Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In Class Writing 8-25-11

Directions:

Read Bill McKibben’s blog post at: http://tinyurl.com/ydxo5v6 .

Next, identify one sentence that seems to characterize a main point that Mckibben is trying to get across to readers. Write this sentence below.

With this sentence in mind, answer the following two questions in 1-2 sentences each. Post your remarks to the class blog or use the space below to do this.

• Who is MciKibben’s intended audience (or audiences)? What statements or characteristics exist in the blog post or blog that suggest this audience?

• In what ways do you find McKibben’s argument to be compelling (or not)?

What questions do you have after reading the article?

59 comments:

Jenna Miller said...

“The most useful thing about having a number is that it forces us to grow up, to realize that the negotiations that will happen later this fall in Copenhagen aren't really about what we want to do, or what the Chinese want to do, or what Exxon Mobil wants to do.”

I think MciKibben is speaking to everyone when talking about the future of the planet and what we can do to help stop global warming. The audience that would most likely read this blog post would be adults who are trying to make a difference in the world, and create a safer environment for everyone to live in. The blog post is written with a mature mind so you can tell he is trying to reach adults with this piece.

I found the last paragraph about the coral reefs to be strong and that part really stuck with me. I personally find the ocean to be an extremely marvelous place, with tons of coral and fish still waiting to be discovered. If we destroy the coral reefs, without having a chance to know everything that inhabits them it would hurt the studies of marine biology. Almost completely killing off a career field.

I am starting to wonder what I can do to make a difference. How can I start to change the way I contribute to global warming? Since I am a freshman at State I do not have my car and I have to walk everywhere. I complain about all the walking, but the more I think about it, I am doing good things for the environment and not polluting the air. Not turning that key to start my car is putting less pollution into the air, which makes me fell good about myself. Another question I have is how do you get involved on a higher level? How can I act locally to help the environment?

Avery O'Brien said...

Avery O'Brien

Emphasized sentence: The most useful thing about having a number is that it forces us to grow up, to realize that the negotiations that will happen later this fall in Copenhagen aren't really about what we want to do, or what the Chinese want to do, or what Exxon Mobil wants to do”

McKibben’s intended audience is the people who are unaware of current problems and the potential dangers people may face. The sentence I posted above shows that he is telling people that they need to grow up and realize the problems so that everyone can not only be aware but help to make a difference.

I find McKibben’s argument very compelling because he emphasizes the number 350 because that’s when the atmosphere has unsafe CO2 levels. He emphasizes the fact that numbers are important because they set the limit and once the limit is reached or exceeded there is the actual potential of danger. I like the way he stressed how we are at 390 ppm of carbon dioxide which proves that global warming is not just a myth. He used a good reference to knowing normal body heat because if we were unaware of that then nobody would know if they were to have a fever or not and would not know if they were at risk.

My questions would be how could we help? What are some everyday things that everyone can do in order to make a difference and potentially help this problem? Now that I am more aware I would like to make a difference. What can I do personally to help? How long will it take to fix this problem? Will it get worse? Will it affect us great?

Dane McMillan said...

Next, identify one sentence that seems to characterize a main point that McKibben is trying to get across to readers. Write this sentence below.

350 is the most important number on the planet.
With this sentence in mind, answer the following two questions in 1-2 sentences each. Post your remarks to the class blog or use the space below to do this.

• Who is McKibben’s intended audience (or audiences)? What statements or characteristics exist in the blog post or blog that suggest this audience?

Due to his very general statements throughout the post, I would suggest that McKibben’s intended audience is the whole world. Everyone needs to understand what is at stake here if we, as people, don’t become responsible and do what it takes to bring our ppm level down from 390 to 350.

• In what ways do you find McKibben’s argument to be compelling (or not)?

I find McKibben’s argument to be compeling due to the fact that NASA themselves said that with the ppm level above 350 you couldn't have a planet "similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted." This is enough evidence for me to believe that something needs to be done soon because our ppm level is already above 390 today.

Aaron Smith said...

The blog post was obviously geared to the common people, not just some amassed scholarly individuals. While it's not completely informal, there are instances of informal dialogue, such as when McKibben says in the beginning: "Which is odd, because until about 22 months ago no one even knew it mattered." A scholarly publication, I think, would not commence an article with something as informal as that unless it was geared to the common person. It's a common rhetorical strategy to present something to a specific audience in a manner that is relatable to said audience. Also, McKibben makes use of the word 'we' several times, implying that he's speaking to everyone. The purpose of this blog post is obviously to get people aware; the comments below the blog post evince that further.

An interesting point he brings up is that we're already in hot water. The safe levels of CO2 that NASA first noted was 350ppm. We are, unfortunately, at 390ppm. In order to sustain the atmosphere and ensure life doesn't change too dramatically on Earth, we must jump behind the line betwixt what's considered safe and dangerous.

I've always had the desire to aid the effort of reducing our carbon footprint, beyond reusing, recycling, eating locally, etc. And as a writer, I believe I could achieve that higher form of aid via my writing. Any one of us could do it if we had the resources, data, and and passion. Who knows; if I do decide to write something like a book, it may be as impacting as books like Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, etc.

So how can I truly help? How can I make a huge impact in this Green Revolution?

Eric Flatt said...

The most useful thing about having a number is that it forces us to grow up, to realize that the negotiations that will happen later this fall in Copenhagen aren't really about what we want to do, or what the Chinese want to do, or what Exxon Mobil wants to do. They're about what physics and chemistry want to do: the physical world has set its bottom line at 350, and it's not likely to budge.
Who is MciKibben’s intended audience (or audiences)? What statements or characteristics exist in the blog post or blog that suggest this audience?
McKibbens intended audience is every person in the world who still consume fossil fuel with complete disregard to the environment. The article brings up the fact that before Jim Hansens paper stating the safe limit for carbon concentrations in the environment is 350 ppm, many people ignored the obvious signs that climate change is reaching a point of no return. In the sentence above, he states it doesn’t matter what the world’s leading corporations or governments want us to do, science tells us what we have to do.

• In what ways do you find McKibben’s argument to be compelling (or not)?
I believe that McKibben makes a compelling argument supported by strong evidence. If everything in science tells us that we are at unsafe limits for carbon concentrations, then why do we still ignore all the warning signs? McKibben shows that we’re already well past the safe limit and that if we don’t do something to reverse this, the planet will become too toxic to sustain life
I’m wondering if we still have enough time to fix our environmental problems, and whether we will continue to ignore them until they spiral out of control. It seems like as a society, we tend to do this with all major issues, for example the economy, but if we do this with our environmental problems, things won’t work out for us.

Casey Burns said...

“The most useful thing about having a number is that it forces us to grow up, to realize that the negotiations that will happen later this fall in Copenhagen aren't really about what we want to do, or what the Chinese want to do, or what Exxon Mobil wants to do. They're about what physics and chemistry want to do: the physical world has set its bottom line at 350, and it's not likely to budge.”

I believe that McKibben was targeting everyone as his audience when he wrote this article. Because of the nature of the article and the nature of the problem, this is a global problem that can’t really be narrowed down to a very specific audience. This problem affects everyone so why shouldn’t the target audience be everyone? We all have the responsibility to change the way we interact with the environment.

