A World in Trouble; Warnings and Denial

Climate change is creating difficult living arrangements across the globe, with habitats and ecosystems falling at an alarming rate. Mankind’s insatiable desire to rid the planet of all available resources seems to be playing a pivotal role in the destruction. We wake up each day drilling for more oil, precious metals, and water, drilling a little deeper than yesterday. Cutting acre after acre of the forest away, to make room for new buildings and roads that will be outdated in 50 years. Coming up with more and more clever ways to quickly strip Earth of all its life-sustaining features.

The cover of "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss
Cover of The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss. This children’s story is about the power of a single voice to effect positive change for the environment (Johnson).

As materialistic people, we carry on as if there is no limit to Earth’s bounty even though we all should know better than that. At an early age, we are taught about litter, pollution, and waste. We are also taught to respect ourselves, others, and nature. We go on field trips to nature centers, recycling plants, wastewater treatment facilities, and we get trees to plant for Earth Day. Guest speakers from other counties, scientists, and conservation officers present relevant educational information from elementary school through high school. Yet we walk among the ignorant. Some are in full denial, others too frightened to face facts. Cathrine Ingram says “I also marveled at how oblivious most people are to the coming catastrophes.” So who is Cathrine Ingram anyway?

Cathrine Ingram is the author of an essay titled “Facing Extinction” in which she claims that “we are facing extinction in the near future.” Ingram’s YouTube channel showcases how well “Facing Extinction” has been received by the global population. Most people won’t give this essay the time of day. A lot more people will stop reading this essay in the first paragraph.  However, curiosity took hold of me, and I read it completely through. What I read made me angry at the human race, sad for the future and the children, and left me feeling hopeless. Catherine Ingram’s “Facing Extinction” will evoke anger, fear, dread, depression, and a plethora of other negative emotions within anyone brave enough to read it.

“Facing Extinction” is Ingrams’ attempt to bring awareness to an unpopular subject, the consequences of climate change. Her first section, titled “Dark Knowledge,” explains how humans have created the perfect storm for “the sixth mass extinction.” Ingram believes humanity has created a thick layer of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that is heating our planet beyond homeostasis. She feels that this is melting the ice caps and releasing large quantities of methane into the atmosphere, accelerating the warming effects. Ingram explains that with the retreating ice caps, the ocean is being left to take the brunt of incoming solar rays, further warming the water and intensifying melting. In turn, as the ice melts, oil deposits are exposed to additional human exploitation.

Ingram thinks the world superpowers are locked in a race to take ownership of the potential oil deposits unlocked by this travesty. She is puzzled at how humanity has chosen to look away from these threats and continue filling time with trivial pursuits, even in the face of impending doom. We entertain ourselves with television and movies, which portray human extinction as a fiction rather than a true threat. Ingram writes, “there has never been a greater news story than that of humans facing full extinction, and yet extinction is rarely mentioned.” It amazes me that we can look at human extinction as a source of entertainment, and then turn a blind eye to scientific research and nature’s warning signs that predict our end.

Ingram wrote her essay, knowing it would only make an impact with a minute part of the population. She knew most people wouldn’t want to hear the words, that her audience would be small.  For those readers, she explains, “the words on these pages are meant only for those who are ready for them.” Ingram doesn’t want people to feel alone in this dark revelation, she wants them to know that other people are “awakening” to climate consequences.

However, she also knew that her constraints shouldn’t hold her back anymore.  It doesn’t matter if the topic is unpopular or if people are just in denial. Climate change needs a light shined on it because it is our reality. Ingram writes, “what we now need to find is courage.” She did just that publishing “Facing Extinction” in February, 2019, leaving her constituents to their own devices.

After reading “Facing Extinction” the exigence was clear. It doesn’t matter what your stance on climate change is, this essay will infuriate readers. While I find Ingram’s essay mostly accurate, I also find that I don’t completely agree with her. I was mad at Ingram for saying that hope is lost, and we are just going to die.  Then I realized it is what she wants. Ingram wants readers to connect with what she is saying. She wants people to feel something, anything.

To get a reaction, Ingram uses three appeals to try and hold us captive. Right off the bat, she begins with a pathos appeal, trying to get an emotional reaction with the use of bold statements by telling readers that she believes we are going extinct soon. Ingram points out that “150 plant and animal species are going extinct every day” and that we are also on the list. She tells us “I offer no hope or solutions for our continuation.” Cathrine Ingram wants people to feel bad, and its works.

At the same time, Ingram uses the logos appeal very well, causing readers to look at facts and determine if they are logical. Ingram explains how the gases CO2, methane, and SF6 are creating a blanket of gas in the atmosphere that is accelerating planetary warming. The warming itself is causing more issues depending on where people live. Floods, fires, drought, famine, disease, and more violent storms are already an observable effect. And these issues lead to economic problems, needing more resources, and wars for more resources. Ingram says, “The U.S., Russia, and China are now vying for the hegemony of the Arctic region.” Logically, if we know we are poisoning our environment and the ice caps are melting, we have a problem that deserves major attention. Instead, we are fighting each other, exploiting the planet, and destroying more habitats.

