World Bank Essay - How Does Climate Change Affect Us?

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Norman Pongracz:
Nature’s strange game

What happened? I still remember those days in spring, those strange times. I think of the noise of workers, the apparently scared people, who lived on the bank of the river Bodrog. This time of the year was always special in Sarospatak, my home town; this part of the year was the flood season. Groups of people, helpful volunteers gathered, and started to build an obstacle on the two sides of the river, to prevent the frightening mass of water flowing, and drowning the city. Everybody was very optimistic, the people thought in general, that we can avoid letting the water ruin our homes, in other words we can prevail against the nature. However, in the row of floods we had every spring, we realized, that nature will not adjust itself to our life, and we have to regret that this cannot work in a long term. After weeks of struggle with the Bodrog, the closest homes to the river were destroyed, everlastingly swallowed by the muddy water, and never built up again. I felt disappointed that time. The people in every age, sex and occupation, worked without stopping from day to day to mitigate the damages, but we could not defeat nature. And then the news was coming about the other parts of the country: cities had been sunk; wild animals died freezing in the water, because they did not have any place to run from the flood. Hundreds of people lost their homes, their hope during the spring days. Some poets said that the spring is the season of resurrection, but for these people it was the period of agony. The damages were huge: some statistics estimated the cost of flood 250 million dollars annually, and these were just the cost of rebuilding the homes – if they can be rebuilt. There were serious casualties among the wild animals: priceless Stags and other beautiful creations of nature died because the flood destroyed their shelter, and they could not escape from the cold water. In those days despair sat silently on our life. Everybody asked: And who was for blame? What happened in the past few years that changed our life so much? What transformed Hungarian history to a sad history of floods? It is true, that there were some heavy rainstorms in the past few years, more than long time ago. My grandfather always reminded us: “everything was “less” when I was young: less rain, less cold, less hot weather, everything…” There were occasionally arid times, when the burning heat was threatening the lives of citizens, and plants. Some scientist said that this is due to our overpopulated, built-up cities, which transports rainwater in a faster way to the river. The rivers capacity of transferring water decreased, due to the fall of animal husbandry in the region, which let the plantation spread at the expense of the river. Our greed for places near the rivers, the uncontrolled expand of cities had this grave effect on our environment. And some others argued that this was our fault. “The greenhouse effect” – as they called it – caused the warming of our region. Our factories, the anti-environmental lifestyle added small proportions to this new phenomenon. We created this hot balloon, and it popped out. Our senior scientist claimed the importance of climate-change. They have written dozens of several articles about the expected thirty percentage temperature change. The average people were shocked; their life just turned upside down. There was also a third opinion: that everything is just fine, and the climate change would occur even without us. I was amazed, that I found men and women in my country, who had considered this new phenomenon “nothing special”, and opposed the need of new behavior. However I am not angry on them, because basically everybody had the same false perception about nature’s laws for a long time. We felt, that nature is playing a strange game on us; the regions average temperature was increasing; even so miles from my home town, the great plains were becoming deserts, while...
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