The issue of ocean acidification is fairly new to many people. Therefore, not many people have a lot of knowledge about the effects of ocean acidification on the ecosystem. The majority of the general public do not even know what ocean acidification is. Since the media mainly emphasize global warming and climate change, the public is only aware of these impending disasters. Without the general public to push for enhanced sustainability services, the policymakers do not necessarily address this issue when creating new legislation. Although policymakers have aimed to mitigate climate change and the potential effects of global warming, they have done little to nothing to save the ocean ecosystem. Therefore, they do not clearly have an understanding on how sustainability techniques that will help the ocean ecosystem. Regarding scientists, although they are experts in the field and are familiar with the ocean acidification problem, they usually only have a general idea of this problem and therefore, cannot give adequate solutions to the sustainability of the ocean ecosystem. Scientists seem to be more concerned about the fish and marine life and less interested in the sustainability of ocean ecosystem services. Also, professionals in the fish industry that strive off selling fish seem very indifferent to the sustainability of the ecosystem. Although they are aware that ocean acidification threatens the lives of fish and other marine animals, they still continue to mass-fish in order to stimulate and run their businesses. Similar to the fish industry professionals, stakeholders who depend on commercial fishing have the same ideologies regarding the sustainability of marine life. With all this being said, it is shown that people do not actually understand the repercussions we must face if we do not create laws regarding ocean ecosystem sustainability.
In order to promote sustainability efforts to the people, the first thing that we have to do is make people more aware of the problems of ocean acidification. A good suggestion would be to teach to students in schools not only the issues of global warming and climate change, but how that affects the ocean and marine life residing in it. In addition to this, students should be taught various ways to help sustain the ecosystem and conserve resources. The students could then go home, apply what they learned, and hopefully, their actions can influence their parents’ habits as well. If this is to work, scientists, as a collective group, have to research ocean acidification in more depth and come up with habits that the general public can and should practice. The media have to do a better job reporting and spreading awareness about this problem. While doing so, they must clearly distinguish this problem from global warming and climate change so that people know that they are doing things to address two different issues. In return, politicians and policy makers must be able to listen to their citizens and create laws that can help sustain the ecosystem. For the people in charge of the fish industry, as well as stakeholders in this business, they have to be able to realize that there are more important things at stake than their business. They have to have new priorities, which mean that sustainability of the atmosphere comes first. If all of this goes according to plan and people are more aware of the effects of ocean acidification, they can do a better job of providing services to sustain the marine ecosystem.
I agree that education is necessary to create effective policies. However, there are so many aspects/problems that need to addressed that it seems hard to be well educated or listen to all the opinions of the educated.
I think you’re perhaps selling scientists and policymakers short, but you do make some interesting points. Thanks for posting, Chris!