As these habitats disappear there is usually a journalist who writes up an interesting article for the world to largely ignore. Catherine Ingram started her career as a journalist in 1982, writing on social and environmental issues, publishing around 100 articles. Ingram has served on the editorial staff for several magazines, written a life advice column, and has been an organizer and co-founder for a few different activist groups around the world. She is also the President of Living Dharma where she leads Dharma Dialogues to help people learn to live ethically and happily. Ingram uses her credibility, or ethos appeals, to expand the sphere of influence past just scientific research publications, bringing more awareness through an enlarging network. She has compiled climate change data, available online, into one essay for anyone to read, with links to the data.

After reflecting on Ingram’s words, I can more clearly see the need to bring awareness to the ignorant. Catherine Ingram’s “Facing Extinction” is well written, it will get your attention, and it does ask you to face some harsh realities. I challenge anyone to read “Facing Extinction,” so that next time we meet we can engage in an intelligent conversation.

Work Cited

Ingram, Catherine. “Biography.” Catherine Ingram, 2019, https://www.catherineingram.com/biography/.

—. “Catherine Ingram, Facing Extinction, Facing Extinction by Catherine Ingram, 2019 Facing Extinction by Catherine Ingram, 2019-Facing Extinction by Catherine Ingram, Leonard Cohen, Dahr Jamail, Chris Hedges, Extinction, Extinction Rebellion, Global Warming, Climate Change, Climate Disruption, Deep Adaptation, In the Deep, Catherine Ingram Podcast, In the Deep with Catherine Ingram, Post, Extinction Facebook, near-Term Extinction.” Catherine Ingram, Feb. 2019, https://www.catherineingram.com/facingextinction/.

—. “Facing Extinction by Catherine Ingram (Read by the Author) – YouTube.” Youtube, 5 Apr. 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9LI1Dv0DEg&t=2939s.

Johnson, Jayme. The Lorax | Teaching Children Philosophy. 29 Feb. 2016, https://www.teachingchildrenphilosophy.org/BookModule/TheLorax.

Ignorance Could be a Start to the End

 I bet when everyone was young they were scared of something whether it was monsters, the dentist, or even the dark, but I’d guess that they were never terrified or even thought of global warming as something frightening which could be a reason it got out of control in the first place.  In “Facing Extinction” written by Catherine Ingram she explains about the disasters yet to come due to lack of information about global warming, overpopulation, and the overall human contribution to the next mass extinction on earth.   

 In Ingram’s first section, entitled “Dark Knowledge” she explains the terrifying truth for our up and coming future, but terrifying is only a small portion of emotion yet to come. First, Ingram explains that “in the last decade our carbon carbon graphemissions levels are the highest in history, and we haven’t experienced their full impact yet.” In addition, she states that even if we stopped emitting carbon into the air by tomorrow, we would still see an increase of heat for the next ten years. Secondly, Ingram says that we might be facing a full summer melt in the next five years which is the melting of the Arctic summer ice. The Arctic ice has cooled the northern part of the earth and tampers with climate throughout the world. Without the Arctic ice cooling the north it could rapidly increase not only the oceans but the overall temperature of our atmosphere. Furthermore, Ingram says that some scientists fear a methane “burp” of which will produce billions of tons of methane gas and could be a start to a mass extinction. With so much methane gas in our atmosphere and its ability to absorb heat from the sun. It would increase the temperature of our planet within months causing cataclysmic events starting the next mass extinction. Additionally, Ingram explains that the melting of Antarctica has increased by 280% in the last 40 years. According to Ingram, “each day, the extra heat that is trapped near our planet is equivalent to four hundred thousand Hiroshima bombs.” Moreover, Ingram goes on and writes that “ if we were to make it through this gauntlet of threats, we would still be facing starvation.” with grain being our main food supply and the average harvest being reduced six percent every one degree Celsius rise above the norm. 

Global warming, decreasing glacier levels, and humanity’s connection to it all is something truly something to be terrified of not only because it would be the end, but because it’s out of our control.

