Alex Spears


English 2010

4 May 2017

Look Back Effect Project

I’ve never been a good writer. In Junior High School I was placed in resource english

because my reading and writing abilities were far below that of my peers. It has been a long time

since then and I believe that I have improved in my writing. What this class gave me more then

anything is a sense of accomplishment, after each assignment I felt like I had produced good

quality work. Going into English 2010 I still wasn’t sure about my ability as a writer and

doubted myself. This class in no small part helped me to see that I can produce good quality

work as well as gave me great feedback, pointing out ways that I could improve my work. So

for that I am incredibly grateful.

The two pieces that I have chosen to revise for this assignment are the Open Letter

project and the Information Effect project. My goal with the Open Letter project was focused on

updating it in wake of current events. When I was writing it Scott Pruitt, the addressee, was

unconfirmed as the Administrator of The Environmental Protection Agency so the context was

mostly future tense. With Scott Pruitt confirmed as the Administrator and with a few months to

work with I felt like it would be good to structure it reflecting on Scott Pruitts actions before and

after his confirmation. I began this reflection by researching Scott Pruitt’s history concerning the

EPA and looked into statements and actions that he has taken since his appointment and

confirmation Even though he hasn't been in office long there was enough information specific to
Pruitt that I felt comfortable interpreting his actions and stressing my concerns going forward.

My original paper was mainly focused on logos and for my revision I added a bit more ethos and

pathos. When I presented my Open Letter and listed to the other students I felt like although I

had a lot of information I was lacking in the emotional department. Overall I feel like the letter

had been updated to a more current from and put in reference to current events as well as has a

more personal and emotional touch.

The second assignment that I chose to revise was the Information Project. Although I do

think that the infographic I made was good for the assignment and giving my experience, or lack

there of, in making infographics. However, in its original state it read more like an academic

paper then an infographic, it contained way too much information. Because of this I was forced

to add too much text into certain places and visually it looked sloppy and unrefined.

For my first step in revising my infographic I really spent some time looking at the

information I had and tried choosing what information best fit the message that I was trying for.

My overall goal was to frame the information in a Now v.s. Future style, with where we are now

on one side and where we could be on the other. When revising I felt like a lot of my

information was concerned with Now, and I really had nothing about the possibilities of the

future. Giving how hard it is to change infographics it made the most sense to start over again.

To help me with this I looked up other ideas that focused on similar issues to get some ideas on

the information to include in my new infographic. Once I decided on the message I wanted to

send it was easy to locate the information that i wanted to add, both from my original infographic

and the new information that I needed. When doing reassure into energy projections into the

future I found a great paper/project from Harvard that evaluated all 50 states as well as over 160
countries. These evaluation were done with the goal of having 100% renewable energy by 2050.

With this study I was able to make an infographic that I think fit my original goal better.
Alex Spears


English 2010

4 May 2017

Dear Mr. Pruitt,

I would like to begin by congratulating you on your appointment to be the Administrator

of the Environmental Protection Agency. However, since I heard you would be appointed to the

position I have been worried about the stance you and the Trump administration would take on

environmental issues. Unfortunately for me and millions of other Americans it seems like you

are quite set on tearing down environmental regulations put in place to defend the environment

against the treats of the fossil fuel industry. You yourself, Mr. Pruitt, sued the Environmental

Protection Agency, that you now head, 14 times during your time as Oklahoma Attorney

General. Please make no mistake, I am all for scepticism, especially in science. But, it seems

like on each of these 14 occasions you have challenged these environmental rules in favor of the

fossil fuel industry. Your yourself have said that you do not agree that human activity is a large

contributor to climate change. I think you and I can both agree, science does not, and should not

operate on conscience. However, many academic publications have put scientific consensus

between 80% and 97% (Cook, 2016) additionally 48% of U.S. adults believe that climate change

is real and caused by human activity (Funk, 2016). I am in no way advocating for research into

climate change to stop but we need to take active steps in transforming our energy systems away

from fossil fuels.
It has long been known to the scientific community that climate change is a major factor

to consider when we talk about the future of this planet. The idea of global warming due to the

emissions of Co2 caused by human activity is not new and was first written about and published

in 1896, by the Swedish scientist and winner of the 1903 Nobel Prize in chemistry, Svante

