We Have Extremely Sad News About Sweden’s Reindeer

“We are living with the effects of climate change.”

Tessa Bunney/Getty

This story was originally published by the Guardian. It appears here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Sweden’s indigenous Sami reindeer herders are demanding state aid to help them cope with the impact of this summer’s unprecedented drought and wildfires, saying their future is at risk as global warming changes the environment in the far north.

The Swedish government this week announced five major investigations aimed at preparing the country for the kind of extreme heatwave it experienced in July, when temperatures exceeded 86 degrees Fahrenheit and forest fires raged inside the Arctic circle.

But it has yet to come up with any concrete measures for the country’s 4,600 Sami reindeer owners—the only people authorized to herd reindeer in Sweden—and their 250,000 semi-domesticated animals, raised for their meat, pelts and antlers.

The owners are asking for emergency funding to help pay for supplementary fodder as a replacement for winter grazing lands that could take up to 30 years to recover from the summer’s drought and fires.

More Mother Jones reporting on Climate Desk

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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