While reading Ingram’s writing I felt an overwhelming amount of anger and sorrow. On the surface, I brushed it off so it wouldn’t bother me, but I can’t pretend that it doesn’t exist. Ingram truly threw daggers at her readers to show the truth behind it all, and not only did those daggers pierce me but many others as well. Ingrams used many tactics that not only puts me and others mind in chaos but also makes us more intrigued with her writing. With only reading a few paragraphs into her article I could tell that this wasn’t just an explanation on global warming, but also a warning for what’s to come. Right off the back, Ingram uses pathos to twist our emotions by saying truly horrific details about our changing world. Personally reading this and understanding our situation makes me think if anything even matters anymore. Constant questions flood my mind like,” why am I even writing this paper if everything’s going to end sooner rather than later?”, ”Should I even finish my education?” I’ve always had a fear of dying young and not being able to do anything about it and I guess my greatest fear might come to fruition. Reading Ingram’s article has opened my mind to all the dangers and possibilities that are coming and to be honest I’m not ready for it. Something that really intrigued me is that Ingram said Antarctica has been melting 280% faster than normal, and I dove into more research on this statement.  Not only is Antarctica rapidly but a survey shows more than one million square kilometers below the previous record low which is very worrisome. Whilst reading Ingram’s article I was terrified, but I kept thinking that she might have exaggerated some parts. My father, I included, have always been skeptical of global warming with us not fully finding any evidence through our experiences. I later realized all the proof I needed was right in front of me with so seasons starting late and constant wet days with our farmers not being able to produce certain foods. I believe Ingram on the dangers of global warming but I feel like we have more than 5 years on earth. Altho many people believe in Ingram’s reason and evidence there are many who do not. An American climatologist by the name of Judith Curry is a climatologist who isn’t convinced of the damaging effects of climate change and believes the credibility of climate research to not be accurate. She’s written two essays with one of them being on the credibility of climate research.

Global warming is dangerously close to our front door and Ingram makes the certainly clear. With all of Ingram’s different styles of writing it’s not hard to believe her witting. Global warming is still not getting widespread recognition and is probably a big factor as to why is out of control. Throughout Ingram’s essay, she explains global warming in its darkest form and how we’re at its mercy due to humanity’s overuse of natural resources.


Putting the Future in the past

In Catherine Ingrams 2019 essay titled “Facing Extinction,” she makes it clear that the impressions and actions of the human race, both past and present will ultimately lead to our very own extinction. Ingram writes on various topics that us humans will most likely come face to face with while battling the reality of our existence. One of the topics that Ingram highlighted in her essay was “The end of Legacy,” in this section she advocates that it’ll be difficult to stop the act of future thinking, adapting to forget future aspirations, living with the idea of losing the past, being incapable of seeing your children develop, and lastly, finding relief in the realization that you no longer need to leave behind a legacy. Under the circumstances that Ingram projects the world will ultimately reach as human extinction nears, she makes it clear through the passage that creating a legacy will be illogical and one would be better off spending the remainder of their time wisely, without future goals. 

Though it is tough to truly accept the facts of our rapidly changing world, the reality of it all is that we must adapt to those changes if we wish to survive. Catherine Ingram writes on         “ The end of Legacy,” as one of the ramifications of human extinction. In the text she expresses that “people are often conditioned in the idea of leaving behind a legacy and they spend a lot of their lives in perhaps an unconscious dedication to that project” ( Ingram 24). For the most part, people who hope to succeed in life have goals and ambitions set for themselves in order to have a lucrative future. Those who don’t look toward the future and are very short term oriented are in luck, for Ingram claims that “ you will no longer need to consider what you might leave behind as there will likely not be anyone there to see or experience it, [or] at least not for long” (Ingram 24). Ingram generates the hardship of putting a person’s future behind them as part of the obstacle that will conclusively lead to one “ finding great relief and freedom in the irrelevance of [thoughts] [of] [the] [future]” (Ingram 25).  Who would have thought that one day the conflict that would arise in everyone’s life would be the troubles of forgetting the legacy you were never given the chance to leave behind.  

The notion of legacy can and should be tied to all humans. Everyone should have an idea of what kind of legacy they want to leave behind and it should be everyone’s goal to leave a mark when they’re gone.  Because Ingram believes that “ [everyone] is often conditioned in the idea of leaving behind a legacy” (Ingram 24), it could be easily said that she was targeting all humans as an audience. Although she does aim to target everyone, she has a select few types of people who she expresses will have a harder time coping with their loss of future hopes and dreams. These are parents, the individuals whose job it is to influence their offspring and prepare them for the crazy world we live in are one of Ingrams targets. Ingram describes children as “the most common and by far the most emotional charged form of legacy”( Ingram 24), and because there are hundreds of thousands of babies born each day, this makes parents a number one audience. Being a parent is a hardship in itself, you’d like to steer your kids in the direction of excellence, while also showing them what it takes to be great and do good. You have to provide and protect them from any harm, but what if the harm is something you can’t control? Like the well being of their planet, that will ultimately decide their fate as well. 

 Young adults and truly anyone who believes that climate change is occurring is also apart of Ingrams audience.  For most young adults without children, we have to worry about our parents who also worry about us. Those who hope and dream of having children in the future have to think about what exactly their children will go through, what kind of planet will they grow up in, and if they’ll even have enough time to see their kids develop. Having to ask ourselves these questions is sad. Wanting to create more children even though there are so many who are currently struggling is even sadder.  Having to settle for the realization that you wont need to create a legacy is relieving, heartbreaking and infuriating all in one.