I think McKibben’s arguments are compelling but not necessarily for his skill as a writer. No matter how this is phrased it would be hard not to be compelled to make a change and strive to fix the environment. In this article though McKibben does use his skill as a writer to make his arguments all the more compelling by using metaphors such as it is like the earth is running a fever.

The main thing I would like to know after reading this article is how scientists were able to come up with this data? It seems like there would be to many variation to effectively test such theories and come up with such an accurate number. Throughout my school career I have had a huge emphasis on the environmental side of science. I understand how to change my living and why I should change it. I also recognize that things need to be changed. I feel like if i could just understand how this number was discovered i could be more informed and persuasive when talking to others.

Garrett Zafuto said...

“For another thing, it means the work nations and individuals must do to reduce their carbon footprints is much larger, and must happen much more swiftly, than we'd believed.”
1. McKibbon’s article is directed at the average person, middle class people. For one, the article is very short, and secondly, he refers to the big nations and decision makers that must make these things happen as if from a distance; we are not them.
2. I find his argument compelling in that he gives us a doomsday number and then tells us that we have already passed it. The rest of his argument sounds like everyone else: we must hold hands and work together, etcetera, blah blah.
My questions: Are there any countries taking steps in the positive direction? If so, what further steps must be taken and how can other countries follow their example?

Stuart Anderson said...

“The most useful thing about having a number is that it forces us to grow up, to realize that the negotiations that will happen later this fall in Copenhagen aren't really about what we want to do, or what the Chinese want to do, or what Exxon Mobil wants to do”

McKibben is speaking to everyone about the issue of the changing and deteriorating planet. The audience of this literary work could range anywhere from science students to farmers to climatologists.

I found McKibben’s article to be compelling because of his references and facts about the melting Arctic, the significance of the number 350, and the harsh future of coral reefs. McKibben is very strong in making it clear that this problem is not about a particular person, country, or company. Instead, this is a problem that globally calls for every individual to realize the importance of this issue and come up with a solution to save Earth’s future.

After reading this article, I question the amount of people who are actually concerned with Earth’s future and who understand the importance and need to fix this problem as soon as possible. How come this global issue is not on the headlines of local and state newspapers and why do I never see news flashed on television about this problem? I also begin to think of how much I am willing to give up in order to save the planet.

Brittany Moore said...

“Hansen's data shows that as a planet we'd need to get off coal by 2030 in order for the planet's forests and oceans ever to bring atmospheric levels back down below 350--that's the toughest economic and political challenge the earth has ever faced.”

I think it’s safe to say that throughout the article Mckibben is focusing his attention on anyone who will read this article. He argues that we, the entire world, must work together to bring the level back down to at least 350 or below. He also states that this will be the toughest challenge anyone on earth has ever faced. That being said, I feel that he is targeting every individual on earth. I think it is also safe to say that Mckibben is targeting large corporations, specifically ones like Exxon Mobil, simply because those corporations contribute to the carbon dioxide level much more than the average individual. He states that it’s not about what Exxon Mobil wants to do, or the Chinese, at this point it’s up to the physics and chemistry. However, with a problem such as this one, a contribution from every individual has to be made in order to bring the level back down to 350.
Mckibbens argument is compelling to me simply because he states his points very bluntly. We are all aware that we’ve created a problem, in this article McKibben states that having this number forces us to grow up. I don’t think he could have said it any better. For years now we have all been avoiding topics such as this one, now we have no choice but to address them.
After reading this article I would definitely love to know more about this number, where it came from, and how we get back to it. Also I think it would be beneficial to know how the average individual can change their day to day lives to help improve their impact on this number.

Nicole Mathis said...

“They're about what physics and chemistry want to do: the physical world has set its bottom line at 350, and it's not likely to budge.”
I believe McKibben has chosen everyone as his audience but unfortunately by including some scientific language he has actually limited his audience to the educated. Although, this is probably the right audience to choose from because it is the educated of our country that have chosen to ignore and abuse the facts of carbon emissions. By including slightly scientific phrases and wording, someone with a very low education would have a hard time truly understanding his point and what the consequences of this number are.
McKibben’s argument is very compelling considering it flat out says we are over our limit. Although the number might not be exactly 350, to be over a threshold by 40 points does seem to prove a point in understanding our boundries. The thing I hoped he would discuss more is what can be done, whether small or large. However, his point is valid and hopefully eye-opening to many, and therefore will induce his audience to research more and try to help more in the best ways possible.
What can the average American, citizen, human do? There has to be little ways to help until we can finally decide as a society to change, but without knowing what those things are nobody will do them.

Anonymous said...

Brady Crawford - ENG 101 - 091

"Hansen's data shows that as a planet we'd need to get off coal by 2030 in order for the planet's forests and oceans ever to bring atmospheric levels back down below 350--that's the toughest economic and political challenge the earth has ever faced."

1) In my opinion, McKibben's article seems to find its aim at the populace at large. I say this because of the way in which McKibben provides the information, in a format that doesn't simply include the scientists and exclude the common people. He also appeals to the masses by relating this problem to everyday items, and how much of an impact this dilemma could truly have.

2) I, as someone who tends to keep the environment's well being in mind at most times, find McKibben's article to be compelling because it depicts how dire the situation will become, or at least glances upon the threat that looms in our future should we wish to ignore the current status of the world. I also found the fact that not only will any one person, creed, or nation need to sacrifice alone, but that we would sacrifice together compelling.

After reading this article, I seem to be asking myself,
"Why has this dilemma continued for as long as it has unimpeded?"

Jamie DeRose said...

Next, identify one sentence that seems to characterize a main point that Mckibben is trying to get across to readers. Write this sentence below.
“[T]he physical world has set its bottom line at 350, and it's not likely to budge.”

• Who is MciKibben’s intended audience (or audiences)? What statements or characteristics exist in the blog post or blog that suggest this audience?
His audience is anyone who contributes to global pollution, anyone who wastes, and anyone who should be worried about the direction of our planet. His audience is everyone. He uses words such as “we,” general statements, some informal writing, which suggests he could be talking to anyone.

• In what ways do you find McKibben’s argument to be compelling (or not)?
I believe McKibben’s argument is compelling especially because he used the quote, “It's as if we suddenly discovered what normal body temperature was, so we'd be able to tell when we were running a fever.” I think his analogy made the situation much easier to understand, which commanded attention. I also liked how he said the number was what physics and chemistry want to do, not the Chinese or Exxon Mobil. When he put it this way, it seems like if we do not make changes, there will be no turning back. The quote NASA made struck me as extremely compelling. When NASA said we would not have a planet "similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted," if we did nothing to change our lifestyle, I was amazed.

What questions do you have after reading the article?
I really like how NCSU tries in so many ways to help the environment. Because the campus is so huge, we walk long distances, ride bikes, or skateboard, which helps reduce air pollution. Also, there are recycling bins in each room in my dorm, and I love how it reminds me to recycle. Finally, I like posters and notices that point out how many bottles we save when we reuse water containers, and the incentive of ten cents off a drink if we use our own water bottles. With this in mind, after reading this article, I would like to know if there are any specific things an individual can do that could make a big impact to the whole population.

Dan Johnston said...

