D4 Class 5.1

Feb 23

Study the Opposition

Find 10 articles that take a different stance on the controversial issue you've been working on. Aim to gather articles from a variety of sources (newspapers, personal blogs, etc.) In some cases, you may find that there are several distinct kinds of opposition:

  • people who disagree with you on principle
  • people who agree on principle but disagree on method

If so, take note of that complication and consider gathering articles for both categories. You may decide to focus just on one group in your speech, but by gathering more sources now, you're prepping for either possibility, allowing you to make that big decision later on, once you know more.

Choose two articles from your collection, one that's completely wrongheaded and another that you're impressed by. Write a ¶ on each article, as follows:

  • A ¶ referencing the wrongheaded article to dismiss the logic of some members of the opposition. Note: quoting from the source will help you pin down your opponent's false logic or bad faith—or whatever other objection you're lodging.
  • A ¶ referencing the impressive article to acknowledge the strength of its argument, followed (possibly) by a refutation of some kind. You may decide to make this a 2-¶ sequence.

From these two responses, choose ONE to share with the class, under the appropriate heading below.

21 responses to “D4 Class 5.1

    • In the BBC article “How the Oil Industry Made us Doubt Climate Change” by Phoebe Keane, she reveals the fraudulent acts of energy companies regarding climate change and its effects on the world. The primary focus of her argument comes from Exxon oil company. Not only had the company been involved in researching the warming of Earth, but it had been “spending millions of dollars on groundbreaking research” on the detriments that climate change would bring. To think that the company was very dedicated in finding solutions to the issue was just a cover up for their evil intentions. Martin Hoffert, an insider from Exxon, was appalled when he found out the company was presenting information “contradicting their own world-class research groups” to protect their own business. Even the CEO was willing to “spread doubt about the dangers of climate change,” albeit knowing the threat and seriousness of the issue. Because they feared climate change would make the public concerned of the methods they used and the possible negative affects on their business, many energy companies had “engaged in a public-relations campaign that was not only false,” but used to “‘deliberately [undermine] the science’ of climate change.” Additionally, Keane enumerates various dirty tricks that the energy industry has used to diminish the urgency of climate change such as paying independent scientists to back up their claims and funding climate organizations to make false statements. In analyzing the findings of Hoffert and other sources, Keane draws evidence proving the controversy behind climate change comes from deceitful conclusions made by selfish giants in the industry.

    • In the article “The Negative Impact of the #MeToo Movement,” Heather Mac Donald wrongly alleges that the #MeToo Movement will impose draconian gender and diversity quotas in a variety of industries. She states that when this is a factor in the hiring process, “you will inevitably end up with less qualified employees.” However, this assertion assumes that women and minority hires are “less qualified” than the employees she is implicitly advocating for (white men), an opinion that reeks of misogyny and racism. Mac Donald does not provide any evidence for this claim, demonstrating how it is a slippery slope tactic meant to strike fear into her audience. Furthermore, Mac Donald undermines her own authority, suggesting that she herself is less credible to write this article than a white man. Additionally, Mac Donald claims that gender and diversity standards will harm “American competitiveness and scientific achievement.” This assumption makes the same mistake as the previous quotation: Mac Donald wrongly presumes that having other people than a white man in an industry will somehow diminish its product. Why can’t women contribute to innovation as well? She also attacks “left-wing” views and the “feminist narrative” of the world, declaring that “Western culture” is the “least patriarchal culture in human history.” Again, Mac Donald offers no genuine evidence to back up this claim. She also ignores the very real influences of the patriarchy in the development of Western society, such as the expectation of women to be homemakers and the denial of women from prominent positions of power over the centuries. By the end of the article, it is clear to the reader that Mac Donald’s argument is fraught with baseless claims.

    • In the USNews article written by Mark Perry he explains how hydraulic fracking is the wave of the future and is a innovative method for harvesting natural gas. He makes the argument that using pressurized fracking fluid to create cracks in bedrock to extract oil from within will help reduce CO2 emissions and will revolutionize the amount of emissions released when harvesting natural gas (Perry). While this may be true there are also many environmental costs attributed to this method that Perry exuseuses. While every method of oil extraction has its costs and benefits in my opinion this controversial method should not be encouraged.

      There have been countless petitions put in place to ban fracking due to regulation loopholes making it extremely detrimental to the environment. One of the loopholes being that the US has excused oil drilling mediums from abiding by landmark environmental laws that incorporates Acts like the Safe Drinking Water Act. These loopholes allow for oil/gas companies to undisclose the chemicals they use, allowing them to get away with using unregulated chemicals in the extraction process like carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. Moreover during the drilling process in fracking it is common for Methane gasses–a concentrated greenhouse gas–to be secreted from the drilling sites proving this method of oil extraction is no better for the environment than existing alternatives. The secretions of these toxic chemicals pollute freshwater resources and soils used for farming. Not to mention fracking has been linked to causing earthquakes due to the hydraulic water pressure used in the extraction process interfering with tectonic plates. While many scholars like Perry may claim that it is a step towards the shift to renewable energy, in reality it prologs our dependence on using fossil fuels for energy hindering reaching the goal of renewable energy for the future.

