Climate change is effecting many of the social norms we are used to. It can completely change a culture and the way their heritage is passed down generation after generation.
Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey knew someone who predicted that the world would be in trouble when the group would forget who they were and the details of their culture. Stories would help them remember who they are, but the stories run the risk of not lasting for multiple generations. They are afraid to lose who they are, by getting swept up in the modern world and losing their unique culture.
People are losing the fertile growing lands that provide them to be self-sufficient due to climate change. They have two options. They have to buy seeds from major corporations, or move to find better land. There is already minimal amount of prime farming land and almost all is currently used. The fertilizing products can be helpful in the short run, but terrible in the overall scheme. The products have many harmful side effects when it rinses out and gets into large bodies of water. Spreading plants all over where they shouldn’t be, fighting native plants off and over fertilizing and ruining soil.
The fertilizers are also filled with large amounts of harmful chemicals that make living in the farming areas dangerous. Expensive gear needs to be worn in order to not breathe in the chemicals. Adding on to the already large expense already faced (The True Cost, 2015).
Buying seeds can cause many troubles for the farmers. With the prices for seeds being extremely high, small farmers are having a difficult time keeping up with the payments to the major companies. The companies also have many loopholes of not being able to use the offspring the plants provide. Many farmers all over the world have been struggling to make ends meet with the increase in demand, the increase in prices and constant amount of farming land.
Deforestation is one of the biggest, most pressing issues of Costa Rica. Laws have been “too lenient on land that is not deemed national territory, and recent amendments to forestry laws makes it easier to obtain logging permits” (Deforestation, 2016). Deforestation can cause issues with flooding, land erosion, loss of wildlife and a change in the aesthetic of the overall land. Destroying millions of trees takes away from the diverse animal population that is so unique to Costa Rica. It takes away their homes, shelter and food sources.
Many company owned plantations were once multiple smaller plantations that were forced out of their land. While visiting Puerto Rico, I heard of governments increasing the price needed to pay and the interest rates, bankrupting the poor small plantation owners so they are forced to sell the land from .10 to .50 cents on the $1. While this didn’t happen in Costa Rica per say, it is a very common occurrence and practiced by many with greed around the world.
In Farish Noor’s, Beyond Eurocentrism, he brings up the points that many cultures are connected today than ever before. While there are many positives of having a better connected world that specializes in different products and trade is a great option, it also causes many issues and creates tension. The comparison of standards of living and human rights have caused some blurred lines of how far should you go to “help” other counties create the same type of standard as the United States has.
The United States have a way of increasing the spread of the ideas, technology and especially language to other countries all over the world. We need to be careful to not think that the Western ideas are the best ideas in comparison to other countries and cultures. When a nation imposes their cultures and values on another, it is hypocritical and a form of “culture domination” that should not be allowed. I do think that if a nation’s people are being suppressed and are asking for help, then help should be given. Cultures should be there to offer opinions, but only when it is asked for. Eurocentrism is when others view the world around them, from the perspective of their own culture, and viewing everything else inferior. Cultures need to figure out how to work together simultaneously while having different values and views.
Farish Noor wants people to go beyond eurocentrism. This means they see the viewpoint of another culture from that cultures viewpoint. It isn’t enough to compare, but it is needed to fully understand the culture, especially the differences before trying to implement change. This will help bring understanding and calm the kayos that is occurring so often it seems quite normal in this day and age. Climate change has been affecting many things, and has a large impact on human and environmental issues.
Deforestation. (2016). Retrieved October 6, 2016, from
Ross, M. (Producer), Siegle, L. (Executive Producer), Firth, L. (Executive Producer) & Morgan, A.
(Director). (2015). The True Cost [Motion Picture]. North America: Untold Creative, LLC.