Daniel Johnston

"The most useful thing about having a number is that it forces us to grow up, to realize that the negotiations that will happen later this fall in Copenhagen aren't really about what we want to do, or what the Chinese want to do, or what Exxon Mobil wants to do."

In my opinion, McKibben does not have a defined audience to go far. He wrote this article for everyday people, whom are unaware of the destruction to are ice caps, to understand what our world is coming to if we increase our carbon footprint. If this article was meant for high class, smart people, their would not be informal quotes in the article. He is trying to reach out to the common people, no matter who they are.
What was really compelling to me is how he constantly stressed the number 350. He constantly throws this number out to make us people understand that if our atmospheric concentration of CO2 goes pass 350 ppm, there is a great possibility of natural disasters. He did an amazing job with comparing global warming to body temperature. We need to get to at most 350 ppm for our planet to be considered "healthy" in comparison to normal body temperature.
Will we ever be able to reach 350 ppm? How long will it take for people to realize we are destroying our "home"?

Anonymous said...

In fact, they said in the abstract of the paper they soon published, above 350 you couldn't have a planet "similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted."

.I believe that the intended audience for this post is the population as a whole. I think that McKibben displays this by the way he never singles one person out as being the problem but instead generalizes everything to us all

.I did find the article to be compelling for the fact that he placed a number with the problem. It gives a sense of having something to work towards. Much like in school or even golf having the best score possible is always the best and i think that the way he talks about working our way back to the magical number is a good way of addressing the issue

. My questions about the article though are why does he not give any ways of us to make the number go down? And i honestly i dont really get the point system after this article so i wish he had a little more detail about that

Anonymous said...

Wiley McLeod

The most useful thing about having a number is that it forces us to grow up, to realize that the negotiations that will happen later this fall in Copenhagen aren't really about what we want to do, or what the Chinese want to do, or what Exxon Mobil wants to do.

While it appears his audience in this sentence is the government officials going to the climate change conference in Copenhagen, his actual audience is anyone who reads the article. After all most UN policies are not effective; it is the duty of everyone to try and make a difference.

His article is compelling in the sense that there is no real argument to it. He takes away all arguments when he states the number, says we've gone past it, and tells us we need to lower it back down. No one can look at this article and try to disprove it through his words; he has taken that opprotunity away.

My only question is how can we, as a people, help? He talks about the conference on climate change, but never says what they need to do.

Anonymous said...

Alex Eldridge- English 101

Mckibben is trying to make it known that our global warming issue is out of control and drastic changes need to happen rapidly in order to get this issue back under control.

1. Personally I think his intended audience is a young to middle age audience. I think he is reaching out to these two ages because we are the future, especially the younger generation. He puts a lot of emphasis in huge changes that need to come in future years, such as 2030. Even though we need the older generation to help get us started, the outcome of the global warming issue is really in our hands.

2. I think his approach of putting examples of real life scenarios that could possibly happen soon due to the 350ppm make his blog compelling. For example, how he explains the danger of coral reefs survival by a rising ppm and how it needs to be down below 360ppm. Just having the thought that this could be a possible outcome soon makes me want to go out and do something about it. I feel like it is hard for most of us to even think about possibly not having some aspects of life in the future and he uses that to his advantage.

If we do invoke some of his ideas is there concrete proof that they will work? Is it even possible to lower this number back down to 350ppm since it is so high now? Will some of the natural occurrences in the earth that we have lost, such as the amount of ice in the arctic, go back to the way it used to be?

Anonymous said...

Lesley Winchester
-Next, identify one sentence that seems to characterize a main point that Mckibben is trying to get across to readers. Write this sentence below.
“For another thing, it means the work nations and individuals must do to reduce their carbon footprints is much larger, and must happen much more swiftly, than we'd believed.”

-With this sentence in mind, answer the following two questions in 1-2 sentences each. Post your remarks to the class blog or use the space below to do this.

-Who is McKibben’s intended audience (or audiences)? What statements or characteristics exist in the blog post or blog that suggest this audience?
It seems to me that McKibben’s intended audience is the work nations and all individuals and citizens who are contributing a large carbon footprint to our environment. However, I do not believe his writing is specifically trying to target any specific audience. He uses this post simply as an outlet for knowledge. He uses humor to express his thoughts about climate change, and how it seems silly that we are aware of our limits, as he uses the comparison of a fever, but we have clearly surpassed those limits and because of that the arctic is melting.

- In what ways do you find McKibben’s argument to be compelling (or not)?
I find McKibben’s argument to be compelling because of his use of humor. He uses good, solid facts that should frighten anyone living in this time as his use of specific dates and numbers make the issue more real. Also, the fact that we are almost in 2012, and he says by 2030 we need to be off of coal is definitely a wake up call. I do find McKibben’s argument to be compelling.

What questions do you have after reading the article?
After reading this article, I want to know what ways it would be possible, if at all to get the world off of coal by 2030.

Anonymous said...

Jessica Williams

“The most useful thing about having a number is that it forces us to grow up, to realize that the negotiations that will happen later this fall in Copenhagen aren't really about what we want to do, or what the Chinese want to do, or what Exxon Mobil wants to do.”

Bill McKibben’s article is aimed toward the masses, or average everyday people, rather than scholars and experts on climate change. McKibben’s article has a slightly informal tone and avoids going into depth about scientific information and concepts associated with the study and climate change. This somewhat simplifies the article and makes it easier for the average person to read it without running the risk of being confused about the information provided. McKibben wants everyone to realize how problematic greenhouse gasses are, which is why he targets average people.

I find McKibben’s article is somewhat compelling. By informing the reader that 350 ppm is the point where global warming becoming “dangerously out of control” and that we are already past that point, his article can inspire others to take action. While I agree with the views McKibben expressed in this article, in restricting the scientific content of the article to expand his audience, McKibben’s argument loses some of its power.

After reading this article, I have a few questions. Can the nations of the world work together to combat such an overreaching issue? Even if the world can come together, can it work quickly and efficiently enough to combat global warming or is too late?

Shane Crissey said...

Hi, this is Shane Crissey!


Next, identify one sentence that seems to characterize a main point that Mckibben is trying to get across to readers. Write this sentence below.

They're about what physics and chemistry want to do: the physical world has set its bottom line at 350, and it's not likely to budge.

With this sentence in mind, answer the following two questions in 1-2 sentences each. Post your remarks to the class blog or use the space below to do this.

• Who is MciKibben’s intended audience (or audiences)? What statements or characteristics exist in the blog post or blog that suggest this audience?

Mcikibben’s audience is the American Public. He keeps stating that it will take the concentrated effort of nations and individuals to even lower the ppm of carbon dioxide a little. He states the name of every other country he talks about except America. This leads me to believe that when he talks about “we’, he is talking about the American Public.

• In what ways do you find McKibben’s argument to be compelling (or not)?

I find McKibben’s argument compelling because of all the scientific data he uses. The way he portrays this problem makes me want to do something to lower our carbon dioxide concentration number.

What questions do you have after reading the article?

The only question I have after reading this article is, if we knew about this number before we went over it, why wasn’t there anything done to stop us from going over it?

Sam Dearstyne said...

Next, identify one sentence that seems to characterize a main point that Mckibben is trying to get across to readers. Write this sentence below.

