Climate Change and Mass Migration

by Ethan Lewis

An African Independent writer from the Washington Post investigated the large scale issue of mass human migration stemmed from climate change. The writer met with ANM Muniruzaman, a Bangladesh Politician, who recently attended an international migration policy meeting and said “The international system is in a state of denial.” He then continued to say “If we want an orderly management of the coming crisis, we need to sit down now.” Displacement of humans due to climate change is already ongoing with natural disasters like droughts, floods, and storms. Saying exactly how many people will have to migrate in the future is difficult, but statistics from previous years can help form an estimate. Roughly 203 million people were displaced between 2008 and 2015 due to natural disasters. Continue reading

Al Gore is Ready to Win the Battle of Climate Change

by Abby Schantz 

In the New York Times article, “The New Optimism,” published on March 16th, 2015, John Schwartz explains a change in action by Al Gore regarding climate change. Gore has a long list of achievements; former vice president of the United Sates, environmental activist, and investor. He is also the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change, including his Academy Award winning film, “An Inconvenient Truth.” These efforts have focused on showing the magnitude of the problem of climate change, instilling concern for the issue around the globe. Recently, however, his viewpoint has transformed to cast a more optimistic light saying, “We’re going to win this.” Gore uses the history of cellphones as an analogy to changing energy sources. In 1980, AT&T estimated that 900,000 cellphones would be sold by 2000. In fact, 109 million were sold by 2000 and, by- today, around 7 billion. Gore says the mis-estimation was due to the rapid increase in technology and decrease in costs, which turned giant blocks (old cellphones) into miniature computers (new cellphones). Continue reading

The Effect of Climate Change on Prawn Fishing in Bangladesh

by Shelby Long

Nearly 400,000 Bangladeshi people are financially dependent on the fresh water prawn market. Bangladesh offers the natural resources and ideal climate to support prawn farming from wild postlarvae. In 2002, a ban was placed on the fishing of wild postlarvae by the Department of Fisheries in Bangladesh. However, this ban is not strongly enforced, so many locals who rely on the market to make a living continue to fish. Ahmed et al. (2013) examines the effect of climate change on prawn fishing in the Pasur River through variables, including cyclones, salinity, sea level rise, water temperature, flood, rainfall, and drought. The Pasur River ecosystem, more specifically the prawn postlarvae, is highly vulnerable to climate changes because it is only one meter above sea level. Researchers surveyed and interviewed local fishermen, government fisheries officers, policymakers, and non-governmental organization workers. They also conducted focus group discussions with fishers and local community members regarding the various climate-affected variables under study. Ahmed et al. determined that prawn postlarvae catch has gradually decreased by approximately 15% over the past five years, with cyclones being the most significant climatic variable affecting the catch. Decreases in postlarvae prawn catch impact the health and socioeconomic well-being of local fishermen, many of which are women and children. Continue reading