by Aidan E.
Economy is established in every aspect of our world and encloses us in our unavoidable way of life; advancing while remaining prosperous. We humans have done an excellent job at advancing. We may advance technologically, financially or intellectually. However, the majority of our improvements lack the proper consideration for the animals we share Earth with. While we focus on progress, the animals are slowly succumbed by our actions. This not only affects them, but affects us as well. Most people comprehend how our actions affect the environment, but they never think of how it will affect them financially. Let’s break this concept down and discover how much environmental issues can financially affect our lives. We will be using ocean acidification as our nominated example.
We as humans, have always depended on the ocean for, recreation, transportation, medicines and most importantly for food. All humans are contributing to the slow, but sure degradation of the ocean. Whether it’s driving a car to work, flying to another country or just turning in a light; we contribute. When these simple activities are repeated over and over we are given a drastic matter like ocean acidification. Ocean acidification has a direct effect on shelled animals, the marine food chain and our food chain. It is predicted that by the year 2100, the oceans waters will be 150 percent more acidic (PMEL). Water this acidic has not been experienced for more than 20 million years (PMEL). This will quickly dissolve shelled animals in a staggering 45 days. This will then directly alter the marine food chain; ultimately changing ours. We will be running out of food (marine food in particular). Not only will we lack marine food, but jobs and income. This could be devastating for countries and states that solely depend on fish for their initial income. African countries such as Uganda and Tanzania would nearly have no way of providing for themselves. China, India and Myanmar’s mass fishing capacities would gradually dwindle. And here in the U.S, the 32 billion dollar commercial income rate would also deplete over time (USDC). Not only will it diminish food, but will ruin commercial operations. Ocean acidification directly affects shelled animals; coral reefs included. Coral reefs provide a global economic value of $30 billion per year through tropic scuba diving, snorkeling and many other activities. The damage of coral reefs will amount to the loss of tens of billions of dollars per year, or 0.18% of global GDP in 2100 (Ocean). As you can see, it obviously affects us all. Humans will lose money, work and spirit. This crisis hasn’t reached us yet, but if we continue as we are now, it most definitely will. Ocean acidification not only kills marine life, but shatters our economical world. It is essentially killing two birds with one stone; life and economy. These are two birds we desperately want to keep flying. Let’s read on to figure out what can be done to improve our worsening condition.
The unfortunate factor about this problem is that most people don’t have the proper education to realize the issue that surrounds them, especially in developing countries. In developed countries such as the U.S, we have resources to teach and inform kids, teens and adults. However, other countries don’t have the same privileges. Hence, you see greater amounts of pollution in those areas. Some vital examples are South African deforestation or India’s dying rivers. Samantha Hoffmann, a MUN delegate from Panama City clearly stated, “The inhabitants simply don’t have the education and knowledge to know how to care for their waters…” We know all the bad. We know that we are in trouble. We know we need to repair this issue. But how do we fix it? Where do we even start? Can you even do anything? Yes! You can. There are many things that can be done to improve our current ocean status. To start off, research ocean acidification and how much we depend on marine life for food and financial stability. Talk to your friends and parents. Break it down for them; explain and prove. Stop driving your car every day. Take a bus, bike or simply walk. Turn off your lights and conserve energy; cut down on greenhouse gasses. Last but not least, spread the word. This is our world and we have a huge responsibility. We can mend this issue, but it will take more than just one person. It’s up to you, it’s in your hands, do everything you can to educate and spread the word about our underwater economy.
PMEL. “What Is Ocean Acidification?” What Is Ocean Acidification? N.p., n.d. Web. 22 July 2015.
USDC. “Economy: Commercial Fishing – a Cultural Tradition.” Commercial Fishing. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 July 2015.
Ocean. “Economic Costs.” Ocean Acidification. N.p., 25 Nov. 2009. Web. 22 July 2015.