(SPOILER ALERT: THE ARCTIC—AND IT SHOULDN’T BE!)
The Arctic is warming at least twice as fast as anywhere else on the planet. All the vital signs—sea and land surface temperatures, terrestrial snow cover, the melting rate of the Greenland Ice Sheet, the extent and timing of sea ice—are all flashing red.The Arctic is Ground Zero of a rapidly warming, changing planet.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA for short, recently issued its annual Arctic Report Card, which mostly makes for grim reading. At the same time, one of the storylines is that it’s not too late, that there is still time to slow and even to reverse the most pernicious changes that otherwise threaten all of us.
“What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic,” says Tero Mustonen, one of the authors of the report. He knows the Arctic as a scientist, as a fisherman, as a leader of the innovative Snowchange Cooperative, as the head of the village of Selkie in North Karelia, Finland. And, as worried as he is by what he sees happening around him, he and his colleagues have developed a solution: rewild spoiled lands in the Far North to turn them back into the massive carbon sinks badly needed by Earth.
Listen as he explains the problem as well as the solution, with some geopolitics thrown into the mix to make matters worse. Then tell us: do you think climate change can be slowed in your lifetime?
ABOUT OUR GUEST
Tero Mustonen is the President and Co-Founder of the Snowchange Cooperative based in Selkie, North Karelia, Finland. Snowchange is a non-profit cooperative that was originally founded in 2000. It is also a large network of traditional and Indigenous communities around the world.
Despite its green global image, Finland has long relied heavily on the exploitation of Nature for income and debt repayments; Tero Mustonen is working to close that gap by smashing accepted Finnish norms and creating new realities. Mustonen is an academic, a professional fisherman and the President of Snowchange, an organization that leads landscape-scale rewilding projects. He works to protect and restore the unique biocultural diversity of Arctic and boreal regions in the face of climate change in solidarity with the region’s local and Indigenous peoples. He is a vocal advocate for Finland to take a role in progressive, climate leadership while his role as a lead author in the most recent assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is bringing global prominence to how Finland and other Arctic nations can meaningfully contribute to global climate efforts. He is also the head of the village of Selkie, North Karelia, Finland.