Monday, September 21

Day 12 (Monday, September 21)

Lesson Objectives

Students will


You’ll want to begin analyzing the blogs we’ll be using in this assignment, if you haven’t done so already. As you read and prepare notes for “Climate Change: Now What?” make your own connections to the other texts to help model synthesis for your students.


A copy of the “Analyze a Blog” worksheet
Notes on “Climate Change: Now What?”


Students may come to class today unsure of their purpose in Assignment 2. Today’s activities should help to clear up any lingering confusion. 


Attendance and introduction (2-3 minutes)

You might begin class today by asking about your students’ about similarities and differences in the issues within the various rhetoric of green topics. 

WTL Creating Your Own Blog (5-7 minutes)

You might begin class today by asking students to write for a few minutes about the blog they analyzed for homework. What did they like about the blog’s layout and presentation, and organization? What did they think could be improved? Did they see any rhetorical choices that they would incorporate into their own blog? What wouldn’t they include?
If you want to collect this WTL to hold students accountable for the homework, be sure they incorporate telling details to display that they did the analysis work.
When students finish writing, have them share some of their ideas. 

Introduce the idea of Stakeholders (5-10 minutes)

Another way for students to make intertextual connections for their blog entries is by identifying and analyzing stakeholders. When we identify stakeholders, we come up with specific individuals, groups, states, countries, institutions, etc., who have something at stake in a topic or an issue. When we analyze stakeholders we examine their values in relation to the topic and issue. Stakeholder values can be shared or in opposition when it comes to a given issue. But even if values are shared, the means of means of achieving those values can be in conflict. For example, a businesswoman proposing to build a coal power plant on a piece of Indian land might value family. She may want the deal to go through so she can continue to support her family. An Indian living on the land near the proposed coal plant might object to the plant’s construction. The reason she might object to the plant could be because she values family. Both stakeholders value family, but have different ways of achieving their goal of supporting their families.

Introduce the idea of Stakeholders, cont.

Glade Reservoir Project: In phase 2 we will look at the local issue of the proposed Glade Reservoir which will damn unallocated sections of the Poudre River to provide water to Northern Colorado. This project is very controversial, which usually means it has various and conflicting stakeholders. Let’s create a stakeholder sun. At the center of the sun is the issue. The sun’s rays represent the various stakeholders: groups, individuals, institutions, etc. who have something at stake in the issue.

Stakeholder Sun: One model for introducing the idea of stakeholders is called a stakeholder sun. Draw a circle on the board and label the circle “Damming the Poudre.” Next draw “sunrays” or triangles shooting out from the issue circle. Have students label each of the sunrays with a specific stakeholder (examples include: City of Fort Collins, Northern Colorado residents, recreational enthusiast like kayakers and fisherman, farmers and ranchers, etc.) Next  you might ask students to consider possible values that the stakeholders have in relation to the issue (Ex: farmers and ranchers value their livelihood which includes access to water, while kayakers value an undammed river, etc.)

Conclude by asking students to choose an issue from the rhetoric of green and brainstorm specific stakeholders within that issue.
Pose this question to students: How can an understanding of stakeholders help you initiate a critical discussion in assignment 2?

“Climate Change: Now What?” Group Discussions (20-25 Minutes)

Today’s group discussion on Christine Russell’s “Climate Change: Now What?” students can share their critical reading of the text, while expanding the possibilities of making intertextual connections by learning about stakeholders. You might have the class form groups and divvy up the questions, but make sure that each group answers the stakeholder questions 5 & 6 and question 14 & 15

  1. We saw in “Another Word for Doom,” how some scientists are changing how the rhetoric of green is being framed for the public. In “Climate Change: Now What?” Christine Russell looks at how the media is at a similar “crossroads.” How are these frames of reference (science and media) different?
  2. Russell says that journalists “will play a key role in shaping the information that opinion leaders and the public use to judge the urgency of climate change.” How is this approach different from journalism’s past tendencies?
  3. Do you think that the media is moving away from past frames (is it happening? is it caused by humans?), when dealing with climate change, to new frames (how will we stop it? how will we prepare for changes?)?
  4. When we began this course, we proposed the idea that environmental rhetoric has infiltrated all aspects of our modern context. List some of the ways that Russell says newspaper editors will have to integrate climate change concerns into sections of their news coverage.
  5. The list you’ve generated above can be labeled a list of stakeholders , that is groups, lenses, frames of reference, people, organizations, countries, institutions, etc. that have something at stake in the issue. Expanding the context from climate change to green rhetoric, can you add to the list of possible stakeholders?
  6. Can you think of people, groups, institutions, who do not have something at stake when it comes to the rhetoric of green? If so, what is preventing them from having a stake in the rhetoric of green?
  7. Why do you think newspaper editors were so surprised to find such a comprehensive scientific agreement that climate change is happening and it is caused by humans? How do you think this discrepancy between the media and the science affects the rhetoric of climate change?
  8. Russell explains that when it comes to economic impacts of climate change that the rhetoric heats up. No longer a consensus, how do stakeholders differ on ways of approaching economic impacts of climate change?
  9. Russell talks about “yo-yo coverage,” where journalists grab on to the latest contradictory scientific studies rather than waiting for lager patterns and consensus science to emerge over time. How has this yo-yo coverage affected the rhetoric of climate change? How has it affected your opinion on the topic?
  10. Within the rhetoric of green we have seen short-term rhetoric and long-term rhetoric. Russell says “You can’t see climate change out your widow,” meaning that weather equals short-term and climate equals long-term. How have we seen this short-term/long-term rhetoric working in our inquiry this semester?
  11. What I the rhetoric of techno-optimism? Why does Russell warn journalist to watch out for it?
  12. Russell warns journalist to choose experts carefully. She quotes long-time climate science reporter Andrew Revkin’s simple rule, “when writing about climate science, seek comments from respected scientific experts who have published in major journals in the field, not the experts offered by various policy think tanks and interests groups.” As we move along in our own inquiries into the rhetoric of green, how can this advice help us?
  13. Russell mentions green fatigue in the media. Since we are involved in a sustained inquiry into the rhetoric of green, some of us might relate to this phrase “green fatigue.” What advice does Russell give to journalist tracking green promises, and how can this advice help us in our inquiry?
  14. Russell says about climate change what we’ve been discovering about green rhetoric: that it “encompasses virtually all aspects of contemporary life.” She gives a list of possible starter stories, which we will call inquiry questions, to journalists. Which of these inquiry questions do you find interesting and can you add to the list with your own questions within the various topics in the realm of:
  15. Science:

  16. Finally, what connections can you make between this article, which features Russell’s advice to journalists reporting on climate change, and other texts we’ve been studying?

Your Turn: For the last 5-10 minutes of this exercise, design a way for groups to share the information they collected with the whole class.

Assign homework and conclude class (2-3 minutes)

Conclude class by handing back assignment 1. You might announce that you are happy to discuss a student’s writing with them, but that if they want to discuss grades, they should take 24 hours to read over and think about your comments before coming to talk with you about it. In general everyone is always welcome in your office hours, for whatever CO150 reason.

Homework for Wednesday

Connection to Next Class

After completing the latest homework students will nearly have all the data (only one more article to read and one more blog to analyze) they’ll need to make choices for this next assignment.