Submission

Team

Climate Effects on Carmel Mission Basilica Museum
Title

Climate Effects on Carmel Mission Basilica Museum

Summary

In what ways can we enhance the durability of California Missions or reduce the effects of greenhouse gas emissions?

Team Information
UHA
Category
Energy

About the Problem

Problem Category

Energy

How did you identify this problem?

As our class was assigned the task to identify a problem, our group was confused on how we would approach the identification of this problem. Then we gathered some topics for where to find a problem and we came up with two, culture and climate change. Then a discussion was brought up again which one we would decide on and with the help of our professor we decided to work on both topics. As we brainstormed how we could combine both topics we realized that there are significant structures, parts of culture and history that we believed could be in danger with the increase of climate change severity. Then we brought in ideas of different structures around the world that are part of culture, such as the Aztec pyramids in Mexico. Then we realized we could make our issue more personal, by making it closer to us, from this we gathered the idea that we can focus on California Missions. This is how the identification of our problem came to be, How can you enhance the durability of California Missions because of greenhouse gas emissions?

Problem Details

Who are those affected by this problem?

In the general sense of climate change, all of humanity is affected by the issue, and for the missions, those affected by it are those who have a connection to the missions. We have seen that climate change has caused a harsher way of living for all of us, such as severe weather. Then the change of weather also affects the durability of important historical places. Such in the case of our issue, some missions have not held well with strong change. The deterioration can be significant to those who have felt connected to the missions, for example in some schools in California, students learn about the missions, they create projects, and even get to visit the sites. Then there are people in different places who want to know more about the missions, and they can tour to get a stronger understanding of the history they hold. If we don’t keep the missions, then these values can fall, there will still be information on them, but there won’t be a physical experience.

How often does this problem occur?

Climate change affects the temperature of Earth and it's also responsible for the ocean rising for a variety of reasons including ice glaciers melting, thermal expansion, and melting away ice sheets causing the ground to sink into the ocean. With the temperature going up throughout the years it's causing ice to melt. All around the world ice glaciers have been slowly melting over the years. Which is causing all the ice from those glaciers to melt into the ocean causing the water levels to rise. The ice sheets have also been melting under the ground from the Ice Age and it's causing the ground to sink into the ocean. Melting ice isn’t everything we need to worry about, we also need to worry about thermal expansion which has reportedly been happening since the 1970s. With the temperatures rising it causes the water molecules to move rapidly resulting in the water to expand.

How long has the problem been going on?

Our issue is focused on the Carmel Mission Basilica Museum. The Carmel Mission is located on 3080 Rio Road, Carmel-By-The-Sea, California. However, we believe our problem has an impact that covers more area than the actual mission itself. The broad impact of climate change deteriorating the Carmel Mission can be simplified into primary, secondary, and tertiary geographic areas. Following this line of thought, the specific location of the mission would be the primary area. We could say that the decay of the mission would primarily impact its priests, parishioners, and visitors. The secondary area would be the surrounding city of Carmel-By-The-Sea. The worsening state of the mission could be problematic for the people of the city and its tourism revenue. Finally, the tertiary area would cover the entirety of the state of California. Schools often have Mission projects and field trips for the young students of California. If the mission’s structure declines substantially, these students would not be able to visit and learn about the historical significance of the Carmel Mission.

Is the problem disrupting the community? How?

