Hearing held on Inuit climate and human-rights claim against U.S.

In the northern reaches of the world, climate change is more than a theory. For years, native Inuit have seen extreme weather and weak ice interfere with their lives, and they say big emitters like the U.S. are to blame. Today — more than a year after filing a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and a month after the body reversed its decision to deny a hearing — the Inuit will have a chance to formally make their case. “Our way of life is at stake,” says Sheila Watt-Cloutier, a past chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference whose activism recently garnered her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. “[We] tell the story of the Inuk hunter who falls through the depleting ice, how it’s connected to the industries, connected to the disposable world.” Watt-Cloutier will air her concerns to a commission with no power over the U.S. government. But her goal, she says, is a moral one: this issue is “about real people who live on top of the world.” Eh, still seems kind of far away.