Scientific work has given a call to action by showing that there is concrete line between a safe and healthy planted, and a place destined to devastate itself in green house gas emissions.

With this sentence in mind, answer the following two questions in 1-2 sentences each. Post your remarks to the class blog or use the space below to do this.

• Who is MciKibben’s intended audience (or audiences)? What statements or characteristics exist in the blog post or blog that suggest this audience?

In a broad sense this work is intended for everyone, but more specifically I believe this work is intended for world leaders that have large amounts of influence in the policies regulating green house gas emission. McKibben supports this by referencing the companies and leaders that will be attending emission regulation conferences in Copenhagen.

• In what ways do you find McKibben’s argument to be compelling (or not)?

I found Mckibben’s argument to be compelling by the way he references multiple scientists experiments, all proving there is a revolutionary new concrete threshold between a healthy atmosphere and a failing one. I wouldn’t have been as convinced had he not showed that two different scientific groups did similar experiments, both getting almost exactly the same results.

What questions do you have after reading the article?
Question 1.
Now that there is a so-called “red line” for the planet, how will politicians and world leaders respond to this overwhelming evidence?

Question 2.
How difficult will it be to bring atmospheric levels back down to under 350 ppm and how long will this take?

Anonymous said...

T’ana Tomlinson Eng 101
The most important sentence; “350 is the most important number of the planet.”
1. McKibben’s intended audience is really for everyone in the world because he is informing everyone about how their actions and their ancestors before them has caused this predicament that we are in now. Everyone has the ability to make a change that can become beneficial for our future. Sacrifices will have to be made from everyone in order for the environment become more damaged and cause major disasters than will soon be unlivable. Some statements that suggest this are
i. “For another thing, it means the work nations and individuals must do to reduce their carbon footprints is much larger, and must happen much more swiftly, than we'd believed.” (¶ 6)
ii. “But it's not as if we have a choice. The most useful thing about having a number is that it forces us to grow up, to realize that the negotiations that will happen later this fall in Copenhagen aren't really about what we want to do, or what the Chinese want to do, or what Exxon Mobil wants to do.” (¶ 7)

2. I do find Mckibben’s argument compelling but I feel as if he is basically stating the same principles that every other environment-friendly writer writes about. Every writer in this field talks about how we as a society must change how we live and limit the resources we use in order to make sure the world as we know it does not end before it should. I feel as if they give us too much information to process at once even though these problems are not going anywhere anytime soon. Every issue we have concerning different environmental aspects is extremely important but fixing them will not happen in a day.

Questions concerning the article;
a. “How does Mckibben reduce his carbon intake?”
b. “How can we as a society limit our carbon intake?”

Anonymous said...

Mary Eskandari
English 101
“They're about what physics and chemistry want to do: the physical world has set its bottom line at 350, and it's not likely to budge.”
I would say that the intended audience is the general public for this piece because it explains that reducing the atmospheric levels is dependednt on all individuals commiting to living more conservatively to cut back on their carbon footprints. This article could also be directed at people that have some control over setting limits for the country to reduce emmisions and increase use of alternative forms of energy.
McKibben's argument is compelling because he stated that we are already above the estimated number for the planet's downfall and counting. Also that there are pieces of evidence that show the decline of the planet due to the poor atmospheric levels.
After reading this article, I wonder how Jim Hansen came up with this number before people found out that the coral reefs wouldn't survive past 360 ppm of CO2 or that above 350 ppm of carbon would threaten ecological life on the planet.

David Morrison said...

“Hansen's data shows that as a planet we'd need to get off coal by 2030 in order for the planet's forests and oceans ever to bring atmospheric levels back down below 350--that's the toughest economic and political challenge the earth has ever faced.”
Main Point: Humanity’s carbon footprint is so severe that the entire world must work together and cooperate to develop a plausible and effective solution.


1. Mckibben appears to direct his blog to several audiences, primarily everyday individuals and politicians. The short length of Mckibben’s blog reveals that his purpose is to briefly introduce new research data that reveals the impact humanity has inflicted on the environment. Ordinary people, who take an interest in this brief introduction to the problem, will be more likely to devote time reading or hearing about the problem in a more detailed format. If Mckibben wrote a thirty page blog on this issue and posted it, it would probably not generate a great deal of interest. Therefore Mckibben is attempting to reel people in with a short “preview.” Additionally, the emphasis that Mckibben placed on humanity’s carbon footprint suggests he is trying to catch a politician or two’s eye(s). If the problem is as severe as Mckibben and Hansen believes it to be, wide scale global cooperation is needed and it starts with politics.

2. I found Mckibben’s argument to be quite compelling. As Mckibben describes in his article, the current situation is so dire that is does not matter what United States, China and Exxon Mobil want to do respectively. Therefore the severity of the problem and the need for humanity as a whole to work together in unison to create a plausible solution is crucial.

A major question I have concerning the article is how can normal individuals convince elected congressional leaders to take a serious stance on this pressing issue? Worldwide, politicians and government officials appear to be oblivious to the problem. Instead, they are primarily focused on either being reelected or if they hold a dictatorial position, suppressing their country enough to remain in power.
I also would like to know what I can individually do as a college student to help protect the environment and reduce pollution?

Anonymous said...

Walker Shelton

identify one sentence that seems to characterize a main point that Mckibben is trying to get across to readers. Write this sentence below.
-It's as if we suddenly discovered what normal body temperature was, so we'd be able to tell when we were running a fever. In that sense, it came as a great relief. (he is referring to the 350ppm number)

• Who is MciKibben’s intended audience (or audiences)? What statements or characteristics exist in the blog post or blog that suggest this audience?
-When MciKibben says, “But it's not as if we have a choice. The most useful thing about having a number is that it forces us to grow up,…”, it made me realize that the intended audience was fir everyday people who do not have any role in environmental research. He knows that all professionals in the environmental business are aware of this number, but he wants the rest of the world to know.

• In what ways do you find McKibben’s argument to be compelling (or not)?
-I found Mckibben’s negativity very compelling. He made it sound as if the world was doomed and there was no escaping this number.

What questions do you have after reading the article?
-I would like to know the fastest and most ethical way to lower this number.

Anonymous said...

SAVANNAH MORGAN

“For another thing, it means the work nations and individuals must do to reduce their carbon footprints is much larger, and must happen much more swiftly, than we'd believed.”

McKibben's intended audience is everyone living on the Earth, throughout the article he uses the pronoun we. He is talking not only to himself but other humans.

I do not find Mckibben's article compelling because it does not seem to be true, the levels have surpassed the "red line" for the planet that the scientists drew. I could possibly find this to be more compelling if time frames were concluded.

In what ways can we reduce the amount of atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide?

Anonymous said...

Suath Penagos

Next, identify one sentence that seems to characterize a main point that Mckibben is trying to get across to readers. Write this sentence below.

With this sentence in mind, answer the following two questions in 1-2 sentences each. Post your remarks to the class blog or use the space below to do this.

• Who is MciKibben’s intended audience (or audiences)? What statements or characteristics exist in the blog post or blog that suggest this audience?

• In what ways do you find McKibben’s argument to be compelling (or not)?

What questions do you have after reading the article?


350 ppm is the most important number because anything above it will slowly destroy our planet. We are abusing our environment and we are slowly just rising above our limit which in the end is going to cause great harm.