Is forgetting something easy? Especially something you’ve been looking forward to all your life? We often find it easier to forget things that don’t usually appeal to us. But can we truly forget the legacy we plan to leave behind or the future we’ve been looking forward too? Ingram glorifies the feelings of “great relief and freedom” (Ingram 25), that people might feel after letting go of the legacy projects that were causing them “a lot of stress and strain”(ibid 25). However, she doesn’t go into depth of how exactly one can go about forgetting those important aspects of their life. Ingram doesn’t give instructions on how to forget, she only states how one may feel after they’ve forgotten. This causes a problem for all audiences, especially the younger generations. Fortunately, adults have had their time to make something of their life, see the world and possibly find their calling. The youth, however, have not. Which would make it difficult for them to“ [adapt] to ignoring [future] thoughts as they arise” (ibid 25), and forget future plans without having  relatively higher emotional trauma than adults. In the end, does the youth not deserve to know how we should go about this crisis? We will be paying the price of those who lived before us, those who decided to do nothing when the signs were clear that change was needed. This is not fair. 

Although Ingram doesn’t give us a true run down of how we can eventually forget future projections, she does do a good job of getting the reader to accept the idea that forgetting dreams of a legacy will eventually be best the best answer. Through the use of her prophecy, she explains that not leaving a legacy behind won’t be a problem because “there will likely not be anyone around to experience it” (Ingram 24). The first time I read this, I stopped to think of what I had in mind for my future and as I continued reading I couldn’t agree more with her. I came to the conclusion that if times were more critical I’d probably stop doing all the things that would make my future successful and focus on bucket list ideas. Thinking about these kinds of things would work anyone up and that was exactly Ingrams intention. This is how she was able to get across the idea that one needs to “ [let] go of the future and re-order [their] tendencies of thinking about the future” (ibid 25). Ingram is able to persuade us to believe that leaving behind a legacy is illogical. She does this by relating to reader, most people want to leave something behind and if others who were reading this essay were like me, they also read it thoroughly.

Throughout this piece of her essay, Ingram is well aware what the emotional response would be for her readers. Fear, anger and optimism would be reasonable types of responses, especially in regard to the way Ingram starts this section. She begins by saying that “ the because of the deadly threats ahead and the unlikeness of solutions, [we] might find a strange re-ordering of [our] thoughts and motivations” ( Ingram 24). Right off the bat we are aware that whatever we will be reading next will be eye opening, and not something everyone hopes to learn and read about. As Ingram continues to tell readers that we’d be better off forgetting the future, we find our way to the section that involves children as “the most emotionally charged form of legacy.” For most people, having kids is a dream they’d like to make a reality, however, Ingram quotes that “in facing extinction, you find yourself thinking, ‘what’s the point of all [the] effort; should [kids] even bother going to school? Maybe we should just find ways to enjoy whatever time is left with our children without any future goals’ ” (Ingram 24-25). For those parents who read this, I can imagine it was difficult to process. The thought of having kids that will grow up in a dysfunctional world would be difficult and you might find yourself asking exactly why you chose to bring them into it. In addition, I’m sure Ingrams intention was to make those without kids question themselves more and more about bringing them into what could be soon an uninhabitable planet. 

Living in a melting pot is hard. You find yourself not knowing what to do or continue doing. You find yourself questioning everything you do that is a step in the direction of your future, and whether is is worth it. Under the circumstances that Ingram projects the world will ultimately reach as human extinction nears, she makes it clear through the passage that creating a legacy will be illogical and one would be better off spending the remainder of their time wisely, without future goals. In the end, when the world is old, grey and unable to support those who live on it, will you strive to reach your goals? Or simply let life do what it wants and make the most of the time you have?




Works Cited

Ingram, Catherine. “Facing Exctinction.” Catherineingram, Feb. 2019, https://www.catherineingram.com/facingextinction/.


Denial, looking for salvation in the face of the inevitable


In Ingram’s Essay “Facing extinction,” she covers our seemingly inevitable plunge toward self-destruction. Covering the environmental factors that may lead to our demise, the futility found in potential solutions, the unique psychology associated with coming to grips with such a future(or refusing to), and how one can continue to find meaning in a life without a legacy.

In her section “TECHNO FIXES AND ESCAPE TO MARS” Ingram illustrates some of the different “fixes” for our climate crisis. She starts by delving into human’s love for technology, and the different benefits that it has wrought for us, such as a doubled life span, 

worldwide travel, and even the internet. However, she very quickly inverts her perspective by explaining that technology “has also been a source of destruction. It has allowed us to rapidly denude and poison the eco-system and caused the extinction of much of the natural world.” Siting the rampant issue of cybercrime/abuse, and the hundreds of millions killed using high tech weaponry

It is from here that she segues into her first main point, in spite of this people still look toward technology as a form of salvation. Through adaption, artificially changing the environment, colonizing Mars or even “discard our biological selves altogether (who wants to drag around a carcass of meat?) and instead just download our consciousness into computers and thereby live forever.  Thinking forever.” This establishes Ingram’s primary focus in this part. A sort of objective view of these types of solutions with an almost facetious undertone.

