Connor’s Op-Ed Reaction

In the New York Times article named “Coronavirus Doesn’t Slow Trump’s Regulatory Rollbacks” written by Lisa Friedman she highlights the many changes being made by the Trump administration in order to cut the spending on environmental protection and scientific research. The explanation behind these cuts lies within protecting the oil companies and their businesses by cutting back on the amount of fines and restrictions they receive, and because of the current situation happening in the US right now it is much easier for these changes to be made with much uproar. Much of the cuts in spending will effect migratory bird species as well as the protection of birds around large oil rigs.

This article is an opinion editorial because the author focuses her argument around how and why these cuts are being made, but includes quotes and facts which sheds light on the Trump administrations faults, and in some cases show the hypocrisy in some of it. One quote from the article states, “The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has illustrated the importance of ensuring rapid access and response to scientific information, as well as the utilization of that information.” In this, the speaker is trying to show that if the Trump administration is able and willing to listen to scientific information on the virus, then why would he not listen to the overlying evidence and scientific research claiming that we need to put more focus on the environment.

Kaitlyn Tran’s Op-ed Post

Throughout the op-ed, the author Christopher Ketcham expressed his opinion of the current reduction of air pollution due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the virus outbreak, drastic drops of tourism and travel have occurred which leads to the current decline of transportation cutbacks that contributes to the reduction of massive amounts of air pollution.

I can tell this is an op-ed article due to the fact that the author is trying to persuade and convince their readers about the effects of carbon emissions has on climate change and how this is the first time we as a society, can take a step back and think about how this will affect our future. For example, he states “The coronavirus may finally cause us to see air travel for what it is, a fuse burning in the climate bomb,” (Ketcham). In this article, he really voices his own opinion and adds his own thoughts that are backed up with statistics which is different than other articles because he is trying to convince the reader to think more about how we can cut back on traveling to save our country’s planet. He also states “It is a world of less travel, less consumption, one not pathogen-determined but instead created by our own collective self-restraint, humility and altruism. If we learn from the coronavirus, generations to come will thank us,” (Ketcham). At the end of the op-ed, he states his opinion about how the coronavirus has allowed us to think about our future and how we can control climate change after the outbreak of the virus settles. This is an eye-opener for the future of our society to think about future acts we can practice to eliminate climate change.

Nina Mewborne’s Op-ed post

This article, written by Jim Robbins, titled “A Natural Classroom, Run by Wolves” explores the outcome of reintroducing wolves into Yellowstone. This op-ed is focused around the impacts regular civilians can see with their own eyes, instead of what scientists would study.

The reader can tell this is an op-ed because there are no statistics or facts to back up what is said but focuses on the personal story around it. It is written informally and the author has a clear opinion on the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone. About halfway through the article, Robbins includes a quote from Dr. Smith, he states that “I can drive out to watch wolves with a cup of coffee in my hand.” This would not be a valuable direct quote if it was a research paper or an informative article. This type of statement would only be useful in an op-ed because it adds to the feel and emotion of the story instead of the data and facts.

Patel Op Ed Response

The article “The pandemic isn’t fixing climate change” by John Sutter outlines the ways that the Coronavius pandemic seems to have alleviated the effects of climate change, but is not the actual solution and is not something we should be celebrating.

It is clear to me that this is an opinion piece because the author does not use formal language that is present in scholarly articles and essays. When discussing the current climate crisis dialogues, Sutter asserts that “the way we’re talking about all of this is gross” (Sutter 2020). By using language like “gross” it is clear that he is inserting his very personal opinion into the article. Sutter also includes lots of “I” language, for example “If there’s one tiny silver lining that I take from the way individuals are responding to the coronavirus pandemic”… By using “I”, Sutter makes it clear that what he is writing about are his own experiences and opinions.

Tangyu Zhang’s Op-ed Post

3 billion birds have vanished from our skies. Can we ever bring them back?

The article explains several reasons for the dramatic decline of birds in the United States over the years, and warns of the importance of birds to nature. The authors suggest several ways to help birds survive, and urge people to bring them back.

