Taylor Wells final essay draft

Taylor –

See email for suggestions.


One of the biggest threats affecting humanity as the 21st century continues to move along is the threat of climate change. One of the countries that will be affected the most by climate change is the United States. The United States is the leader of the world in almost every aspect and needs to wake up and start tackling the issues of global warming and climate change head-on. Unfortunately, due to the current political environment, the issue of climate change has become a partisan issue. A great deal of that is due to how media has played a role in framing the conversation. The media and the general public need to wake up and start to educate themselves on the real challenges facing the country in the years to come. How we know what we know is due to a government report issued by the White House detailing how climate change will affect America’s financial as well as national security.

“A major scientific report issued by 13 federal agencies on Friday presents the starkest warnings to date of the consequences of climate change for the United States, predicting that if significant steps are not taken to rein in global warming, the damage will knock as much as 10 percent off the size of the American economy by century’s end” (Davenport, Coral, and Kendra Pierre-Louis) . One of the biggest problems with the media is the way that information is conveyed. Currently, in the United States, it is liberals who have taken up the mantle of climate change will Conservatives are on the sidelines. The way that climate change needs to be framed and directed to Conservatives is through focusing on using the rhetoric of ethos and logos. Currently, the country places more emphasis on national security than on climate change as seen in the Pacific Journalism Review “The 2018 Make America Secure Appropriations Act is the latest United States federal policy which prioritizes funds for defense projects at the expense of climate change adaption planning in the Marianas Archipelago.” ( FRAIN, SYLVIA C.)

What could happen if climate change could be framed as the biggest national security threat facing the country? This is the role that national media and few forms of technology will play in relaying the message. Change in public attitude can be framed by the new modes of technology like Marshal McLuhan said. By focusing on climate change through the systematic use of things such as social media and smartphones. Journalists can highlight things such as the report by the United Nations on how climate change will affect our economy .“This sweeping report summarized the work of thousands of top researchers and pointed towards one overwhelming conclusion: climate change is occurring, predominantly driven by human activities, and harming people in ways we can see today that will only get worse without further action. One number you probably saw grabbing headlines is that warming could clobber the nation’s economy by 10%. (Jina, Amir.)

By focusing on Conservative news outlets and normalizing effective practical solutions to climate change real progress can be made. Currently, two different worlds live in distinct echo chambers when it comes to the media people watch. People are consumed with confirmation bias and feeling right but what if there was an overlapping topic which both sides could agree on and help. Media as well as having the power to divide also has the power to unite and if the American news apparatus could unite on the issue of climate change public perception could be mobilized into action. “Moreover, the media’s ability to shape public perceptions may be tempered by active audiences who look for media viewpoints that are consistent with their existing beliefs developing a deeper understanding of how the public perceives climate change requires moving beyond secondary research to in-person research”(Corbett, Julia B.)

Once this barrier of partisan issues has been broken the media can then begin to focus on promoting all three aspects of rhetoric with ethos, pathos, and logos to help cover and promote the facts about climate change. It is a fact that changes in the environment will affect issues that are important to both Democrats and Republicans. Increased temperatures will lead to droughts across Latin America and places like Mexico increasing immigration into the country. Climate change will also pose a significant threat to coastal cities increasing sea levels and drastically changing the layout of where Americans live fundamentally changing the demographics of cities and regions. “Economic damages from premature deaths due to high heat alone could reach $141 billion a year, under a scenario assuming high greenhouse-gas emissions. While the dangers are often little appreciated, heat waves kill more Americans than hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes combined. High temperatures can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can be fatal—particularly among children, elderly people, and pregnant women. ( Temple, James,)

With all the increased problems being caused by the underlying variable of climate change taxes will have to increase for Americans as people will be getting sicker due to an increase in diseases and airborne elements. This increased burden on the American economy is something that should not be taken lightly. The United States and the world is in an amazing position where access to information is so readily accessible that real goals to change public perception are attainable and possible. The media holds responsibility in reporting the truth and creating lasting change, but the media is no longer just the media. The everyday citizen is the media, and anyone who shares on social media is engaged in the exchange of information. “The medium is the message,” and it has never been easier to help spread the message to combat climate change.

In conclusion, it is not too late for Americans to change their minds; everyone is far too divided and needs something in which to unite. Americans can unite behind combatting climate change, and with this change, America can help lead the world in helping to save the earth.


Corbett, Julia B. “Media Power and Climate Change.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 25 Mar. 2015, www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2592

Davenport, Coral, and Kendra Pierre-louis. “U.S. Climate Report Warns of Damaged Environment and Shrinking Economy.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 Nov. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/11/23/climate/us-climate-report.html.

FRAIN, SYLVIA C. “‘Make America Secure’: Media, Militarism, and Climate Change in the Marianas Archipelago.” Pacific Journalism Review, vol. 24, no. 2, Nov. 2018, pp. 218–240. EBSCOhost, doi:10.24135/pjr.v24i2.407.

