Do you believe the scientists, or what you see?
Environment Canada says this winter has been one of the snowiest on record for the Kivalliq region and Nunavut as a whole.
Most people on the ground seem to think just the opposite.
Sarah Hoffman, the Environment Canada rep, even readily admitted that she couldn’t explain the discrepancy in reports and that Nunavummiut’s experiences are valid.
It’s unlikely there is anything significantly wrong with Environment Canada’s measurements, especially because they seem to reflect the same trend across different communities in Nunavut.
Obviously, people’s experience on the land can’t be debated, the answer is likely somewhere that both sides can agree on – that the snow has gone somewhere.
This conflict of perspective is almost a microcosm of the current trend in the world for the ‘official’ information not to jive with real-world experiences.
For much of the Covid pandemic, if it weren’t for the news and government mandates, many of us wouldn’t have even known there was a deadly virus circulating. In most places, there weren’t masses of bodies in the streets with people collapsing left, right and centre.
But for some jurisdictions, the experience was as apocalyptic as the news made it sound, and as time went on, more and more were touched by its impact.
It doesn’t mean there’s a conspiracy at play, but there’s some sort of incongruence between the major institutions and the people, as there likely always has been throughout history and cultures.
If we were in an era of only oral history, perhaps the 2021-‘22 winter would go down as one of the driest. But in an era of government records, it will live on as one of the wettest. History is often thought of as a list of cold, hard facts, when in reality it is as subject to perspective as any modern-day occurence.
There’s good reason for skepticism with ‘experts,’ which itself can be a charlatanical term. Is an expert someone who knows 100 per cent of the truth, versus the masses knowing just one per cent? Or is it closer to knowing two per cent of the truth, compared to the masses’ one per cent? Can truth even be quantified like that?
It’s not so easy to decipher how authoritative experts’ domain really is, and imbuing them with undeserved jurisdiction on a topic could lead us down ignorant paths. But likewise, ignoring them completely would be ignorant itself and it’s valuable to know the range of assessments on any given situation and to judge whose stock to invest in on a case-by-case basis.
Whether it’s been a snowy winter in the Kivalliq or not isn’t quite on the level of questioning whether Covid-19 was that deadly of a pandemic, but dissonance between the official or popular narratives and the common person’s experience is widespread.
It’s good to know what all sides think, but that doesn’t seem to make it much easier to find the truth.