UCI School of Social Ecology | Climate Change PresentationOctober 27, 2022 12:29 pm
UCI School of Social Ecology | Climate Change Presentation
At a recent Staff & Faculty Retreat at UCI, Richard Matthew, a professor at the UCI School of Social Ecology, gave a presentation on his research on climate change and its potential future impacts. His presentation explains the urgency to address the factors contributing to climate change. Climate change has caused global warming, more frequent and severe climate-related hazards (droughts, floods, heatwaves, wildfires, etc.), biodiversity to move, ice melting, sea levels to rise, among other such affects. It has also impacted people regarding food and nutrition, disease, livelihood (financial security), physical and mental health, hazard exposure, migration, and conflict of displacement. Additionally, 90% of recent wars have had significant environmental dimensions.
Also, Matthew discusses migration as an integral aspect of the climate emergency and takes an in-depth look into what this specifically looks like. Matthew describes mobility as the most common form of behavioral adaptation in humans and other species and describes it as being a result of and as contributing to climate change. What drives migration are of the following categories: economic, political, environmental, urbanization, and curiosity. Migration can also be permanent, temporary, or seasonal and can be forced or voluntary. Matthew also describes specific instances of migration’s direct relationship with climate change. He points out that today 1% of settled land is too hot for the human body, which is expected to increase to 19% by 2070, affecting 30% of the world population. Additionally, labor productivity has declined by 7-15% but is expected to grow to become greater than 50% this century.
Although this is all true, Matthew relays that the solution involves shifting your mindset and perspective and through demonstrating that it is possible to go in a direction that lessens the climate emergency. He concludes with the thought that through the specific, the universal can be proven. In his specific case, he expresses that Orange Country could potentially serve as a model, showing that it is possible to take concrete action to lessen the impacts of climate change.
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