His intended audience would be the student body. His picture suggests it because you can see the type of language and symbols he is using for the sign. It is blunt and to the point. It does not bore the student body with long explanations, instead mentions everything clearly and in a very easy way to understand.

I find MciKibbens intended argument to be compelling because he demonstrates his point of view and he backs it up with evidence. He lets the audience know that it is not about anyone wants to do but what we have to do. His style of persuasion is straightforward. Either we do what we have to do to keep the planet a safe place, or we keep being selfish and doing what we want to do.

My question is if we are at 390 ppm now, how much longer can the earth survive or stay at this rate? What is the highest number we can get to before disaster? What can we do to help lower the number?

Walter Bradshaw said...

In fact, they said in the abstract of the paper they soon published, above 350 you couldn't have a planet "similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted."
1. McKibbins audience is anyone who has the means of reducing their carbon footprint. The necessity of this cannot be argued because of the number 350 and the fact we already exceed it. “The most useful thing about having a number is that it forces us to grow up, to realize that the negotiations that will happen later this fall in Copenhagen aren't really about what we want to do, or what the Chinese want to do, or what Exxon Mobil wants to do.”
2. I find the article very compelling because it is short and to the point. It provides the facts, the evidence to support those facts and gives real world examples of what is going on as a result of Co2 levels. It leaves no doubt in my mind that serious changes have to be made immediately if we wish to have functioning ecosystems on this planet.
3. After reading this article I want to know more about the effects of this number. We are over the threshold, which is made very clear, but per ever 2ppm we increase each year what direct effects will we see. I would also like to know more about what is happening to nature and our ecosystems as a result of the amount of Co2 we currently have in our atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

Kyle Simpson

'above 350 you couldn't have a planet "similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted."'

MciKibben is clearly trying to send this message to the entire human population in this article. He talks about how it is forcing us to grow up and that we have to stop thinking about ourselves and start focusing on the environment as a whole. MciKibben is trying to influence the entire population and create change.

I did not find this article very compelling at all. The article itself was very short with no evidence provided to back it up. For all I know these numbers could just be made up. There was nothing that talked about the research behind these conclusions. For an issue this big where someone is trying to force the entire population to change, some credible evidence needs to be provided.

The only question I have after reading this article is how MciKibben came up with the number 350 ppm. The science behind it is not provided anywhere in the article.

Brandon Rowell said...

1) The intended auience is everyone who contributes to rising CO2 levels. That would be everyone!

2)As the arctic glaciers melt quicker each and every year and the ocean's acidity levels rise, it's obvious that CO2 levels need to be lowered. According to the article levels need to be below 350 ppm, but by decreasing levels by
.04% just won't do much. Take a look at the comments of scientists bashing his point of view and putting out the real facts. I was believing we needed to be of coal by 2030 until reading the comments.

Manny Goti said...

"350 is the most important number on the planet"

I believe that Mckibben's intended audience is, in his opinion, the uninformed population of the world. He is trying to show those who are unaware of what he believes to be dire problems in the world, that we are in deep trouble. Some of the things are very well explained and are obviously not written as if they wer for smart scientists. The article shows characteristics of describing the problem in a very basic way for those less educated in the subject.

According to the article, 350 is the most important number on the planet because according to Bill McKibben anything above 350 ppm carbon and we cannot have a planet. Apparently, Mckibben is wrong because at the time of the article he says the ppm of carbon was 390, clearly above the 350 "red line." Therefore I do not find this article compelling what so ever. In my opinion the number 350 is a random number that some "scientist" just made up. I see no way in this article that McKibben uses facts to make a definite statement. Everything is based on possibilities and nothing is really certain. Until a wel known scientist can give hard evidence of anything regarding climate change and 350ppm I will not find any of these articles compelling.

-Manny Goti
After reading the article I am left with several questions. How exactly was this number derived and what makes it credible even the slightest bit?

Anonymous said...

ENG101 TTH 7:30 Euijin Choo

one sentence that seems to characterize a main point that Mckibben is trying to get across to readers.

- 350 is the most important number on the planet

Who is MciKibben’s intended audience (or audiences)?

- I think intended audience is everyone who may or may not care environmental issues, because the article does not require any expertise.

What statements or characteristics exist in the blog post or blog that suggest this audience?

- From the statement "The most useful thing about having a number is that it forces us to grow up,
to realize that the negotiations that will happen later this fall in Copenhagen aren't really about what we want to do
, or what the Chinese want to do, or what Exxon Mobil wants to do. They're about what physics and chemistry want to do:
the physical world has set its bottom line at 350, and it's not likely to budge",

he tries to emphasize his main point about the number 350.


In what ways do you find McKibben’s argument to be compelling (or not)?

- I can find his argument is compelling because he provide appropriate supporting evidences including multiple references he mentioned.
It was interesting how he connected global warming issue to human body temperature.


What questions do you have after reading the article?

- He stresses the importance of the number 350. So, what's next? What should be our action to maintain below 350 and keep our planet healthy.

Alice Robbins said...

The sentence that characterizes the main point most it: The most useful thing about having a number is that it forces us to grow up, to realize that the negotiations that will happen later this fall in Copenhagen aren't really about what we want to do, or what the Chinese want to do, or what Exxon Mobil wants to do.

MciKibben's intended audience is everyone who is contributing to the rising CO2 levels as well as everyone who is unaware of what these high levels are causing to our planet.

I think this article is very compelling because he gives multiple examples of what global warming is causing the environment to do. He also compares the number the our body temperature and how we now know that nothing good comes from a high body temperature, the same is happening with the CO2 levels.

I want to know what I can do as a student to make an impact on the global warming situation and help turn things around.

Andrew Bowden said...

“The most useful thing about having a number is that it forces us to grow up”
• I believe that MciKibben’s intended audience for this quote is everyone living on planet Earth. In the same paragraph where this quote was taken from MciKibben mentions that it’s not “about what we want to do, or what the Chinese want to do, or what Exxon Mobil wants to do”. As a whole, the world is stuck in this situation of increased levels of CO2.
• I find MciKibben’s argument compelling, but I think it would have been better if he provided more evidence to support his claims. In the article it would have been nice to see some before and after pictures of ice melting and some solid numerical data reporting their findings. But as a short, informational article I did find it compelling.
• I do not understand how we came to conclusion that 350 ppm is the number where global warming would be out of control. I read in the article that we have slides, paleo-climate data, and physical ice melting to show that global warming is occurring, but how did we use this evidence to derive the 350 ppm number. The article did not explain in detail how the number was created; it did not give an equation or experiment data to show that 350 is the number. I agree that the ice is melting due to rising temperatures caused by increased amounts of CO2, but I do not see how we decided on the number 350.

Michael Knowles said...

One sentence that seems to characterize McKibben’s main point:
“the physical world has set its bottom line at 350, and it's not likely to budge.”

I believe McKibben has 2 intended audiences – American’s who do not understand the concept of a carbon footprint and American’s who do understand their carbon footprint but remain apathetic. The evidence for his first audience is in his first few paragraphs laying out the problem. He is not using a scientific language that only other co2 specialists would understand, rather he explains it in a simple, yet informative way. Proof of his second audience comes in the later paragraphs when he describes where we currently are (how dire the situation is) and how to fix it.