I think this is an op-ed article because it has a clear point of view. Unlike a news report, which is simply a statement of fact, this article has a point of view supported by the author. For example, the author at the end of the article also clearly stated that we need to beautify the natural environment together. Further more, the article also has evidence and data to support her opinion, which makes the article more readable and believable.

Matt Firmin’s Op Ed Post

The op ed I looked at was What Social Distancing Looked Like in 1666 by Annalee Newitz. The article heavily draws on the experiences of English politician Samuel Pepys during the bubonic plague. The article demonstrates how medical science has progressed over the years by drawing contrast between reactions to these pandemics in the past and today. It details the origins of social distancing; where funeral gatherings were banned during the time of the Black Plague. The article also catalogs human behavior, Newits notes how people during this time would purchase and bury excess supplies. Where in the past frightened citizens would bury wine and cheese, people now hoard toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

I recognize the article as an op-ed because the author writes in a very informal tone. The author uses the information and subject with the primary goal to entertain the reader rather than to educate or express new information to the world. In addition, the author pokes fun of both modern and past actions, speaks directly to the reader, and uses “all caps” to express points. It is very clear that the points expressed in this article are not that of the publisher New York Times but that of the author. This article represents Annalee Newitz’s opinions and as such it is her op ed.

Zoe Smith’s Op-ed Post

Sorry, but the Virus Shows Why There Won’t Be Global Action on Climate Change is an op-ed by Jason Bordoff that argues despite the quick and effective response to COVID-19 there will be no transferral of quick and effective action to climate change. This is due to the refusal to uproot daily lives for climate crisis, the lack of public buy-in, and the strong link between carbon emissions and economic activity.

I believe this piece is an op-ed because of the type of language the author is using as well as the types of arguments. Throughout the article, Bordoff uses confident language. He states, “Like COVID-19, climate change is the ultimate collective action problem. Each ton of greenhouse gas contributes equally to the problem, no matter where in the world it is produced.” He continues to call the lessons Coronavirus is teaching about climate change “sobering”,  and notes a the public opinion as concern over the “so-called ” of climate risk.” Bordoff also cites many other sources, but none of his own opinion, throughout his article. It comes off as an entirely fact-based stand. He does not entertain any other arguments or narratives, as you might see in scholarly articles or essay. This hyper-focused and passionately worded argument reads to me as an op-ed.


Sadie Herman Op-ed Post

This article talks about what the coronavirus means for the future of climate change. It talks about how currently it may be helping climate change because everyone is staying inside and not going to work so the air is strikingly cleaner and there is drastic reduction in the use of fossil fuels around the world. Although this sounds like a good thing, there are a lot of affects that this could have negatively on the earth later because this is actually not good for climate change. For example, there is going to be a global oil demand, there will be a stall for the shift to clean energy, and gatherings of world leaders to address the climate crisis also have been delayed or canceled, so everything is being stopped or pushed back which is not good because climate change is working against time.

This is an Op-Ed because it expresses the opinion of the author that is not affiliated with the publication’s editorial board. The author gives their opinion on the coronavirus affecting climate change by starting with the few good positive things and ending with the multiple negative things. Also, it is in the opinion section of the New York Times so it is opinion based of the author.

Find your op-ed

Find an op-ed (opinion editorial) on environmentalism written in the last 2 weeks. It can be on any specific topic, as long as there is some connection with environmentalism.
  • Post a link to the op-ed
  • Give a 1-2 sentence summary of it—what is the writer arguing?
  • Answer the question—how can you tell this is an op-ed? How does its writing style or structure persuade you in a way that is different from other genre of writing that you’ve looked at (like scholarly articles, essays, etc.?) Give specific examples from your op-ed.

Grist Oped_Reading Reaction

Feel free to either agree or disagree with the Grist op-ed. Give evidence for your opinion, either from the Grist op-ed itself or from another online source. It’s a good idea to engage with specific aspects of the text’s ideas, language or context when developing your opinion