The much debated topic of climate change never fails to spark passionate opinions from those on either side of the issue. However, as crop failure becomes more prominent following increasingly warm temperatures, the global warming conversation is heating up and raising concern about the future.
The article, Crop Failure and Fading Food Supplies: Climate Change’s Lasting Impact, was written by Marlene Cimons earlier this month and calls into question climate change’s effect on the agricultural industry. Cimons claims that as temperatures become more extreme, droughts are more likely to plague certain areas, putting a halt to the growth of crops needed to sustain our population. Studies have found that harvests have dramatically decreased due to recent droughts. While this will not put an end to the production of crops, it will definitely have an impact on consumers’ wallets as researchers predict an increase in the price of common crops. This rise in cost is sure to devastate those living below the poverty line, prompting an increase in child malnutrition levels. To makes matters worse, the impact of droughts is much greater today than ever before and is predicted to become even more drastic. Adapting crops to be able to withstand more extreme temperatures can combat food insecurity. This process may be pricy, but is necessary in order to regain control over the production of crops we consume daily.
Cimons’ heavy use of rhetoric emphasizes the issue of climate change and its disruption of the growth of food. The article immediately establishes credibility by including the author’s accomplishments and countless publications. By placing this information before the articles begins, the reader gains an understanding of the previous work Cimons has done, solidifying her as a reputable figure in the audience’s mind. Readers are less likely to believe and replicate the thoughts of the author if he or she lacks experience in the field.
The article provides facts and numbers accumulated through research, further compelling readers to accept and trust what they are reading. For example, the article claims “the average impact of recent droughts — those between 1985 and 2007 — was a 13.7 percent loss, which is 7 percent greater than the 6.7 percent impact during droughts that occurred earlier, between 1964 and 1984.” By including results from accredited universities (Columbia), Cimons is able to provide unbiased data to her readers. This allows the numbers to do the talking and lets the reader develop their own opinions based on the information given.
While numerical data and proven facts are effective in gaining audience approval, Cimons also relies on subtle emotional appeals to further intrigue readers. When discussing the impact of climate change on the production of crops, Cimons reveals that the decrease in crop yields will launch the price of regularly consumed goods, putting those living on low incomes in jeopardy. The issue of child malnutrition is also introduced, a concept that pulls at the readers’ heartstrings and makes the issue of climate change more personal. Cimons questions the future and progressiveness of a society that faces such conditions, causing the audience to develop a sense of concern for the world they are living in.
I am aware of the tense connotation that the term ‘global warming’ brings to the table. Despite numerous studies and increasingly obvious evidence, people flock passionately to either side and argue whether global warming is actually occurring and how it is impacting the way we live. It is clear from the article that Cimons is a firm believer in global warming and fears what it is doing to the environment and humanity. I think that the skills the author used were effective in gaining support of readers. Even if climate change does not exist in your mind, it is clear that the production of crops is suffering and something must be done to aid the issue. Cimons was not aggressive in her suggestion of global warming, which I assume was favorable among the readers. The author only touched on the idea of global warming a few times, choosing to focus primarily on the issue of the decrease in crop yields. This problem is something that everyone would be impacted by, making the audience more likely to agree with Cimons’ claims. Suggesting solutions to this issue also sparks reader interest by giving answers to questions developed throughout the article. Overall, Cimons’ use of heavy, effective rhetoric seems to promote the much-feared concept of global warming by addressing impacts that are sure to affect everyone in society.