Jina, Amir. “Will Global Warming Shrink U.S. GDP 10%? It’s Complicated, Says The Person Who Made The Estimate.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 5 Dec. 2018, http://www.forbes.com/sites/ucenergy/2018/12/05/will-global-warming-shrink-u-s-gdp-10-its-complicated-says-the-person-who-made-the-estimate/#32a8e2123f2e.

Temple, James, and James Temple. “Cutting Emissions Could Prevent Tens of Thousands of Heat Deaths Annually.” MIT Technology Review, MIT Technology Review, 28 Nov. 2018, http://www.technologyreview.com/s/612473/death-will-be-one-of-the-highest-economic-costs-of-climate-change/.


Annotated Bibliography

Taylor –

Good sources. Topic is good, but thesis needs to be disputable. Make sure to focus on how we know about the report. Source 6 is spot on. Watch your spelling. You can run work through Word before posting.

Thesis: The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change discovered that Earth will warm by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2040, and bring along extreme consequences. This disruption in temperature will cause problems such as: extreme heat, increased flooding, and wildfires. Additionally, there could be droughts, food shortages and poverty. Numerous U.S. federal government agencies issued a report in November arguing that climate change will reduce the U.S. economy by ten percent by 2100, which would include a $141 billion in costs from heat-related illnesses and deaths.

Book: Mendelsohn, Robert. Global Warming and the American Economy: a Regional Assessment of Climate Change Impacts. Edward Elgar, 2001.

This book found in FIU Green Library General Collection — HC106.8 .G594 2001 talks about the impact of global warming on the American economy. With so much change happening to the climate almost every aspect of industry in the country will be affected. The biggest hit will be that of agriculture there will also be an increase in migrants arriving and new challenges posed feeding the population.

2.Scholarly Journal: FRAIN, SYLVIA C. “‘Make America Secure’: Media, Militarism, and Climate Change in the Marianas Archipelago.” Pacific Journalism Review, vol. 24, no. 2, Nov. 2018, pp. 218–240. EBSCOhost, doi:10.24135/pjr.v24i2.407.

This scholarly journal found in the communication and media complete database talks about the need to make America america secure from the threat of climate change. Climate change presents a variety of threats to americas national security as well as economy ecnonomy. The article talks about how the media needs to play a key role in educating people on the dangers and how the more emphasis placed on it the more attention it will receive recieve.

3. Article in trade magazine: Temple, James, and James Temple. “Cutting Emissions Could Prevent Tens of Thousands of Heat Deaths Annually.” MIT Technology Review, MIT Technology Review, 28 Nov. 2018, www.technologyreview.com/s/612473/death-will-be-one-of-the-highest-economic-costs-of-climate-change/.

This article in technology review talks about how cutting global emissions can help save thousands of lives. Heat deaths around the world are steadily rising due to the greenhouse effects caused by emissions into the atmosphere. This is a great place to start here in the United States to cut back on fossil fuel emissions into the atmosphere.

4. Newspaper: Davenport, Coral, and Kendra Pierre-louis. “U.S. Climate Report Warns of Damaged Environment and Shrinking Economy.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 Nov. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/11/23/climate/us-climate-report.html.

This is the New York Times article that talks about the government report on the economic threats posed by climate change. Ranging from a shrinking economy to increased and never before seen health epidemics the report paints a sobering picture. This article helps prove how framing climate change from an economic perspective can help mobilize more action to fight it.

5. Website: Jina, Amir. “Will Global Warming Shrink U.S. GDP 10%? It’s Complicated, Says The Person Who Made The Estimate.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 5 Dec. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/ucenergy/2018/12/05/will-global-warming-shrink-u-s-gdp-10-its-complicated-says-the-person-who-made-the-estimate/#32a8e2123f2e.

Forbes is a great website to use as it touches on a wide variety of topics especially climate change. This article talks about how the US economy and its GDP might shrink by 10%. The author argues that its a bit more complicated then that and there are many factors that go into fixing the problem. Media plays a key role in helping to highlight the issues that are facing the country as a whole and climate change needs to become a bigger issue.

6. Source of your choice: Corbett, Julia B. “Media Power and Climate Change.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 25 Mar. 2015, www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2592.

For my personal source of choice, I used Nature.com. The article I chose talks about media and its impact on climate change.Fingers are often pointed directly at the news media for their powerful influence and ineffective reporting of climate change. But is that the best place to point? And are there more effective ways to conceptualize the power of the media and to consider whom they serve? The article talks about how the entities that fund media corporations may very well be the ones making them ignore or not talk about the subject of climate change enough

48 Hour News Blackout: Taylor Wells

Taylor –

The analysis of your experience was interesting and insightful. Good connections to Deresiewicz. Overall writing is good, but more careful attention to editing is needed. Watch singular/plural and tenses. Omit needles words. Several sentences could have been broken up. Consider reading aloud to ensure the prose sounds right.



