A rhetorical perspective We live in a day and age where climate change is a very controversial yet important topic. With many prominent world leaders who usually disregard climate change as a myth and don’t do anything towards preventing the ill effects of it, it becomes our responsibility to educate ourselves on what it is and why it is important to do our part so that future generations don’t have to face the implications that we couldn’t help resolve. The article posted by The Guardian is a good take on the importance of being aware of climate change. The article has cited multiple sources and climate change statistics to provide its stance on why it is of outmost importance to save the planet. Compared to the four other articles that I would be using for this essay, the article by The Guardian is one of the best and is quite unique from its counterparts. Unlike other articles which talk about only about the history of carbon emissions and its implications on nature, The Guardian takes it a step further and prevents a political viewpoint on the whole situation.
The article focuses its audience, that is the general public, to urge governments and politicians to do their part in helping the environment. After the withdrawal of the USA from Paris Climate Accord and fears over environmental reports to be watered down by the US, Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich countries for monetary gains, Jim Skea, a co-chair of the working group on mitigation quotes “We have presented governments with pretty hard choices. We have pointed out the enormous benefits of keeping to 1.5C, and also the unprecedented shift in energy systems and transport that would be needed to achieve that. We show it can be done within laws of physics and chemistry. Then the final tick box is political will. We cannot answer that. Only our audience can – and that is the governments that receive it.”
Finally, the article uses data rich statistics to provide proof of environmental conditions worsening which in turn affect our livelihood. Moreover, the article provided an aerial picture of continents’ geography that have changes drastically over the years due to climate change. To understand the implications of climate change on our planet, the article from the BBC revolves around climate change is and its effects on the earth and its inhabitants. It starts off by stating what the definition of climate change is followed by the evidence for the increase in greenhouse gases and global warming through statistics. The article further supports the arguments by talking examples on how the flora and fauna are slowly but surely getting negatively affected. Few of the arguments that the BBC talks about include: • Climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events. Although this means an overall increase in rainfall which may seem beneficial, it can actually cause devastating droughts in some and massive floods in others. • Poor countries would be the ones most affected as they do not have the means or infrastructure to adapt to such changes. • Life on this planet could face extinction due to fast changing habitats, faster than which species can adapt to. The counterargument presented is that there is a certain factor that could offset global warming. This factor being reservoirs on the surface of earth which are responsible for the absorption of CO2 as part of their carbon cycle.
As a reader, I completely agree with the points laid out. It truly is terrifying when we comprehend the fate of our planet if we don’t do anything to save it. Because end of the day we have no one else to blame but us for being in this situation. Therefore, it becomes our responsibility as a generation to be more aware of the issues that global warming and carbon emission has on our planet so that we can produce a better environment for the future generations. All this information on how our planet is doomed by climate change is in fact supported by many scholarly researches. The article from NBC goes over multiple reports such as the U.N.’s latest climate report in October and the American Phycological Association that talk about how “unprecedented” action and catastrophic conditions could arrive in the near future. Not only does the drastic change in the climate cause various physical issues such as floods, draughts and mass destruction, but it can also take a toll on the mental health of people bring affected by this. As a matter of fact, it’s the youth that are most concerned about this as they feel there’s nothing much left to do to reverse this process of calamity. Some researchers have even gone as far as to term this mentality as “climate grief”.
To combat the issue of climate grief, the author provides certain ways in which we can cope this sense of guilt and grief that might put our future generations in risk of danger. One such way is through a 10-step program that tackles climate grief by confronting their fears and sadness. The program runs as a 10-week cycle with a weekly meeting that encourages people to confront their despair by acknowledging the fact that they are part of the problem as polluters, but at the same time also motivate them to be part of a solution. The founders of this program truly feel it’s okay to grieve and that they will normalize those feelings. As a millennial myself I agree with the arguments that the author presents. It really is a scary thought that we are placed in a helpless situation where the planet is slowly dying because of previous generations actions. Although reports from the Trump administration have declared that cutting down greenhouse gas emissions could avert this problem, various other studies have shown that the levels of global warming are steadily increasing and could hit an all-time high. Moreover, a recent survey from Yale has shown that there is rising levels in anxiety shown by the general public when it comes to the alarming news of drastic change in the weather. Just like any other form of grief, there is a form of climate anxiety that many of the youth in this generation must be feeling. Educating ourselves on how we can be part of a solution would not only benefit our generation but future ones as well.
The article by NOAA, a notable government website takes a deep dive and provides a frightening reality into how climate change is affecting the united states and its inhabitants. It talks about all the sectors climate change effects such as water, energy, transportation, agriculture, and many more, things that we depend on the daily and how a depletion in these resources can cause a hard time for us humans, and in extreme cases even cause extinction of the entire human race. The article provides multiple resources for teachers and students to educate themselves further on the topic. As the saying goes: “Knowledge is Power”, knowing more about the effects of climate change can truly inspire a young generation of students to strive for better conditions.
Finally, the article from global change, a government website is focused on climate talks and about how we are living in an era where the earth’s climate is changing more than ever as compared to previous civilizations, and we are the ones to be blamed for this phenomenon. This does not only have an impact on our environment but also many sectors of the economy that are expected to grow. The article also provides numerous resources to learn more about what is happening as well as why, its impacts on society and response options to tackle this catastrophe. To conclude, through various scientific research conducted over the years it becomes evident that climate change is very much a reality and it can have devastating effects on our environment, such as draughts, floods, starvation, etc. It is therefore of outmost importance for us to cope with this sad reality and apply pressure on politicians to do right thing and employ environment friendly methods such as clean energy to save the environment. Moreover, like many of the articles suggested, even one person can greatly contribute to the greater good. We don’t have to wait on others to start acting before we can provide a positive impact on the environment. I personally will try to be more aware of my actions in everyday life to ensure I am being as eco friendly as possible and even employ certain technologies that I learn through my major of Computer Engineering to combat this phenomenon. Examples include devices that reduce carbon emission and software that help predict certain statistics. Slowly but surely, we all can make a difference!
- Watts, Jonathan. “We Have 12 Years to Limit Climate Change Catastrophe, Warns UN.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 8 Oct. 2018.
- “What Is Climate Change?” BBC News, BBC, 3 Dec. 2018.
- Scher, Avichai. “'Climate Grief': The Growing Emotional Toll of Climate Change.”
- NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 24 Dec. 2018. “Climate Change Impacts.” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Understand Climate Change.”