    • In the article “Why Gun Control is Not the Answer, and What We Can Do to Stop Gun Violence”, Flyer states that gun control don’t work because it doesn’t stop shooters from shooting people, but stop people from buying guns to protect themselves. This is absolutely wrong because the criminals will have nowhere to buy new guns, and their guns are captured once they shoot. Flyer states another fraudulous opinion that cancer kills fifty times of people that gun violence does, so it’s not a problem. However, cancer is a disease that can’t be controlled through legislation and cooperation, but people can. Flyer shouldn’t mix the concept of natural disease and artificial violence.

      source attached

      • Forgot to paste quotes.
        Quote 1:”stricter gun regulations do not
        keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Instead, stricter gun laws keep guns away from people like myself: reasonable, mentally-stable, law-abiding people, who know how to safely
        use a firearm.“”
        Quote 2: “However, cancer kills fifty times that many people in the U.S. every year.So why hasn’t anybody proposed legislation to control cancer?”

    • The claims made by Dean Burnett regarding global warming in his article “Climate change is an obvious myth – how much more evidence do you need?” are extremely illogical. His central claim is that global warming is not only a myth, but the idea of it is so absurd that we do not need much evidence to prove it. Therefore, throughout his article, he does not give any real facts. He mainly resolves to state his opinion based solely on his own personal observations. For example, in regards to the global warming issue, many businesses have put a stop to the domestic breeding of animals such as cows. However, Burnett states that this did not happen “…because they caused significant environmental damage due to methane and deforestation” as professional scientists have stated multiple times. He instead believes that “…we all know it was orchestrated by the synthetic meat companies.” This argument doesn’t work because Burnett only states a claim without concrete evidence to support it. There is no substance here because Burnett is basically saying “I believe this so you should believe it too” with no facts or evidence behind it.

      The article “U.S. Call To Action On Climate, Health, And Equity: a Policy Action Agenda” makes some valid points on global warming, but does not go about “spreading the word” in the correct way. From the get-go, it addresses this issue as a “public health emergency.” While this would seem to be an effective way of convincing others to act, it also raises anxiety around the issue which could, in turn, prevent progress. Of course, it is extremely important to educate people as much as possible on this issue. However, using fear in order to initiate action is not the answer. Instead, people need to be convinced that making small changes in their lives will greatly improve the future of our planet. Spreading the word in a more calm manner will get people to agree and take action of their own accord, rather than fearing the future and not making the necessary changes to improve our world.



    • Imaginative Conservative author John Hovrat wrote an article titled “Is Defunding the Police the Answer?” and they have made it very clear that defunding the police is not the answer- but for all of the wrong reasons. One of the most glaring reasons and inconsistencies in the article is when Hovrat talks about the fact that police are not meant to be defusing situations such as mental health crisis, homelessness, and addiction. Hovrat then proceeds to explain that we shouldn’t replace police with social workers because “we have legions of social workers who try to help needy individuals” and we have spend trillion on programs that are allegedly “wrongheaded” and even “perpetuate the problem.”

      Instead of supporting his claim that we shouldn’t replace police, Hovrat makes many claims that have no merit and support them with opinion instead of fact. Furthermore, Police officers are not trained how to defuse mental health crisis, addiction, and other similar problems that social workers have had dedicated training in making them the right people for the job.

    • The Fordham institute produces a wrongheaded argument because they do not address the inequality of the exam itself. Churchill goes on and on about how objective this test is and how it makes it easy to compare students, however if the test is unfair you cannot objectively compare the scores. People who are at a disadvantage will more than likely score lower because they had a harder time taking the questions. Also, accountability of the school shouldn’t necessarily be the focus, if students are too busy working about a test that all teachers are preparing them for they won’t actually learn a great amount of information. “The very objectivity of standardized exams yields comparability of student achievement, a desirable feature for parents and practitioners alike.”


    • Phoebe Maltz Bovy, author of article “Its Time to Ban Guns. Yes, All of Them.” offers the banning of all firearms to be the best way to truly rid the United States of gun violence. Bovy suggests that this view needs to be “embraced unapologetically” (Bovy) in order for this radical method to quell the gun violence epidemic to be truly taken into consideration and gain traction. She even insists that the eradication of guns in the US include the police “as much as possible” (Bovy). Via this eradication, the issue of gun violence is solved; no guns, no gun violence: problem solved. If only it were this easy, the issue would not be an issue. To Bovy, just disregarding the legal and safe gun owners and “placing [gun] ownership itself in the “‘bad'” category” (Bovy) is the way to justify this approach. However, this is unfeasible; the millions of gun owners in the US will not simply accept this and in return have their firearms confiscated. In fact, there is no sound evidence in Bovy’s argument placing guns to be the root cause of gun violence; the guns are what are used in the violence but the person operating the weapon is truly responsible. This is just her view and advocation on how to solve this pressing issue. Plus, she does not even consider her position to be in favor of gun control (Bovy)! There are many factors that cause gun violence but the confiscation of ALL guns in America is simply not the answer. This idea will only foster even more polarization in a time where the nation is already severely divided and at odds.