Ingram’s first main focus is on Elon Musk. She starts by using her final example of discarding our biological selves as a means to transition toward the subject of Elon Musk; who proposes the use of a computerized neural mesh that would allow us to uplink with a computer and have knowledge be, quite literally, uploaded into our brains. As a defense against what Musk perceives to be an incumbent crisis of unregulated AI. Ingram uses this example to establish Musk as a relevant player in the game of “techno-fixes.” Going on to discuss Musk’s work in the effort to colonize Mars, claiming that he “He envisions a first tier of travel to the Red Planet in thirty-five-story rockets…includes domed, terra-formed, sealed enclosures in which people will live on Mars the entirety of their days and nights” which she immediately follows up with by outlining the absurdity of colonizing Mars given its immensely harsh climate, as well as sourcing a segment of  “Real Time With Bill Maher.” She then follows up with another, more elaborate criticism called “Irrational antagonism”. A point she illustrates using 2 examples. First, with an experiment called “ Biosphere 2” an experiment meant to replicate earth’s conditions in a closed facility. The participants only grew their own food and kept the facility running. However, before long supplies dwindled and participants turned on each other. Creating a 4-Vs.-4 tribalist situation. The experiment was then repeated a year later and while supplies were abundant the participants still only remained for six months. Ingram found these experiments less than insightful because “when problems involving oxygen, food, or water arose, help was only a phone call and a short jaunt away, instead of thirty-three million miles.” On Mars, one wouldn’t be given the luxury of a second chance.

From here Ingram explains that humans have always had the opportunity of growth, expansion into the vast and unexplored world. However, that is no longer an option as most of the world has been explored and vast amounts of its resources have been tapped. Ingram goes even so far as to describe as “the world population in relation to the habitats that are capable of sustaining life.” a currency that we are in short supply. She uses this idea to explain her next and final fix. Geo-engineering. The act of physically changing the environment we live in in order to make it more inhabitable for people. A “fix” she describes as both more realistic and more terrifying. As far as Ingram is concerned physically changing the environment could damage it more intensely and irreparably than it already has been with minimal chance for actual success. It is from here that she segues into her final series of points. First that there exists a disparity between wisdom and intelligence. When people can do something, Ingram says, they do do it. Few people seem to ask the question of “should.” She uses the example of cars, Ingram feels that had we considered the impact of cars, socially and environmentally, we might not have allowed them to be so widespread. Cutting through mountains and forests, polluting our environment, requiring people to go to greater lengths to reach a destination or spread out, etc. She also goes onto describe the great filter, outlining why some scientists believe we haven’t seen intelligent life beyond earth due to some kind of global warming preventing them from getting that far. Then to cap off this section of her essay, Ingram explains that the indefinite growth capitalism relies on is unsustainable and will cause a self destruct in the end.


Zane E. DenHartog

Professor John Wolf

English Comp

4 December 2019

Denial, looking for salvation in the face of the inevitable

In Catherine Ingram’s essay Facing Extinction the reader is introduced to the dire nature of our climate situation and is acquainted with not only their own demise, which may happen sooner than one would expect but the demise of everything they’ve known including their future. She also provides coping mechanisms and strategies to prepare yourself and others for the inevitability that is to come. With Ingram’s unbiased statement of potential reparations to our environment, coupled with her matter of fact criticisms she effectively outlines the dire nature of our climate situation.



Early on in her writing, Ingram explains that our relationship with technology has been an incredible boon for the species. With it, we have “ doubled our life spans, traveled the globe collecting resources and ideas, and hooked ourselves up to instantaneously connect with anyone anywhere from our own homes” (Ingram, paragraph 1) which is a good thing. Being able to see the world, trade ideas with people and cultures we wouldn’t ordinarily see, keep up those relationships from across the sea and living long enough to truly appreciate those gifts is an undeniably fantastic achievement on the part of technology. But there is still the other side of the coin. Ingram also explains the downfall of technology, and the kinds of atrocities it has allowed for. One example Ingram gives is internet crime; citing the likes of  “online financial theft, child pornography, and predation, identity theft, [and] illegal drugs”(Ingram, paragraph 2)

all of which would either be impossible or far less accessible were it not for the advent of the internet.


However as harmful as each of these things can be, Ingram brings up something even more terrifying brought on by the advent of new technology, war. Ingram estimates 231 million people, a majority of which being noncombatants, died in the 20th century. Yet in spite of all of this, people still look to technology as a means of salvation. Ingram gives a rather poignant quote on the subject “We think technology will save us. Technology got us into this mess.” (Johanna Macy) People looking to technology as a means to solve the climate crisis caused by rampant use of different technology is equal parts absurd and understandable. Technology has integrated itself into every part of our lives and has been for as long as anyone can remember. Whenever a problem arises a technology comes along to fix it or at the very least appears to be on its way. When faced with a problem, technology offers a solution. But when that problem is technology itself? The first and only tool in our toolbox is still technology. I still find it incredibly difficult not to see some kind of technology saving us in some kind of last-minute deus-ex-machina type scenario.


