As much as people may try to deny it, climate change will continue to affect our ecosystems and livelihoods if we do not take the necessary steps to reduce our harm on the world. What I have found is that the discussion regarding climate change rarely involves the devastation that countries outside of North America and Europe have and will experience due to sea level rises and unpredictable changes in weather pattern.
One of the countries experiencing coastal damage due to climate change is Ghana in West Africa. According to an article published by Foreign Policy, the coastal fishing town of Fuvemeh, Ghana, is being devastated by rising sea levels and erosion. Such occurrences not only have environmental effects, but economic ones as well. The destruction of homes and schools by rising sea levels has already altered people’s lives and interrupted the fishing economy. The issue of climate change isn’t just regarding the rise of global temperatures; it throws entire systems off balance. The rising sea levels, have made certain coastal areas dangerous places to live in due to the unpredictable nature of the sea and weather. Furthermore, when an entire town’s economy is essentially disrupted by a man-made occurrence like global warming, there should be more pressure and haste to generate solutions to the greater problem. This is just one of many instances throughout the world where rising sea levels have completely changed physical and economic landscapes.
We have seen this here in the United States this past year with Hurricane Harvey in Houston and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Additionally, major economic hubs in West Africa, such as Lagos, Nigeria and Accra, Ghana are coastal cities that can be affected rising sea levels. There must be a global concern about climate change and focus must also be centered on communities that do not receive ample attention when impacted by such effects.
Los Angeles has also been affected by climate change from rising temperatures to diminishing rainfall. The climate and landscape of this city has changed and will continue to if we choose complacency over solutions. CURes works with communities throughout Los Angeles to increase consciousness of the urban ecosystems we live in as well as the threats that climate change poses to these ecosystems. Furthermore, CURes is involved with the Mediterranean City Climate Change Consortium (MC-4), aiming to promote urban resilience, political and social awareness of climate change danger, and solutions to future problems Los Angeles might face as a result of climate change. By working directly with communities, CURes is able to implement change and promote education more directly. Grassroots organizations and research centers play a critical role in the efforts against climate change and will continue to lead this effort through the direct work that they do.
Written by Arturo Jacobo (CURes Administrative Intern)