Personal Statement On The Climate Change

615 words | 3 page(s)

The economic side of climate change, while less studied, is critically important. Climate change has the potential to shake up our “common home” in ways that may be difficult to even fathom or understand right now. However, some climate scientists have teamed together with economists to predict what may happen as the earth’s climate continues to shift. Given that global poverty and hunger are still major problems, and given that the US is seemingly intent on slamming like a freight train into full-on economic inequality, it seems relevant to try to pinpoint precisely how climate change will shake up the social fabric. The outlook is not pretty, especially for people who are already living on the margins.

Just looking at the United States, one can see that much of the South suffers from incredible poverty and social inequality. Many of the economies in small, rural towns have still not overcome the legacy of slavery, and they have fallen behind as a result. If climate change continues to cause hotter temperatures in these places, the consequences for farming could be devastating. Not only will small-time farmers be hit the hardest, but the constituent industries that depend on farming will also take a dive. In small towns across rural America, there are farming supply stores and other industries built entirely on the notion that the particular town in question will continue to have agriculture as an economic backbone.

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In these parts of the country, migration could become a major issue, thus shaking up the social fabric even further. History has shown that as environmental conditions shift, people will be forced to move to those places where there is more opportunity. The Great Migration north of African-Americans following Jim Crow was based mostly in the desire to escape open racism, but American events like the Dust Bowl moved people around in ways that have changed the nation. These events can be a challenge for the people involved and can shift the economic realities of entire regions. Governments have to be ready for this to take place. They have to have in place the infrastructure to deal with the movement of people because of shifting climate and the changing economic conditions that go with it.

Climate change has also been linked to more erratic weather patterns. These erratic weather patterns tend to cause natural disasters, and this becomes a major economic issue for rich and poor regions alike. Hurricanes have recently slammed into major cities like New York, Houston, and New Orleans. There, they have caused billions of dollars in damage, costing people their lives, their homes, and much more. Ultimately climate change can create the sort of environment where these storms, as well as earthquakes and wildfires, are much more common. While understanding the economic impact of these events is critical for people of all wealth levels, one must also recognize the reality that dramatic weather disasters tend to hit the poorest the hardest.

One need only look at 2017 to understand this. Puerto Rico was levered by a hurricane that left most of the island without food, water, or electricity. It has devastated the people there, and little has been done to help them in the wake of it all. Many months later, parts of Puerto Rico do not have lights, and the economy has largely been destroyed. As long as climate change produces problems that will harm the poorest people in society the most, then this is something that must be considered. In light of this, failing to take action on climate change is akin to signing a death warrant for many of the world’s poor, who are already living on a razor’s edge.

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