For people who have spent a lot of time around the oceans and a lot of time learning about oceans, it can be difficult to understand why some people do not think twice about ocean conservation. This can often lead to frustration during conversations or a lack of public support for certain ocean conservation topics. This short blog post is meant to touch at the root of this issue: why do some people simple not care about oceans?
1. Not all people live near oceans.
Although a good portion of American’s live in a coastal county, over 60% of people do not. This large percentage of people do not get to experience the ocean as frequently as those who live near the coast. Although people can be passionate about worldwide topics, people are also naturally drawn to topics that directly affect their daily life. Therefore, people who live inland are naturally more removed from issues concerning the ocean.
For example, a construction worker in the middle of a large inland city is more removed from nature than a construction working building a home on the cliff of an ocean. The construction worker in the city may not think twice about trash that blows off of his construction site, because it simply blows into the city and becomes another persons issue. However, the construction worker on the edge of a ocean bluff watches his trash blow directly into the ocean, so he is naturally more aware of his potential impact on the environment.
It is important to understand this is not the case for everyone who lives inland, as travel is becoming continually easier. However, it is also important to understand that this is a very valid reason that people are not well versed in their ocean knowledge. Whenever speaking to people about topics such as ocean conservation, make sure that you understand everyone comes from different areas with different experience, and that it is natural for people to have different world views because of this.
2. People are busy with their lives.
In the 21st century, people are consumed with the craziness of every day life. Be it school, kids, work, sports, chores, relationships, pets, or hobbies, it can be stressful trying to juggle all the things you want to do. The truth of the matter is that some people just don’t have the time to think about conservation. If you are not actively seeking information on conservation, it is something that can easily slip your mind.
3. People don’t know where to find information.
The internet has opened up a world of information on an endless number of topics. However, it is hard to know where to begin looking for information in an unfamiliar field.
For example, I am a marine biologist, so if I was interested in learning more about how I could help alleviate poverty, I would literally type “how to stop poverty” or some equivalent into my google search bar. I would not understand the details of what I was learning, if the information was correct, which sites were reputable, or how I could actually apply the information I learned.
4. Conservation isn’t relevant to them.
This goes hand in hand with people having busy lives. Usually, their busy lives would not change much if Vaquitas become extinct. Therefore, when people are not directly affected by a particular issue, it can be hard for them to care about it.
Any ideas to add? Comment below!
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