“Why don’t researchers ever ask us about wisdom?”

Almost a year after I began talking with Jaypeetee Arnakak about Inuit ways of thinking about northern warming, he asked me this question. From his position as an Inuit policy worker and philosopher, Arnakak stressed to me that wisdom, or silatuniq in Inuktitut, should be of central importance to anyone concerned with climate change.

Considering the significant changes that are occurring globally and in the north — a region that some describe as climate change’s canary in the coal mine — it may seem highly impractical to shift our attention from questions of how to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to that of wisdom. What may seem even more impractical is the argument I am going to make in this article: that a sustainable and just response to northern warming and global climate change may depend on our capacity to inspire climate...

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