ice cap at the end of this summer was a mere 55% of what it was 33 years ago. The Earth is losing its hat.

Indigenous peoples from the Northern circumpolar world are now coming together to voice their concerns about the challenges and the realities they are facing. In August 2012, an Indigenous Peoples Summit was held in Russia. This conference produced a statement : "The Peoples of the North will no longer be bought with dimes and cents to stand silently by while the oil companies destroy our native land. Our culture and history cannot be replaced by pipelines and drill rigs. Our way of living defines who we are, and we will stand up and fight for our nature and environment. "

This statement is now being supported by many of the Indigenous people of the  circumpolar North. George Pletnikoff of the Greenpeace U.S. office reiterates the importance of this work: "Unless we are successful in putting a stop to the commercial development of the Arctic, we are in line to experience an environmental catastrophe which in turn will destroy the lives of the indigenous peoples who have called this their home for hundreds of generations."

I think if we are able to stay strong, unified and focused on the bigger picture, we can make history, we can make positive change. We can save the arctic.

More that 2 million people have already joined our campaign.

You can be the next one.

Mahsi ! Qujannamiik ! Thank you !