Because of global warming, most experts on climate change have predicted a range of problems that will plague our planet in the near future. From extreme shifts in weather patterns to stronger seasonal storms, it means increased flooding in some areas and droughts in others. The way we live will be affected. However, other species are already feeling the impact.
In coastal areas, rising sea-levels are already an issue. As more frequent flooding becomes the norm, insects and other small creatures living under the ground are becoming more and more displaced. Seeking refuge, they have had no choice but to invade the homes and businesses of humans more frequently than in the past.
This has presented quite a problem for restaurants especially. There, the sight of ants, cockroaches, and mice or rats, is not just bad for business. It also also puts these dining establishments at risk of being fined by the local board of health. This is a real concern for many businesses as well as the local authorities that regulate them.
In Hialeah, Florida, a restaurant, Hot Tropico Manja House, was ordered shut after forty-four health violations were discovered. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation released the following report to the public: “Roach activity was present. More than fifty live roaches were found in the cooler and the steam table located in the cook-line area. Also observed were more than ten live roaches crawling around a three-compartment sink and on storage shelves.”
When interviewed, the owner of the establishment, Chef Beckett “Bugs” Berger, explained, “It’s unfair! I’ve been in business for fifteen years. Each year the flooding here gets worse. Has the government done anything to help us business folk? Nope. You asked me about climate change, but I’m no expert. I got no answers, but the bugs obviously have to go somewhere, you know? I pay good money for a pest-control company to spray inside my restaurant. Yet, the government does nothing outdoors to help with the bugs or to stop the flooding. They just want businesses to pay more fines cause that’s how City Hall makes money. You know, in some countries they eat these bugs, but not here. It’s a shame. There’s some good money to be made.”
However, a member of Hialeah City Hall differed. Health inspector, Anita Buck, suggested, “These unscrupulous business owners blame the government. But let’s be honest, when I go into a restaurant and there are live, small insects in the kitchen flying and crawling everywhere—let alone on food— well, that just means the owner or the chef is irresponsible. My job is to protect our citizens from them.”
When asked about global warming and rising sea-levels, the inspector suggested, “Look, it’s become a fact of life. Our government has all sorts of initiatives to make the city the most water-resilient in the country. The Mayor and the city council are putting a lot of money into making sure that they keep the water at bay.”
The plight of the insects may offer us a glimpse into our own fate. Unlike the bugs, we hope that wherever we might escape to, its owners will be more hospitable to us than we are to the bugs.
Find the words in the text and select the answer that is closest in meaning to them.