    • In Vice article “In Defense of Cancel Culture” by Shamira Ibrahim it is argumented in the contrary of the last articles that Cancel Culture is actually effective and it is very powerful in the sense that it gives the ordinary people a chance to voice their concernings and it allows them to get after those who are too powerful to be trialed. Ibrahim does a good work at explaining her point as she gave examples of people that actually had too much power to be judged like Mel Gibson or Doja Cat. Despite de validity of her point, cancel culture is still not the most efficient way of keeping people accountable for their actions. Ordinary people can vote to elect representatives that will pass laws that will keep this people accountable for their wrongdoings. So although cancel culture attempts to fix the problem of injustice in America there are more efficient ways of doing it through te law.

      It was really hard to find 10 sources, these are the ones I found: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/1.....scape.html


    • While we once had to deal with the conservative “climate deniers,” a phrase now reserved for conspiracy theorists, the current right-wing position on global warming tends to revolve around “climate inactivism.” As he states in his article for Creators Syndicate, Ben Shapiro adamantly believes that many young climate activists are “complaining without solutions” and that this behavior “isn’t actually useful.” Instead, the behavior draws in the support of “adults hiding behind children to avoid the difficult conversations that must take place about how to achieve solutions.” Here, Shapiro not only spectacularly misrepresents the youth voicing their global warming concerns but also shuns Barack Obama and all other adults who offered their support to the cause. Should Shapiro have taken the time to look for youth-supported climate policy instead of claiming that the climate crisis movement is “complaining without solutions,” he would have made some exciting discoveries. These discoveries include plans to plant and grow enough trees to help offset carbon emissions and implement a carbon tax that encourages renewable energy. There are even plenty of other substantive responses to our changing climate often cited for their effectiveness by young activists. Still, the reality of the situation is that Shapiro would much rather pretend that the youth consists of mindless doomsayers unable to back up their call to action with specific solutions. This assumption allows him to strawman protestors in an ironically childish fashion, leaving him the one “complaining without solutions.”

    • In the FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform) article “The Truth About Zero-Tolerance and Family Separation”, author Matt O’Brien attempts to discredit the claims that immigrants at the US border are being ripped away from their families. He writes that “not only is the Trump policy not immoral, it’s a common occurrence when U.S. citizens parents have been charged with a crime.” However, this is unequivocally untrue. A vast amount of the people detained at the border are actually asylum-seekers, and being able to safely and securely reside within a country’s borders while applying for asylum is a right recognized by almost every nation in the world. O’Brien seeks to discredit this as well, saying asylum-seekers just want a “get-out-of-jail-free-card”, but has no facts or figures to back this claim up. Parents seeking asylum are committing no crime, and thus are having their children stolen from them for absolutely no reason. Secondly, when US citizens are charged with a crime, their children are not held in cages with no promise of ever seeing their parents again. To compare these two scenarios is asinine and has no basis in fact. O’Brien also writes that many families at the border are not actually families, but are instead unrelated children claimed by adults so they have a better chance of remaining in the US. O’Brien’s cruel disdain for the inexcusable separation of immigrant families at the border is succinctly summed up when he writes “any attempts to pass legislation requiring DHS to keep alleged “families” together will undermine border integrity.” This callous statement is a prime example of many anti-immigration arguments, most of which are backed up with unsatisfactory evidence, made in bad faith, and deeply misanthropic.


    • The article “5 Reasons To Buy A Gun” published on the website Spring Guns & Ammo lists 5 reasons why people should carry guns, 5 reasons that seem to appear in every article that support people’s right of owning guns. One reason listed in the article is “exercise of your rights”, arguing that people’s right to own weapons and firearms are guaranteed by the Second Amendment. This seems to be a common misunderstanding of the correct content of the Second Amendment. If we take a look into it, the Amendment writes that “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”. However, for most of the gun supporter, they seem to only focus on the last part of the sentence, “the right of the people…. shall not be infringed”, ignoring the first part which is the essence of this Amendment. In the first part, it defines which kind of people should own guns and the purpose of owning these guns: “a well-regulated Militia” appears to be people in army and “being necessary to the security of a free State” means that people owning guns is for the purpose of securing the nation as a whole. However, for most of the gun supporters, there is no need to understand the correct idea behind the Amendment.

      1. https://mndaily.com/247660/unc.....n-control/
      2. https://www.debatingeurope.eu/.....DTr8pMzZQI
      3. https://www.usatoday.com/story.....059968001/
      4. https://time.com/4100408/a-cri.....n-control/
      5. https://www.springgunsandammo......buy-a-gun/
      6. https://www.theatlantic.com/po.....re/554351/
      7. https://www.abqjournal.com/615.....rearm.html
      8. https://www.pewresearch.org/po.....op-reason/
      9. https://www.bedfordshire.polic.....s#e9bc0d8f
      10. https://www.ammoland.com/2011/.....z6nIP5tfPN

Add a Response