His argument was compelling because I had never heard of a critical number being assigned to our carbon level. I find his argument not compelling, however, because in my non-scientific opinion, 390ppm doesn’t seem that much higher than 350ppm. Remember, we are talking about part per million here – a difference of 40 is not enough to have me too worried. But don’t take that the wrong way, because I also believe that America is too careless with many aspects of our life including our use of coal and a lack of concern over our carbon footprint. I believe that given our current course, we will have those numbers raised significantly in only a short matter of time.

The questions I have relate to what happens when co2 hits 350. Why is it healthier for the planet when those numbers are lower? How was that number reached? What happens when our co2 level exceeds 350?

Anonymous said...

Mckibben's intended audience seems to be those concerned at all with the direction our planet is headed environmentally and what we are allowing to enter the atmosphere. Mckibben's comment about the earth being basically done for "when atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide were above 350 ppm" and with his later surprising statement that "For one thing, we're already past it, at 390 ppm and rising two ppm annually", Mckibben clearly sets up his intended effect and upon who he intends to affect. What I find most compelling about Mckibben's arguement is that we're already well above the level that apparently earth is unsustainable at according to him. At 390 ppm, and that number apparently rising, it's just stunning that as human beings we could allow this to happen.

Anonymous said...

Mckibben's intended audience seems to be those concerned at all with the direction our planet is headed environmentally and what we are allowing to enter the atmosphere. Mckibben's comment about the earth being basically done for "when atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide were above 350 ppm" and with his later surprising statement that "For one thing, we're already past it, at 390 ppm and rising two ppm annually", Mckibben clearly sets up his intended effect and upon who he intends to affect. What I find most compelling about Mckibben's arguement is that we're already well above the level that apparently earth is unsustainable at according to him. At 390 ppm, and that number apparently rising, it's just stunning that as human beings we could allow this to happen.

Jacob Brotzman (I posted that last one but forgot to leave my name on it)

Kayla Whitley said...

Identify one sentence that seems to characterize a main point that Mckibben is trying to get across to readers. Write this sentence below.
Combined with reams of paleo-climate data, his team believed they now had enough information to finally draw a red line for the planet: when atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide were above 350 ppm, they said, global warming would be dangerously out of control.

• Who is MciKibben’s intended audience (or audiences)? What statements or characteristics exist in the blog post or blog that suggest this audience?
Mcikibben’s audience seems to be those who affect (and conversely, are effected by) the current global situation (that is to say, everyone), but especially those whom are educated enough to understand what this means for mankind, and are willing to make a change for the better.

• In what ways do you find McKibben’s argument to be compelling (or not)?
He seemed to have solid evidence backing his research (the coral reef experiment) and other scientists that agree with the idea (in the environmental journal: Nature). However, that’s all he has.

What questions do you have after reading the article?
I’d like to see more proof and research put into this piece. If it is so important, so urgent, why don’t more people know about it?

Anonymous said...

Katherine Barrows
Eng 101
Identify one sentence that seems to characterize a main point that Mckibben is trying to get across to readers. Write this sentence below.
• “In fact, they said in the abstract of the paper they soon published, above 350 you couldn't have a planet "similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted."’

Who is MciKibben’s intended audience (or audiences)? What statements or characteristics exist in the blog post or blog that suggest this audience?
• The audience that Mckibben is trying to reach is the global population. He understands that the goals scientists have given cannot be reached with the dedication of only a few individuals, McKibben’s intention is to educate the public about issues that affect us all so that we might each choose to take actions to improve our planet.

In what ways do you find McKibben’s argument to be compelling (or not)?
• McKibben gives a compelling argument by making his explanations very straightforward, fact based and succinct, leaving little room for others to question his logic.

What questions do you have after reading the article?
• The main question I am left with after reading this article is what steps are we supposed to take in order to get below 350 ppm as quickly as possible and how can we keep our carbon dioxide levels below it in the future?

Anonymous said...

The identified sentence is as follows: "Combined with reams of paleo-climate data, his team believed they now had enough information to finally draw a red line for the planet: when atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide were above 350 ppm, they said, global warming would be dangerously out of control." I believe the audience could, in fact, be anyone. He starts off a paragraph with the word "we," which made me believe that the audience could be multiple individuals. He states what I believe to be factual, not opinionated. To me, using statistics (the numbers, other than 350), seem to make me believe that this will eventually occur. I do not have any questions about this, I am just purely intrigued by this story.

Madison Broadway said...

Identify one sentence that seems to characterize a main point that Mckibben is trying to get across to readers. Write this sentence below.
In fact, they said in the abstract of the paper they soon published, above 350 you couldn't have a planet "similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted."

With this sentence in mind, answer the following two questions in 1-2 sentences each. Post your remarks to the class blog or use the space below to do this.

Who is McKibben’s intended audience (or audiences)? McKibben’s has a number of intended audiences. He is speaking to environmentally conscious people to give them a goal. They are the first people that will get the word out about the new boundary. He is speaking to not so environmentally conscious people to help them realize what needs to happen for life to continue. I also think he is speaking to politicians and businessmen. They are the people that can push for goals to be met.

What statements or characteristics exist in the blog post or blog that suggest this audience? Environmentally Conscious: He says it came as ‘great relief’ and these people are the ones that want to know more and learn ways to reach a safe haven. Not so environmentally conscious: In my main point sentence his statement in quotes should open closed minds to help realize what we have to have to continue to develop. Businessmen and Politicians: This article is under the business and politics tab so even though McKibben may not have meant it for them, they are likely to read it and I think it will still have an impact on them and help them get the word out about the newfound goal.

In what ways do you find McKibben’s argument to be compelling (or not)?
I liked this article mainly because it gave me an answer. I have always kind of wondered what it is that we have to do or have to get back to help fixing what we have done to the earth. It also shows that we are not only hurting natural habitats but also our own and if we want to continue to be able to develop then we have learn to go in reverse at the same time.

What questions do you have after reading the article?
What can we do to get below 350ppm and more importantly stay there?

Kevin Permenter said...

From Kevin Permenter

I thought this vid was helpful and was interesting although it did seem to drag on. i liked his mixture of knowledge and humor because he made it easier for me to understand and relate. all in all i liked it but there were a few things i didn't quite agree on. one of which being the idea that any civilization is unable to be sustainable. i do no think that is the case. in years past, sure civilizations have not been able to survive and they are always new ones taking over the older ones, thats how life is yet i believe that we as a civilization have the best opportunity to sustain our existence through technology. another point i didn't quite agree on is his examples of a smaller class competing with the hierarchy more specifically his examples of not paying the rent or paying for food. i believe that ring apart of society means conforming to it even though its not always right. working together is the only way that people will accomplish anything and so paying for rent and paying for your food is what we as humans in this society need to do even if we don't like it.

Kevin Permenter said...

my sentence-"The most useful thing about having a number is that it forces us to grow up, to realize that the negotiations that will happen later this fall in Copenhagen aren't really about what we want to do, or what the Chinese want to do, or what Exxon Mobil wants to do. They're about what physics and chemistry want to do: the physical world has set its bottom line at 350, and it's not likely to budge."

