Climate Change and Politics

There are two articles that I would like to question to spark a discussion.

In Presidential Politics, Cimitile, a graduate student of journalism, discusses the clash between politics and science in the White House. While many of the other articles that we have read discuss the politics and threats of climate change, many do not dig deep into the issues. Cimitile dug to the center. As Taja Seville shared with us in class, it is important to get to the heart, not just the hype, of the issue. By presenting the history of politics and science in the White House, does Cimitile get to theheart? Does Cimitile effectively summarize about fifty-years of scientific policy-making or is there a better way to write his piece?

In Obama and the Environment, the writer discusses how there is still much to be desired for environmental and energy policy created by Obama’s White House. However, the Brainard does not bring up new facts, statistics or other information, probably because “fresh insights are hard to come by.” Instead, Brainard writes his article in the style of a scientific review. The article reviews and quotes other articles written about Obama and his action (or inaction) to address climate change. Do you think this “summary” article is an effective approach to discussing political issues related to climate change? Or, does every piece need to have original ideas? How does the journalist decide which articles to quote or review?


About emjaffe

Student at the University of Michigan. Passionate about environmental and urban public policy and planning.

2 Responses to “Climate Change and Politics”

  1. First of all, the lede to this article makes me not want to read it. The first sentence kicks off with some sort of slant against Bush. The statement is also really general, it doesn’t inform me of what I’m about to read, and certainly doesn’t use description or examples to draw me in.

    I think the article gives a concise and descriptive summary of the past events leading up, just enough information to understand what happened but not enough to be a boring history lesson. It referred mostly to science rather than the environment until the Bush part, though. There is definitely nothing about this that gets to the heart though.

    I feel like the whole thing builds up this history of a clash of science and history in a political sense but it seems like it’s only built up to bash on Bush.

    “the Bush administration’s suppression and distortion of scientific and technical information set apart the past eight years from the rest”

    So the only point of telling us that is to show how much worse he is?

    Also there is only one person quoted in this article which emphasizes how slanted and one sided it is.

    The paragraph in the second article was really strange because it lists links out and then gives a general over view of what the topics of the articles say but doesn’t sum up the information itself. So it seems pointless because I still have to go click on all of those links if I want the information.
    I don’t think this summary style article works because there isn’t any sort of narrative or thought to follow through so I wasn’t sure what exactly I was supposed to get out of it.

  2. I actually disagree, I thought that the article was well-rounded and it probably came out at a point in time when it was no longer optional to be objective about Bush’s disregard for science. The author probably caught hold of that tide and ran with it, knowing the audience could not deny that the White House at this time was seriously de-prioritizing science. In terms of content, I was certainly captivated by the little tid-bits of history that show the clash between politics and science. That much information is not easy to summarize and I think he brings out some of the best examples. I didn’t need to be convinced, I was really pretty intrigued by the amount of drama that goes down between environmental concerns and the political figures that try to suppress them. I loved that he brought in Silent Spring too! What a cool example, and I didn’t know that it was such a game changer. Overall, the author had some great language use and pretty fluid quote introductions. I would only recommend some in-scene description and a little more voice.

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