Earth burning away

With the dangers of technology brought into the light, Ingram outlines a few of the ‘techno-fixes’ meant to help us repair or adapt to our withering climate. The first of the fixes that Ingram mentions, albeit briefly, is cybernetic enhancement. More specifically a technology being developed by Elon Musk that would insert a computerized neural mesh into our brains that would create a wireless connection between us and a computer. Allowing information to be stored and accessed through our brains. Musk proposes this not necessarily as a solution to the climate crisis, but as a way to combat what he believes is the growing threat of advanced and unregulated artificial intelligence. But it is akin to the prospect of using technology to either enhance or completely abandon our physical bodies in an attempt to circumvent the inhospitable environment climate change would create. Ingram offers no rebuttal to the prospect of cybernetic enhancement, likely because most of the ways such a thing could save us are a pipe dream at best, or at the very least don’t relate directly to climate change. What she does rebut however is another prospect brought up by Musk, colonizing Mars. Musk proposes that becoming what he calls a “multi-planet species” (Elon Musk) would help alleviate some of the climate-based problems here on earth. A smaller population could mean less production, less production would mean less pollution, thus reducing the risk of a climate-based disaster. With the benefits of a move to Mars appearing so numerous, a couple of groups have tried simulating life on Mars here on Earth. Because the atmosphere on Mars is so inhospitable, with temperatures well below freezing, less than 5% oxygen, and radiation equivalent to, “24 CAT scans per day;” (Ingram paragraph 5) the 1990’s experiment called Biosphere 2 attempted to recreate Earth’s atmosphere and environment in a completely closed facility within the Arizona desert. They soon would run into problems, however. As time wore on though, oxygen and food supplies depleted as Co2 levels rose. Also, the 8 crew members developed what is called irrational antagonism which causes members of a group to divide and become estranged for no apparent reason. This lead to a 4 vs. 4 competitive effort rather than the collaborative experiment that was intended. The effects of irrational antagonism would last until the experiment ended. Rendering it a failure. The experiment was repeated a year later with greater success, food water and oxygen were in appropriate supply and the participants managed to get along well enough to last 6 months in the facility. However, even with the success of the second experiment  Ingram still doesn’t see Mars as a safe haven from our climate crisis. The first attempt of Biosphere 2 was an objective failure, but the second only lasted 6 months, with help “was only a phone call and a short jaunt away, instead of thirty-three million miles.”(Ingram paragraph 7) While Ingram recognizes the success, she also sees the impracticality of such a drastic solution. The final techno-fix Ingram addresses are Geo-engineering/climate engineering; which involves physically changing Earth’s environment to make it more habitable in the future. Ingram offers several of the proposed fixes, in all of which she identifies a glaring flaw or worry. She first brings up solar radiation management (SRM) which involves reflecting some of the sun’s light back into space by spraying either sulfates or salt crystals into the atmosphere as well as making plants, ice and clouds to reflect more of the sun’s rays. Ingram responds to this by stating, firstly, that spraying anything into the atmosphere is incredibly concerning on its own, and second it would only delay the inevitable. Reflecting some of the sun’s radiation will not stop the world from warming, just from warming so fast. The risk-reward seems disproportionately tilted toward risk. Another form of Geo-engineering Ingram criticizes is energy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). The primary demonstration she gives is the process of burning wood (which captures carbon itself) capturing the carbon from the wood they burned while growing trees around a nearby facility to create, in theory, negative carbon emissions. Ingram states that critics of these methods find the method to be roundabout and a much larger undertaking than one would expect, creating an incredibly energy-expensive process. With each possible Techno-Fix Ingram Identifies a glaring problem associated with it, be it a concept without any technology anywhere near advanced enough to support it, an escape to Mars, a planet less hospitable than ours, that shows less than promising results in conditions that allow for more support than we’d reasonably have, or fundamentally changing our environment in ways that range from dangerous and ineffective to roundabout and unreasonable. The fixes proposed by technology are not truly grounded in reality.


Fin (End in french)

Finally, Ingram explains why she feels climate-based extinction was always going to be our fate from the start. A theory called The Great Filter proposes that civilizations, both earthside and beyond, never make it to the level of intergalactic travel or communication because they self destruct as a result of climate-based extinction before they get the chance. Due to the vast amounts of energy both required and inherent to technological advancement it is reasonable to assume that the energy put into advancement will also be put back into the planet, triggering climate-change on a disastrous level. She links this idea to the idea of capitalism; which relies on continued economic growth in order to sustain itself. When resources are finite, continued growth more quickly uses up those resources that capitalism relies on for its continued existence. Creating a sort of exponential function where at the end of the road and on the way,  “the living are concerted to the dead” (Derrick Jensen) Ingram sees the collapse of capitalism and climate-based extinction as the inevitable end result for species as advanced as we are. The unavoidable truth we will all be forced to face.