I believe there is no intended audience it really is meant for anyone because it not just a group that needs to change, its all of us.

i find his argument compelling because we as humans need to do something and quick and now that we have a goal we have something to shoot for, something to keep our eyes on because the majority of people do better when they have something to go after and now that we have that we need to come together to accomplish this goal.

Anna Waynick said...

“In fact, they said in the abstract of the paper they soon published, above 350 you couldn't have a planet "similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted."

Who is McKibben’s intended audience (or audiences)? What statements or characteristics exist in the blog post or blog that suggest this audience?

I believe McKibben is speaking to everyone because we all make a carbon footprint on the planet. Everyone will be affected by climate change if we don’t try to reverse our decisions and habits. The sentence I choose above shows that our earth has already been changed due to our behavior; therefore every person was involved in destroying the earth we have now and needs to be involved in changing it.

In what ways do you find McKibben’s argument to be compelling (or not)?

I find McKibben’s article compelling because there seems to be a lot of evidence to prove that we are already past 350ppm. There have been several other reliable sources that have proven that the predictions were true. I also believe that the artic melting and other forms of visible climate change are reliable evidence.

What questions do you have after reading the article?

How do we reduce our carbon footprint? This article talks a lot about how we have already destroyed our environment but it doesn’t talk about how we can change our ways. We need to come up with ways for everyone to reduce their carbon footprint realistically. I also would like to know what they actually discuss in Copenhagen, and what will get done this year.

Anonymous said...

Laurin Brown
English 101

"For another thing, it means the work nations and individuals must do to reduce their carbon footprints is much larger, and must happen much more swiftly, than we'd believed."

1. His intended audience is the everyday person. He doesn't use many words that people would have difficulty understanding. By comparing us discovering what normal body temperature was, he is providing a way for people to relate to what he is talking about.

2. Although he provides facts about how such a high ppm is damaging the earth, he does not provide much solutions despite the fact he urges immediate change. It is only because of the background information that his argument has any support at all.

My main questions is: how can we lower the ppm since he only mentioned that it is necessary to get off coal?

Ellen Williams said...

“They're about what physics and chemistry want to do: the physical world has set its bottom line at 350, and it's not likely to budge.”

McKibben’s audience seems to be to the world’s human population. He uses the word “we” when he says who must quickly respond to the problem quickly.

I think the argument is compelling and almost a terrifying idea to think that we have already surpassed the limit of 350ppm. I am curious to know exactly how Hansen determined which resources were most imperative to stop using first.

I want to know “What are the viewpoints of other countries about this situation?” Working together as a planet is definitely key and I would like to know more about the negotiations going on recently. Also how can we inform the general public about everyday ways to reduce their carbon footprints in the most efficient ways?

Kaitlyn Mawhinney said...

Next, identify one sentence that seems to characterize a main point that Mckibben is trying to get across to readers. Write this sentence below.

350 is the most important number on the planet.

With this sentence in mind, answer the following two questions in 1-2 sentences each. Post your remarks to the class blog or use the space below to do this.

Who is MciKibben’s intended audience (or audiences)? What statements or characteristics exist in the blog post or blog that suggest this audience?

McKibben’s intended audience is the young, college-aged adults of the world today. The part of the blog post when McKibben talks about how by 2030 we need to reduce the amount of coal used to lower the carbon dioxide concentrations suggests that this is the audience because the college-aged adults are primarily the ones who will be making decisions regarding the environment.

In what ways do you find McKibben’s argument to be compelling (or not)?

I find McKibben’s argument to be very compelling because he uses scientific facts to back up his argument. I believe that he does well at explaining these numbers when others could explain it in a way that goes over most of the readers’ heads. I also think that another great quality of this article is that he establishes a time line for when the world should get off of coal use because an actual date makes the whole concept seem a little bit clearer.

What questions do you have after reading the article?

What can be done to fix the problem?

Jaclyn Mills said...

“For another thing, it means the work nations and individuals must do to reduce their carbon footprints is much larger, and must happen much more swiftly, than we'd believed.”

McKibbon makes his audience known by using the pronoun “we” in his writing several times to refer to the environmental ignorance of all mankind, implying that his audience is not necessarily scientifically inclined. In order to make the reading accessible for a wide audience the author uses language that is non-scientific and easily understood.

I had never heard of the 350 ppm “red-line”, so this article was interesting to me. It was fairly short, but the research he provided and the urgency with which he conveyed his message made me want to learn more about this concept.

Specifically, I would like to learn about ways that we can lower the concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It would have also been interesting to learn more about the studies mentioned in the article.

Courtney Alston said...

Next, identify one sentence that seems to characterize a main point that Mckibben is trying to get across to readers. Write this sentence below.
“The most useful thing about having a number is that it forces us to grow up, to realize that the negotiations that will happen later this fall in Copenhagen aren't really about what we want to do, or what the Chinese want to do, or what Exxon Mobil wants to do.”

Who is McKibben’s intended audience (or audiences)? What statements or characteristics exist in the blog post or blog that suggest this audience?
McKibben’s intended audience is everyone on the planet because we are all affected by this change. People as invividuals, businesses, and countries have all contributed to the rise the Earth’s ppm. McKibben suggests this when he states, “For another thing, it means the work nations and individuals must do to reduce their carbon footprints is much larger, and must happen much more swiftly, than we'd believed.” McKibben is saying that we are all apart of the problem and must work together towards the solution.

In what ways do you find McKibben’s argument to be compelling (or not)?
McKibben grabbed my attention when he mentioned the red line because I feel that in a lot of environmental problems, it is unclear how serious of a threat they are. I feel that by giving an actual number that signifies the point of no return strengthens McKibben’s argument. However, I feel that he could have provided more information on how he got to this number and what the physical consequences of going past it are.

What questions do you have after reading the article?
- What can humans do to most directly change the course of the Earth’s ppm?
- If the ppm is lowered back down to 350, what permanent affects will we experience from the Earth once being at 390 ppm?

Chris Baldrige said...

“350 is the most important number on the planet.” This seems like the article it is addressed at the common people. The way that he talks about the science community seems like he is trying to get everybody’s attention about what is going on and letting people know what the science students have discovered. I find Mckibben’s argument compelling because it finally gives us a line in the sand. We cannot go past this point or something bad is about to happen.Granted they said that we already have gone past that point, but know we have a goal to shoot for and that’s better then having no idea. I do want to know what it will take to lower the ppm back down to what it needs to be and what we will need to do as the average person. Also, will there be permanent affects to the environment from already being so far over 350 ppm.?

Anonymous said...

Alexis McDade - 8/30/11
“In fact, they said in the abstract of the paper they soon published, above 350 you couldn't have a planet "similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted.”

McKibben’s intended audience is everyday people that are not scientists or environmentalists. McKibben says things scientifically, but then explains it so that people who do not read this stuff everyday can understand what is being said. Since he does this, he is clearly trying to draw the attention of the everyday population.

I do not find McKibben’s argument compelling because there is not enough substantial scientific fact to prove this. Once guy gave a presentation on it, and suddenly McKibben is taking his word as the law. For this argument to become compelling, there needs to be many more scientists that do their own researching and come up with the same exact conclusion.

Alec Porter said...

“Combined with reams of paleo-climate data, his team believed they now had enough information to finally draw a red line for the planet: when atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide were above 350 ppm, they said, global warming would be dangerously out of control.”