Arrhenius. Arrhenius claimed that the combustion of fossil fuels may eventually result in

enhanced global warming and proposed a relation between Co2 in the atmosphere and global

temperature. In the 1930’s people in the United States and in the North Atlantic, realized that the

temperature had increased dramatically over the last half-century. Most argued that this was

caused by a natural cycle. However, a man by the name of Guy Stewart Callendar argued that

this increase was not due to a natural cycle but rather the burning of Co2 causing emissions. In

the 1950’s Callendar’s claims provoked other scientists to look into increased technologies and

calculations to determine the impact of Co2 emissions on the climate. By the 1970’s we saw an

increase in environmentalism and a rise in public doubt about the benefits human activity had on

the environment. In the summer of 1988 the idea of climate change caught public attention by

being the hottest summer ever recorded up till then. Since then almost every year has been hotter

than the previous, with the ten hottest years, of the 136 previously recorded, occurring since the

year 2000 (Global, n.d.). In 2015 the mean global temperature was 14.8 degrees Celsius, the

warmest the planet had been in thousands of years. In the same year the level of Co2 in the

atmosphere measured 400 parts per million, the highest it had been in millions of years.

Fortunately World leaders were taking note, and in 2015 came the Paris agreement where nearly

all nations set targets to reduce Greenhouse gases emissions and report their progress.

Some of the most compelling evidence to support the idea of global climate change is:
1. Rising sea levels, the global sea level have risen 6.7 inches in the last century, and

the rate of this rise has doubled in the last decade (Church, 2016).

2. The shrinking of ice sheets, Greenland lost 36 to 60 cubic miles of ice per year

between 2002 and 2006 while Antarctica lost 36 cubic miles of ice between 2002

and 2005 (Chen, 2006).

3. Increased glacial retreat, glaciers are retreating in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes,

Rockies, Alaska and Africa (National, 2014).

4. Acidification of our oceans, since the Industrial Revolution the acidity of the

surface water of our oceans has increased by around 30 percent. The amount of

CO2 absorbed by the oceans has increased by about 2 billion tons per year

(Sabine, 2004) (Ocean, n.d).

As you can see we are already experiencing many consequential and dangerous

environmental events due to the warming of our planet and the emission of CO2 into the

atmosphere. All major scientific bodies warn that not only is global warming very real, but is

directed caused by human activity. Additionally they warn that if we do not act now, the world

we leave for our children and grandchildren will be vastly different from what it is now.

As the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency it is your job to protect our

environment. And as such, it is imperative that you understand the concepts and ideas that the

scientific community overwhelmingly agrees upon. You yourself have said that the climate is

changing, but you refuse to acknowledge the role human activity and the release of Co2 and

other greenhouse gases plays. You have a long history as an opponent of environmental

regulation and although you stated in yourself “...[the job of a regulator] should not be for or
against any sector of the economy,...” however you have repeatedly represented the fossil fuel

industry with you actions and your words. It is my hope, as well as 150 million Americans and

the scientific community, that over the next four years, we will not continue to be disappointed

by your actions or lack thereof. Once again I would like to congratulate you on your

appointment to the position of Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, I can only

hope that you will use this position to promote the necessary changes required to reduce our

impact on this planet.


A Concerned Citizen.
Works Cited

Chen, J. L., C. R. Wilson, and B. D. Tapley. "Satellite gravity measurements confirm accelerated

melting of Greenland ice sheet." Science 313.5795 (2006): 1958-1960.

Church, John A., and Neil J. White. "A 20th century acceleration in global sea-level rise."

Geophysical research letters 33.1 (2006).

Cook, John, et al. "Consensus on consensus: a synthesis of consensus estimates on

human-caused global warming." Environmental Research Letters 11.4 (2016): 048002.

Funk, Cary, and Brian Kennedy. "1. Public views on climate change and climate scientists." Pew

Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. N.p., 04 Oct. 2016. Web. 02 Feb. 2017.

"Global Temperature." NASA. NASA/GISS, n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2017.

"National Snow and Ice Data Center." SOTC: Mountain Glaciers | National Snow and Ice Data

Center. N.p., 12 Nov. 2014. Web. 02 Feb. 2017.

"Ocean Acidification." Ocean Acidification. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2017.

Sabine, Christopher L., et al. "The oceanic sink for anthropogenic CO2." science 305.5682

(2004): 367-371.
Alex Spears


English 2010

4 May 2017

Energy Infographic