In conclusion, Ingram outlines the danger and futility in looking to technology as a form of salvation through, our relationship with technology that is so close its turned toxic, the unreasonable to dangerous nature of technologie’s fixes for our collapsing climate, and the overall inevitability of climate-based extinction as the endpoint for advanced life. Ingram’s no-nonsense writing style effectively illustrates the inevitability of our extinction as a race. We’re looking for a solution, a second chance at redemption for our broken planet. But we’ve already squandered our second, third, and hundredth chance.

Works cited

Ingram, Catherine. “Catherine Ingram, Facing Extinction, Facing Extinction by Catherine Ingram, 2019 Facing Extinction by Catherine Ingram, 2019-Facing Extinction by Catherine Ingram, Leonard Cohen, Dahr Jamail, Chris Hedges, Extinction, Extinction Rebellion, Global Warming, Climate Change, Climate Disruption, Deep Adaptation, In the Deep, Catherine Ingram Podcast, In the Deep with Catherine Ingram, Post, Extinction Facebook, near-Term Extinction.” Catherine Ingram, Feb. 2019, https://www.catherineingram.com/facingextinction/.

Leitenberg, Milton. Deaths in Wars and Conflicts in the 20th Century. Aug. 2006, p. 86.

September 12, Tim Sharp, et al. “Mars’ Atmosphere: Composition, Climate & Weather.” Space.Com, 12 Sept. 2017, https://www.space.com/16903-mars-atmosphere-climate-weather.html.

Wikipedia. “Biosphere 2.” Wikipedia, 22 Nov. 2019. Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Biosphere_2&oldid=927445551.

The Feed. “Carly’s Law: preventing online child predators.”Youtube , role of  Aug 11, 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwYVb3INi0k&t=237s

Kristina Heuken-Goossen.  “444prophecynews.com”, ,May 20, 2019 at 12:30 AM, https://444prophecynews.com/world-on-fire-kristina-heuken-goossen/

Duerler, Caitlin. Meritpages.com Fin. https://meritpages.com/caitlinduerler.

Strong Response Essay

America Lopez

Professor John Wolff

Writing Comp I

9 December 2019


The End Of Legacy Response

In her essay “Facing Extinction,” Catherine Ingram goes into depth about the possibilities of all complex life becoming extinct in the near future. She wrote this paper with ten different sections in which she explains the processes of how extinction for all complex life is coming to an end, and how we can deal with the probability that human extinction is coming our way.

In “ Facing Extinction,” Ingram explains that global warming is here and how the effects have brought the future to a clearer upbringing. In the section labeled “The End of Legacy,” she goes into depth about how the future is still coming, but we should live our lives in the present and go on living from that point. She states that we don’t need to think about our legacies and what we are leaving behind, and people naturally think about the futures and legacies too much, so just not thinking about these will make it easier to live in the present and bring a weight off of people’s shoulders. Ingram then claims that people tend to think of their futures and how human life will live on “indefinitely,” while also bringing in the fact that the most “emotionally charged” of people’s legacies is the children that they bring into the world. She then claims that us forgetting our past and future may haunt us, but we need to move on, our memories won’t do anything to help us avoid catastrophe. Finally, she says that we won’t lose the world we see today we’ll mostly always have that memory in our minds, and we should make the most of the world and lives we have now. 

When I read this I felt confused, but also afraid, for what’s going to happen in the future. I personally am the type of person that frequently thinks of the future, not even intentionally, so when Ingram was talking about how we won’t have to worry about the legacies we are leaving behind, it made me scared of what’s to come. But now after reading this section over and over, I am not completely relaxed, but calmer. It made me realize that I don’t have to think about my future to the finest point, or even at all, and I should just relax a little and let my life events come at me one at a time. The future isn’t set and stone, but I don’t need to fret about every little detail in my future because, in the end, it doesn’t matter. Thinking about legacies doesn’t have to come to my mind anymore, I don’t need to worry about what my children are going to be left with and I really don’t need to worry if I’m going to have biological children because I can always adopt. This really changed the way that I see my future and the things I think about. In the end, Ingram shows many points, which help us understand that our legacies won’t be needed, and we can really focus on ourselves in the present.

Ingram wrote the section “The End of Legacy,” to show that we can stop future thinking and be in the present, and enjoy what we have now, So not worrying about what we’re going to leave behind. The intended and unintended audience is who Ingram is writing to. The people that know and understand Global Warming and want to know what is or isn’t going to be happening in the future. Also, the people who don’t know or ignore Global Warming and can find and read this, so they get a better understanding of what’s happening with the earth and what’s to come because of it.

 Constraints within this reading would have to be the parents and their children’s futures. Parents, no matter how hard they try, always seem to think about their children’s futures, even after reading this, it’s a natural thing for parents to do.