1) The blogger’s audience is supposed to be the people as a whole. He explains what it means when carbon dioxide levels are above 350 ppm, and what that can do to affect our world.

2) I find his argument to be very compelling. He explains that if we as a race don’t change our ways, this planet will suffer greatly.

Anonymous said...

-“The most useful thing about having a number is that it forces us to grow up, to realize that the negotiations that will happen later this fall in Copenhagen aren't really about what we want to do, or what the Chinese want to do, or what Exxon Mobil wants to do.”

-McKibben’s intended audience is in general the public, but specifically the younger generation that is entering college. This is the intended public because the author knows that we are the generation that will be suffering the consequences, not the older generation. We need to understand the importance of what is going on in this world and realize that if we don’t change our current ways, the Earth will continue this path of destruction. The author is inferring that because the science is there, this number of 350 in the specific number that needs to be learned, such as our body temperature. Students of today need to know this number and learn its significance.

-Such a large statement as this needs to be backed up by hard evidence in order to be compelling and convincing. With this article alone, McKinnen is just an advocate for what needs to happen. His attempts to prove the actual fundamentals of these alleged facts aren’t there. Although the truth is very shocking, the evidence backing up the statement isn’t there. If real scientists need real proof, so does the public. But the fact that we’re already about 40 ppm above the 350 ppm breaking point and adding 2 ppm annually. That’s very shocking and political action needs to begin to make moves to try and reduce this number.

-The only question I have after reading this article is this: why isn’t something being done? I understand that oil companies are paying out the political parties, but we need to break away from that and figure something out NOW!

Anonymous said...

^^
James Goethe
Forgot to put my name :)

Anonymous said...

Dylan Poythress
The sentence I believe that characterizes the main point is "Combined with reams of paleo-climate data, his team believed they now had enough information to finally draw a red line for the planet: when atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide were above 350 ppm, they said, global warming would be dangerously out of control."

I feel that this article is aimed towards an audience that isn't scientifically inclined. The reason I believe this is 1) because he uses analogies such as the body temperature one to better help the audience understand his point and 2) he uses a lot of numbers which can be helpful when persuading people who don't have as much knowledge on a certain topic. He also provides examples of what we can do to help such as reducing our carbon footprint.

For what Mckibben is trying to do, which is cause awareness, I think he puts up a good argument. I wish that he would have given some examples between the difference of 350 ppm as opposed to 390 ppm.

Anonymous said...

Katherine Atkinson

“350 is the most important number on the planet.”

Who is MciKibben’s intended audience (or audiences)? What statements or characteristics exist in the blog post or blog that suggest this audience?

I believe that through this article McKibben is trying to talk to the entire population. It is not one specific group that can change the problems we have with our environment, it’s the whole population. It will take the nearly 7 billion people to help change our environment back to the number 350, before our world gets way worse.

In what ways do you find McKibben’s argument to be compelling (or not)?

I find that McKibben’s argument is compelling because he explains that we are at 390 ppm when we need to be down at 350 pm. He states that “In early summer a British team demonstrated that coral reefs won't survive acidified waters unless we get co2 concentrations back down below 360 ppm.” Other consequences, besides not having coral reefs in the future, make his argument very convincing and make you want to help out.

QUESTIONS: How long will it take to bring our ppm level back down? How can we get everyone involved? At what other ppm levels will things/species begin to disappear?

Caroline Patrick said...

They're about what physics and chemistry want to do: the physical world has set its bottom line at 350, and it's not likely to budge.

McKibben's intended audience is everyone united as a "we". He's not singling out one gender, one age or one country. He's talking to the whole world population. We all have to come together to fix this problem because it's the world's problem.

I find McKibben's argument compelling because he uses straight facts. He states that 390ppm is where we're at and 350ppm is where we need to be to continue living. He not only says that we need it, but other living things such as coral reefs need it too.

Jeffrey Berger said...

Jeffrey Berger,\


“The most useful thing about having a number is that it forces us to grow up, to realize that the negotiations that will happen later this fall in Copenhagen aren't really about what we want to do, or what the Chinese want to do, or what Exxon Mobil wants to do.”
The intended audience is everyone. Words in the blog like “we” and “us” indicate that Mckibben is writing to everyone on this planet.
I find it compelling in the way that he explains the consequences of the raising of the carbon ppm in the atmosphere, however the lack of scientific data in sentences like “ For one thing, we're already past it, at 390 ppm and rising two ppm annually--that's why the Arctic is melting” doesn’t give me any actual scientific proof that this is happening. He also doesn’t give any solutions to this problem which I don’t think makes this blog very compelling.
Questions I have after reading are mainly: what solutions are there? what scientific data beyond this one paper is there?

Thomas Martin said...

Sentence: “But it’s not as if we have a choice.”

McKibbin’s intended audience was all of the people who do not believe that we must get our Co2 levels below 350 ppm. One example of supporting evidence is the photograph at the top of the blog stating “LOOK @ THE F___ING SCIENCE WE NEED 350 PPM.” Another example of supporting evidence is the 5th paragraph which states that it is not what anyone wants to do, but rather what we have to do because we do not have a choice.

I find McKibbins argument compelling because of his confidence and certainty in his belief. He states that we have passed (and continue to pass even further) the point of Co2 concentration that was believed to be the highest level before our environment begins to change because of it.

Questions: What else is being affected by the high concentration of carbon dioxide?

Other than not using coal, what can we do to help reduce the concentration?

Joseph Ahmad said...

In this article, Bill McKibben addresses the number that can finally express our peril. The works of Bill McKibbens have been an area of controversy. Mr. McKibbens argues that a major cause of global warming is the cars that people drive today. Now days it is not uncommon to see many SUVs around that are driven by people who have them so that they feel confident and know that they could potential go off road if the need would arise. Others argue that it is not a bad thing to drive SUVs for looks. The age of station wagons and vans have passed and now to fit the whole family in a car people feel they must have a SUV. The rise of global warming is in direct correlation with the popularity of the SUV. In the past 13years the world has had the hottest 11 years on record. There is no denying that the world is warming up, but people are denying that is has something to do with the number of SUVs driven. Americans now produce 12% more CO2 and is a fact that with cars getting worse gas mileage they are also letting off more emissions that are causing the global warming.

One may wonder whether there are natural consumers of CO2 in the world, since it is one of the life-giving molecules. Living things such as plants, for example. Plants have enough CO2. Greenhouse gases destroy the ozone layer, which causes cancer. They cause global warming, which endangers many forms of wildlife and even human lives. Plants use CO2 for photosynthesis, to grow and to create oxygen. But plants also release that CO2 into the ecological system when they die(as do all living things), which is then used by other plants again for the same purpose. And the carbon cycle continues on. Carbon dioxide introduced by carbon emissions from oil and cars and all that introduces more CO2 to the system. And since there already is enough CO2 in the system, this ends up in the atmosphere.

The climate change "controversy" is a purely American phenomenon. This may be why the intended audience that McKibbens is trying to reach out to is primordially the West. Nothing you can say can change the fact that other countries are pushing green investment like a freight train... Just look at Australia, in less than 9 years, they'll be 100% green. Also climate change has been a matter of science fact since the 50's.