The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Varshini Prakash '15 pens Boston Globe Article on the Sunrise Movement & the Green New Deal

SBS Alumna Varshini Prakash '15 (right)SBS Alumna Varshini Prakash '15 (right)
Wednesday, September 18, 2019

--Via Boston Globe

I’m Massachusetts born and raised, the child of two immigrants from southern India. Growing up, I loved the stories my father would tell about his hometown of Chennai, a bustling city on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. It’s always been a magical place in my mind, a place where I felt I belonged, even though I spend most of my days half a world away.

In December 2015, Chennai was devastated by floods. Roads I had walked on as a child when I visited my grandparents were submerged in up to 8 feet of water. From my home in Boston, I watched in horror as images of people wading chest-deep in flood waters filled my computer screen. Thousands were displaced and hundreds killed.

Walking in my neighborhood park along the shore in East Boston, it’s all too easy to imagine this place submerged in water too, just as the climate maps predict for 2050. As our planet warms, floods like the ones in Chennai are getting worse. Fire seasons are running longer, storms are getting stronger, and drought leading to famine is forcing people from their homes to seek sanctuary across borders.

All our lives my peers and I watched as older generations failed to stop the unfolding climate crisis, as political leaders filled their campaign coffers with Big Oil dollars and blocked progress, as presidential debate cycles concluded without a single question on climate. We came to the uneasy realization: There were no adults in the room. If we were going to solve this problem, we’d have to take it on ourselves. Read more...