Illustration by Nisala Saheed

What We’re Reading: 4 Essays on Climate Change

The Gazelle's pick of four essays to read during Go Green Week.

Apr 23, 2017

The Opinion Desk at The Gazelle cares about the essays that you read: we want you to read the best essays from around the world. This week, read about one of the most pressing issues of our age — climate change — as NYU Abu Dhabi celebrates Go Green Week.
####Anthropocene and Empire by Stacey Balkan The term Anthropocene has been in common use in academia and media for some time now — as in Professor Una Chaudhari’s theater class here at NYUAD, Making the Anthropo[s]cene: Figuring Climate Change Across the Arts. In this piece, writer Stacey Balkan talks about the Indian-American writer Amitav Ghosh’s 2016 book The Great Derangement. In his book, Ghosh charts the development of modern conceptions of climate and climate change, linking it to the development of the modern novel. Both Ghosh’s work and Balkan’s piece introduce literary or culture-centric ways of thinking about climate change, and in discussing the development of climate change as a result of culture, both literary and otherwise. An interesting essay for those in the humanities who are just as concerned about climate change as scientists, Balkan’s piece is a perfect introduction to the literary perspective on climate affairs.
####Unfriendly Climate by Sonia Smith Sonia Smith’s essay is a window into the life of Katherine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University. Hayhoe is a co-author of the U.S. National Climate Assessment reports of 2015 and 2016 and an evangelical Christian who thinks that climate change is not only a scientific issue but also a moral one. Smith writes that Hayhoe often uses the Bible to explain to Christians why they should care about climate change. An account of the life of a scientist who holds not only contesting but at times incompatible views, Smith’s piece compels us to think about the real challenges of making the case for climate change across political, economic and religious communities. It also leaves us with questions and, partly, answers about the role of religion in communicating and understanding the changes to our modern science-driven world.
####The Battle Over Climate Science by Tom Clynes This essay by Tom Clynes, published in Popular Science, is a survey of the challenges of climate change to the field of study as well as to the scientists who are involved. Citing a variety of scientists, among them paleo-climatologist Michael Mann, Clynes tells us about disturbing events in the scientific world: a letter laced with anthrax, hate mail, threats, vandalism, sexual attacks on scientists’ children. Clyne’s piece highlights the highly controversial nature of the topic of climate change, as well as the inane amount of investment in the field of critics of climate change. Let this essay be a guide to your journey into the world of climate change, where scientists are sued and harassed and compared to Hitler, Stalin and Satan, accused of wanting to establish a new world order.
####The Ice Stupas of Ladakh: solving water crisis in the high desert of Himalaya by Michael Safi Hot off the press, Michael Safi writes in The Guardian about Sonam Wangchuk, an engineer from Ladakh in North India who has been developing ice stupas in Ladakh. These stupas are artificial glaciers designed to provide a steady and sustainable water supply to the people of Ladakh. A short but insightful piece into grassroots efforts to counter climate change in the Himalayas, Safi’s piece is a starting point for those who are interested in innovative ways to counter the epidemic of climate change.
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