Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Extreme Weather Impact in India Is Alarming

Dear editor, The New York Times:

I found the article “A Volatile Brahmaputra River Will Grow Only More So”  by Brian Orland very informative and emotionally appealing. The fact that this part of the world in India may not be known to many people was not a negative factor in the overall outcome of the story. Often when people think of climate change, at least in America, it is focused on slight changes in weather, for example warm days in the winter. Seeing climate change on a larger and much more serious scale was eye opening.

The most compelling aspect of the article is how the reader is able to connect with people who are affected by global climate change on such a personal level. Hearing real life stories from someone who used to live in the area when it was a thriving agricultural region makes it much more effective in the sense that you begin to feel sorry for those affected.

Also, you allow the reader to realize just how extreme the situation has become, not just in terms of environmental issues, but also its effects on those who live there. Whereas before people were able to utilize the land for a time, and then migrate during the flood season, you portray clearly that this is no longer possible due to the extreme changes in weather. Today, people are forced to live in areas that flood, which shows how easily environmental issues can overlap, in this case population and climate change. The realization that one can lead to another or even have some sort of effect on it is what readers need to hear in order to start making changes.

I think that there are ways that even more information could have been given to the reader. Although the personal stories of those quoted make the article more appealing, it’s hard to connect to people who you only read about instead of actually see. Pictures of those who you talked to about the issue would have allowed readers to put a face to the issue, making it even more emotionally appealing and possibly gaining more followers on the issue. It has been seen in the past that it is difficult to get people involved in an issue unless they can picture someone who has been affected by it; people often need to see the damages in action in order to care.

An article like this can definitely help inform people about the horrible outcomes of global climate change. Although this story is not close to home, the idea that entire rivers will stop flowing, and then flood completely, is something that should alarm everyone, no matter where you live. The more people read this, the more predominant the issue will become. 

 Lisa Quaglino 
Mahwah, NJ

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