Within California, the energy used is dependent on fossil fuels such as natural gas and oil. As a result of burning fossil fuels, greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and others are released into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, though naturally occurring, in a mass amount can act as a layer of plastic wrap around the Earth. Letting heat in but not allowing it to escape, acting as a greenhouse. Climate change contributes to air pollution, ocean acidification, droughts, a rise in sea-levels, and increased temperatures. The warming of the oceans and loss of glaciers and polar ice caps has led to thermal expansion, which is the primary cause of global sea level advances. It is predicted that local sea level will rise 1.5 meters by the end of the century due to climate change, storm surges, high tides, and weather extremities. Located merely 200 feet above sea level, Carmel Mission Basilica is at a high risk of deterioration and being swept away. The establishment of the mission in June of 1770 was Spain's attempt to establish settlement along the Pacific Coast to protect their interests from North America, Britain, and Russia. Though the mission was used to educate natives and convert them to Christianity, they also created outposts of Hispanic presence within California. California culture, language, tradition, and customs are deep rooted into the history of the Spanish missions located throughout California. Active for 40 years the presence of the mission had major impacts in different parts of life in California. It is important to protect the cultural heritage for education, historic and identity reasons of the shared roots.

Is the issue perceived as a problem by the community at large?

The issue of climate change and its effects are going to have a large impact on everyone worldwide. Within the Carmel community there is a climate committee that focuses on developing a “Climate Action” and “Adaptation Plan”. They meet on a regular basis and assess threats and challenges in direct relation to their community. Alongside other persistent issues in relation to climate change within the community, protection of cultural compounds and natural preservations are some of the priority assets at risk to the hazards. The committee also includes experts on the topic of climate change in order to accurately and efficiently educate the community on ways they can contribute. The collaboration births now-action plans the community can follow along with.

Is the problem limited to certain geographic areas?

Our issue is focused on the Carmel Mission Basilica Museum. The Carmel Mission is located on 3080 Rio Road, Carmel-By-The-Sea, California. However, we believe our problem has an impact that covers more area than the actual mission itself. The broad impact of climate change deteriorating the Carmel Mission can be simplified into primary, secondary, and tertiary geographic areas. Following this line of thought, the specific location of the mission would be the primary area. We could say that the decay of the mission would primarily impact its priests, parishioners, and visitors. The secondary area would be the surrounding city of Carmel-By-The-Sea. The worsening state of the mission could be problematic for the people of the city and its tourism revenue. Finally, the tertiary area would cover the entirety of the state of California. Schools often have Mission projects and field trips for the young students of California. If the mission’s structure declines substantially, these students would not be able to visit and learn about the historical significance of the Carmel Mission.

Who are the Stakeholders, those wanting this problem to be fixed?

Through examining the impact of our issue, we can identify the stakeholders. In this case, the stakeholders would consist of people who want to prevent the eventual decline of the Carmel Mission Basilica Museum. The Carmel Mission’s wellbeing is important to its priests, parishioners, and visitors. Another group of stakeholders include the residents of the city of Carmel-By-The-Sea. The final group of stakeholders, which ultimately consolidates the other groups, would be the residents of California. The people, who have a significant stake in our issue, constitute an unusually broad demographic. But, we believe that every resident of California should be concerned over the Carmel Mission. This is evidenced by the Carmel Mission being an integral part of California’s identity. The Carmel Mission, properly known as Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, is a key part of California history. The mission is the physical proof of how Francisan missionaries created a chain of missions that would endure through Spanish invasion, the Mexican-American War, and the cessation of California to the United States. The missions represent the religious majority of California, which is shown by the priests and parishioners who still carry out Catholic rituals in the mission. The decline and possible loss of the mission would create a gap of knowledge to new generations of Californians about California’s Spanish, Mexican, American, and Catholic identity. This makes improving the state of the mission all the more urgent.

Addressing the Problem

Are you aware of any solutions, approaches, or efforts to tackle this problem?

Currently the only ways to preserve the missions and prevent further damage is two ways. We can reduce global warming by switching to the use of renewable resources and energy. We can also directly preserve the missions by switching the material of adobe to brick.

What are the obstacles you are aware of to address the problem?

The obstacles of climate change and global warming are massive. Most people do not want to switch over to renewable energy and ignore the fact that climate change is real.

What are the success criteria that could be defined to address this problem?

We need to first unite as a people that global warming is real and the effects it will have on everyone will be detrimental. We can slowly start shifting over to renewable resources and reduce our footprints.