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Samantha Smith I took 255 last winter and the class really gave me insight into how big of an issue climate change is. Often times when I read a paper on climate change and the environment, I become very overwhelmed and thus, feel hopeless about what can be done. The combination of development issues and the environment posed an even more overwhelming feeling than focusing on global climate change alone. Box 2 especially stuck out to me. Poverty and inequality are two topics that we focused on this term in Development and Box 2 addresses both of these issues alongside climate change. My knee-jerk reaction is, “well, if the climate continues to change than women will lose more rights and have less power, and thus development can start to unravel.” I think that the World Bank choosing to break up the impacts into three different regions was good. The regions chosen were Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and Europe, and Europe and Central Asia. Often times when we think about climate change and the environment, there is the idea that “this will never affect me.” IF you never think anything is going to change your life, than you are not going to think about it or try to make a change. Localizing the potential problems is good because then the local populations will be able to imagine their own world if the temperature increases by 2 or 4 degrees Celsius. The colored coded maps have a greater impact as well because it shows the population density and then it explains the greatest threats to specific areas within the region. The Executive Summary also doesn’t just say “water will rise,” but rather what these implications have, for instance, food security and a risk for subsistence farming. These direct results of global warming are so specific that each reader can understand what their life would be like if the earth warmed 2 degrees and 4 degrees. When I saw the title of the last section, “Consequences for Development” I almost laughed because it was so direct and fitting to the class. Obviously this is a World Bank report, so they can be this direct, which I think is good. Box 7, 8 , and 9 were all scary to say the least, but they really drove all the conclusions home in case you weren’t paying attention or realized the gravity of the climate situation in the previous pages. The sheer organization of the effects of a warming world, do help me wrap my head around it all, but it is still overwhelming and I don’t think that is going to change any time soon.
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Dec 9, 2014