The Pacific NorthWest a Haven from Climate Change?


“North Cascades.” Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, USDA Forest Service.

Looking back on the lesson 7 contemplative practice on climate complexity I was at first kind of glad to be living in the Pacific NorthWest. As we saw in one of the slides the pacific north west will have increased agriculture production because of climate change. However, I quickly realized that even if the local area I live in will not be impacted as hard by climate change it does not mean that we will not feel the effects. Since we are part of a global food system disruptions at any end of that system can reverberate through it to the other sides. As a real-world example, that same slide showed much of Central America, Mexico, and the southern United States will be negatively impacted by climate change. This means that people in the agriculture sectors in those areas will potentially be unable to continue farming. Which will destabilize the economies in those areas potentially forcing others out of their jobs. In turn, this could lead to mass migrations out of those areas into areas less affected by climate change. It will also put more strain on the rest of the country and surrounding countries as the value of food increases due to a lack of production, causing suffering for those who can no longer afford it. Which all goes to show that there is no safe haven from the effects of climate change. The entire world and by extension the entire food system (and many other global systems) are put in jeopardy. Therefore, we cannot sit on our heels while other people in more affected regions attempt to deal with the problem. A global problem will require global solutions. We saw that international agreements can be effective if there is not too much economic pressure against them. Therefore, we need to find a way to remove the economic hold that oil companies have over our governments so that we can pass effective international agreements.

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