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Q4 (out of 4): In addition to increasing water temperatures, carbon emissions also acidify oceans (hydrogen). The entire ecosystem is disturbed as a result and overfishing on coastal areas and in high waters by large vessels only accentuate human impact on marine life. Some countries in western Africa now find their local coastal resources completely depleted. This is just one example of the combined impact (temperature rise + overfishing) of human activity on marine ecosystems but also on our own economic and living ecosystems. Indeed, the ramifications of condemning entire local coastal industries in developing countries has a global impact. Once out of a job, many choose to migrate in search of better living conditions. These large migration flux have economic and political consequences on a global scale. Yet many politicians in developed countries warry of immigration movements don’t seem to account for the presence of these confounding factors in today and future population displacements. Further, many in the US (n1 polluter in the world) seem unwilling to acknowledge any link between the current increase in temperature disturbing oceans and natural disasters occurring all over North America. As a result, a top-down approach seems unlikely to change things unless politicians are convinced that their electorate base actually cares about climate change. Yet that electorate base is also influenced by politicians using motivated reasoning to maintain status quo (i.e., their elected position). Using the wise words of the Khaleesi – how can we break the wheel? How might we be able to spark a bottom-up movement that would force politicians to act on climate change? (Cynically, wouldn’t that require a more pragmatic approach of using people’s fears against themselves – i.e., using arguments such as climate change = more immigrants)

 

Sources:

Overfishing Leaves an Industry in Crisis in Senegal: https://www.voanews.com/a/overfishing-leaves-industry-crisis-senegal/3891172.html

The Real Unknown of Climate Change: Our Behavior: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/18/climate/climate-change-denial.html

Ocean Acidification: http://www.ocean-climate.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ocean-acidification_07-5.pdf

edited question