I had never really thought about how connected we all really are until after my experience participating in the 48-hour news blackout. I definitely was aware it would be a challenge to not look at any of the media on my phone for two days. However, the part that I struggled with the most was not being able to receive my set of notifications from a variety of apps that I use on a daily basis. Interesting. I typically get most of my news from Snapchat, where I am subscribed to new news outlets, daily broadcasts and Facebook, where my friends are constantly posting and sharing stories and updates about what is going on in the world. 

I don’t think I really missed the news updates as much as having something to read or look at when I thought I didn’t have or couldn’t find anything else to do.

Using “I” was OK in this essay, but avoid overuse of the pronoun. This takes some work, but results in smoother prose. For example:

Missing news updates wasn’t the problem. The issue was having nothing to read or look at when I had nothing else to do.

I somehow felt vulnerable, as if I were missing out on something some this long time of complete disconnect. Vulnerability is an interesting reaction. Analyzing that emotion would have enhanced the essay. This time actually ended up being an eye-opening and quite incredible experience for me. Instead of using my phone and its apps to read and pass the time I exercised, enjoyed some music, and had conversations with the people around me, even though I had to disclose the fact that they weren’t allowed to update me on any world or social new events. I was able to take a step back and enjoy the conversation instead of wondering what nonsense my phone has had to show me next.

            In the article “End of Solitude” by Trilling, a point is made in which the belief Deresiewicz argues that someone can be validated by public appearances. I deem that this is what I experienced during the two days of the news and media blackout, I didn’t want to engage in a conversation with anyone in fear that they were speaking about a current news topic. In its place, I forced myself to enter a someone state  state of solitude by keeping to myself either at the gym with my headphones in on, or walking around campus listening to music, in order to avoid conversation with most people. (2 sentences here) I saw as an interesting connection to what I experienced during my news blackout. The “End of Solitude” article left me questions questioning myself as to why I am rarely alone. It’s was quite interesting that the article asked the question: what is a ‘friendship’? when you have hundreds and thousands of friends on the internet. “It was not too long ago, when it was easy to feel lonely. Now it is impossible to be alone.” This is what really drew me in about this article.  I distinctly recall a memory from when I was in middle school and my parents ever gave me my first cell phone and I wanted to call and talk to everyone on the phone instead of face to face. However, after reading this article, I understand that there can be peace in solidarity.(do you mean solitude?)

assignment 2

Taylor- Really enjoyed your essay. Challenging and thought-provoking. You went beyond the obvious in your examination of McLuhan’s use of critical perspective. Although the last quote was effective, the others could have been truncated or briefly summarized.

Taylor Wells


During his playboy interview, Marshall McLuhan described his work as “employing facts as tentative probes, as means of insight, of pattern recognition, rather than to use them in the traditional and sterile sense of classified data, categories, containers. I want to map new terrain rather than chart old landmark.” Therefore I have chosen to focus on the critical perspective of the major idea that the medium is the message. In a 500 word essay, you don’t have time for long quotes. The coaches are very familiar with the readings.

            McLuhan used the critical perspective in his writings in order to point out questionable  commonly held assumptions and aims to better society. In order to be a critical thinker you must question commonly held assumptions, (don’t really need this) McLuhan did this well and even questioned his own assumptions in order to expand the bounds of debate. Excellent point about McLuhan questioning even himself. McLuhan was one of the first visionaries of his time that believed that media would affect how we live our everyday lives. He had to question commonly held assumptions on the phonetic alphabet and the computer which revolutionized the way we live today. 

The phonetic alphabet changed the way people lived, learned, and communicated with each other for the better and helped people in numerous ways. McLuhan argues that the development of the phonetic alphabet or the computer has become an extension of our body by mentioning, “as a result, precisely at the point where a new media-induced environment becomes all pervasive and transmogrifies our sensory balance.” In this quote McLuhan has challenged the assumption that many possess in which all new developments lend a helping hand to mankind in that all technical advances by man need to become mindful of the ever-changing (ever-changing is hyphenated) technological realm in order to survive in this new age. It is important to understand the results and modifications we make in our society before foreseeing new ones. Excellent observation.

McLuhan calls on an artist of a new technological advancement  in order to envision how the world will adjust to their new invention, and questioned would refute “Because all media, from the phonetic alphabet to the computer, are extensions of man that cause deep and lasting changes in him and transform his environment.” This quote holds a heavy weight of importance in this interview for many occasions society tends to be so eager to create or receive the next big thing that will hold levels over the one currently on the market and in turn is often neglected.  McLuhan argues than overlooking the effects would be crucial error if every new technology advancement that effects society, becomes an extension of your organs. 

McLuhan does indeed think critically, his lack of expanding the debate may lead people to think otherwise. McLuhan did not boast about his personal opinion on what he believes should and shouldn’t be done by society. “You see, I am not a crusader… I would never attempt to change my world, for better or worse. Thus, I derive no joy from observing the traumatic effects of media on man, although I do obtain satisfaction from grasping their modes of operation.” Excellent catch on this quote! McLuhan doesn’t think he all the answers, he’s just an observer of society. It was found to be difficult to say that he advanced the debate of his concepts because with the fermentation of ones view further debate?