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 article, essay, etc.?) Give specific examples from your op-ed.

15 Replies to “Find Your Op-Ed”

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/18/climate/nyt-climate-newsletter-coronavirus.html

    This op-ed talks about how travel services such as airlines and cruise companies are asking the government for aid since the coronavirus pandemic has stopped business. The authors say that if the government helps them financially, they should require them to reduce their emissions since travel is one of the main contributors to climate change.

    This is an op-ed because the speakers’ personal opinions are made very clear in the article. The speakers also find quotes and references that support their own opinion. For example,. the article states “Air travel has become an increasingly important contributor to global warming.”, and then includes statistics about air travel emissions.

    1. Good analysis of the op-ed, Julianah. Even though it uses stats and figures and quotes, but its not neutral—instead, the logos helps makes his personal opinion clearer.

  2. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-28/professor-sees-climate-mayhem-lurking-behind-covid-19-outbreak
    This op-ed mainly talks about how COVID-19 connected with climate change, this virus may caused by bats. However, just because climate change, bats start to move and decreasing the distance with human beings which means this lead virus on bats more likely to spread out. The reason why I think this article is a op-ed is that the author point climate change may cause COVID-19 directly with specific arguments and stick on the topic. In this article, there are many statements and speculations of biological environmentalists ,and scientists, and social-science professor.

    1. Great article, Bochen! I like your identification of that the fact that he is making specific arguments and staying on the topic.

  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/30/great-conundrum-pablo-escobars-hippos/
    The op-ed tells the story of Pablo Escobar’s illegal introduction of animals, including four hippos, in the 1980s in order to build a zoo on his private farm.After Escobar’s death, the animals were taken over by the government, and because hippos have no predators in the area, they are able to survive well on the land.For scientists, it is not clear whether hippos are threatening or helping the ecosystem.The authors begin by describing what most people think of as the presence of hippos as an invasion of the local environment.But he is more certain that hippos can help improve the integrity of local ecosystems.The introduction of species can be used as a strategy to protect the environment.

    This is an op-ed because the author makes clear his position and remains optimistic and positive about the introduction of species.

    1. Fascinating topic, Jie. Usually scientists criticize the introduction of new species in a new habitat, but the positive pov of the writer shows that she is making a different argument in the debate.

  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/opinion/coronavirus-pandemic-social-distancing.html

    This is an op-ed article. In this article, the author argues about whether the new coronavirus is more severe than a common disease in the current situation in the United States. Some Americans generally believe that strong immunity can prevent all germs from entering the body and spreading to the next potential host. As a result, most children and the elderly with a degenerative immune system are victims. People are not aware of the severity of the new coronavirus, and perhaps the rapid spread of the virus and the lack of availability of medical systems can prove to Americans that the new coronavirus is much more severe than the normal flu.

    1. Good summary of the op-ed, Mingyu, this is a very timely topic. But what makes it an op-ed as opposed to a news article?

  5. https://www.rt.com/op-ed/483674-coronavirus-effects-environment-benefits/

    Summary
    Many claims are made that the Covid-19 Pandemic is helping the environment, due to less travel, however these claims are not true and much more has to be done to actually benefit the environment.

    Questions
    I can tell this is an Op-Ed because we have reviewed such articles throughout class and have found a main characteristic in Op-Eds to include having lots of powerful and charged opinions about a topic. The writing style is one that really engages the reader to think about what the author is arguing, and thus, a style of conversation which is very persuasive can be seen in Op-Ed articles, making them very unique and recognizable. The author explains that people should not “cheer too loudly” at the supposed environmental benefits of Covid-19, as they will be short lived after travel restrictions are lifted. This wording is not what would typically be seen in a scholarly article or paywall enforced news article, as it is very conversational, which is a defining characteristic of a Op-Ed.

    1. Excellent analysis of the op-ed style, Issac. A good op-ed should have “powerfully charged opinions” and memorable diction. Wording and diction is a powerful rhetorical strategy.

  6. https://www.popsci.com/this-earth-day-cut-down-on-your-food-waste/
    The op-ed talks about the food waste problem, which spends a lot of money on dealing with rotten food and causes air pollution. There are three subtitles: a public health problem, a solvable problem, and an environmental problem. In the beginning, it presents the reason why people waste food, and then it shows the solution for food waste. Finally, it claims the specific environmental problems- the high cost and toxic gas. What’s more, the op-ed provides some data to show the seriousness of food waste. For example, the op-ed states that there are 37 million tons of discarded food in the US each year. It takes many facts to make the article be more professional and be more convinced.

    1. Great summary of the article, Anni. It seems like this article is using logos in a powerful way to support the writer’s opinion.

  7. https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/12/04/why-climate-alarmism-hurts-us-all/#686e2ffe36d8

    An op-ed, short for “opposite the editorial page”, is a written prose piece typically published by a newspaper or magazine which expresses the opinion of an author usually not affiliated with the publication’s editorial board. This piece does exactly that, it gives the author’s opinion on climate alarmism but isn’t affiliated with the Forbes’ editorial board.

    This Op-Ed is different from other sources I have looked at like scholarly sources and essays. The author can be seen clearly giving opinions on his own article, “In my last column I pointed out that there is no scientific basis for claims that climate change will be apocalyptic, and argued that environmental journalists and climate activists alike have an obligation to separate fact from fiction.” Also the op-ed is short unlike scholarly sources like journals which are huge and lengthy. Also at the same time he applies pathos, ethos and logos to persuade the  audience. For pathos he says, ” I found a lot of blogs and videos talking about how we’re going extinct at various dates, 2030, 2035, from societal collapse,” said Jeffrey. “That’s when I started to get quite nervous and worried. I tried to forget it at first but it kept popping up in my mind.” He tried to use his own reaction to convince the audience that the problem at hand make him nervous and it should make them too. As for ethos in the op-ed he refers to solid sources to support his arguments, “Lunnon is referring to an article published in The Guardian last May”. For logos in the op-ed his uses a table ” to argue technological change outweighs climate change. In the table he argues, “Similarly, UN Food and Agriculture concludes in its report, “The Future of Food and Agriculture” that food production will rise 30% by 2050 unless “sustainable practices” are adopted in which case it would rise just 10% to 20% (pp. 76 – 77)”.

    1. Excellent analysis of the op-ed, Divij. A memorable op-ed should use pathos and ethos through the style of writing and narration. You’re on target about how he is using his reactions to convince his readers.

  8. https://www.breezejmu.org/opinion/opinion-hunting-can-be-a-vital-resource-for-conservation/article_0351e9ae-33c7-11e9-857f-fbe8dfd061ec.html

    This op-ed states the benefits of trophy hunting for conservation and speaks on how it benefits animals and local population

    You can tell this an Op-ed piece for a few reasons. It is published on the website breeze and categorized under the opinion section. The way the article is structured also gives some hints. It addresses the other side of the argument in the beginning of the article and states how that opinion is basically wrong. It speaks of the flaws of people who criticize this method and goes into the ethos of that person.

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