Ingram is a journalist, telling people about how we are going to be facing the extinction of all complex life on earth. She brings in logos, pathos, and ethos, to help bring up her point and idea. She uses pathos to persuade people reading by using their emotions. She brings in a part in which she talks about children, and how parents like the idea of watching their children grow up and make something of their lives. She also uses an example of her friend that was in prison, she stated that he was able to visit his wife and children each month. It made him “depressed for days” after they would leave because it made him remember the “colorful world” that was outside. Lastly, she brings in a quote from Laureate W.S. Merwin, “On the last day of earth, I would want to plant a tree.” Ingram brings this quote in to show that we don’t have to treat everything as though its never going to make a difference, but we should have a mindset in which we think, even though this may not have an effect, I’m still going to do it because I can… Ingram also brings in part of her life, saying that she avoids seeing documentaries on the sixties and seventies because it reminders her of “when hope and every imaginable kind of freedom were our daily fare, represented in our music, political activism,… and in the atmosphere.”  

Within the section, we now see that our legacies won’t be needed, we can forget our past and futures without having to worry about anything, we can spend more time with our kids in the present and not worry about the future they’re going to make, and we can still do things in life, even if it won’t have an effect in our lives. After reading “The End of Legacy,” you may feel as though what’s the point in anything if there isn’t a clear future of what you’re going to do. Or you may feel as though you have this heavy weight lifted off of your shoulders because you don’t have to worry about your future and or what happened in the past, and now you can really live your life in the present. This reading may also make you even more paranoid, but remember that the future isn’t truly set in stone, it has room to change and grow, so think about your present and enjoy the life you have right now. 

Work Cited

Ingram, Catherine. “Catherine Ingram, Facing Extinction, Facing Extinction by Catherine Ingram, 2019 Facing Extinction by Catherine Ingram, 2019-Facing Extinction by Catherine Ingram, Leonard Cohen, Dahr Jamail, Chris Hedges, Extinction, Extinction Rebellion, Global Warming, Climate Change, Climate Disruption, Deep Adaptation, In the Deep, Catherine Ingram Podcast, In the Deep with Catherine Ingram, Post, Extinction Facebook, near-Term Extinction.” Catherine Ingram, Sept. 2019, https://www.catherineingram.com/facingextinction/.

Snapshot. https://www.catherineingram.com/facingextinction/. Accessed 24 Oct. 2019.

THE END OF LEGACY As Your Awareness Metabolizes the Deadly Threats Ahead and the Unlikeliness of Solutions That Will Cha.


Climate Change Denial

MacDougall 1

Makenzie MacDougall

John Wolff

English Composition 1

23 September 2019

                    Climate Change Denial

5 Stages Of Denial
5 Stages Of Denial

The world is changing as we know it and many people either don’t want to believe it or just ignore it because they feel it isn’t as important as other things. One big change that is happening is climate change. Climate change is a big problem that no one really wants to talk about or even think about. When it is talked about, it angers many people. In “Facing Extinction,” it brings many things to our attention. One of the main subtitles in the article is called “Distraction and Denial.” This section is very eye-opening because Ingram successfully bring to realization that people distract or go into a stage of denial that climate change and massive extinction are even coming our way.

When I first read this article, I will admit I was angry and speechless. Thinking about how a massive extinction was coming but no one wanted to believe it, so nothing was getting done about it. I didn’t like it or understand why no one was doing anything, but after I read it over a few times, I started to understand and come to terms with some things. With all the suitable evidence of climate change, it currently has an impact with significant costs and future risks to natural systems and society.

Ingram found many reasons why people tend to deny or distract themselves from climate change and extinction in her article. One of the first reasons why people deny that climate change is a threat is because it doesn’t affect their morals. In the article, Ingram states that “climate change does not challenge our moral sense of right and wrong and thereby doesn’t stir our brains to action.” By Ingram saying this, we understand that since climate change doesn’t show anything right or wrong in some eyes our brains don’t come to action and nothing gets done about it. Ingram points out that if it were clear that climate change was affecting something that meant a lot to a person, like a kitten or a puppy, then our morals would kick in and realize that this is a real threat and it needs to be taken more seriously and not ignored.

Not only do we rely on our moral senses though, but we also rely on our genes. Ingram found that “our genes favor short-term gain over long-term trouble.” I believe that this is a very true statement and by saying this it shows that our early benefits don’t always help us later in our lives. If our genes focus on short term-gain instead of long-term trouble, what happens when long-term trouble like extinction comes along? When something like this does come, we won’t be ready, we will have less of a chance of being activated so we will either deny it or just ignore the threat because we won’t know any better.

Ingram explains another reason why we see a lot of people (parents) denying or distracting themselves about what’s coming. Parents are doing it because they are worried about their children. When a parent hears about a massive climate change or a massive extinction, they instantly start to worry about their children and about how there will be no protection for them in the future. In fact, many people now are deciding that they don’t even want to have kids because they don’t want their children to go through all of that. Since this scares many parents, they deny it and keep the information from the children. Although I understand why parents would want to keep this from their children, I think they should be telling them about what is coming. The reason why I think parents should be telling their children is so they can start getting the knowledge about what is coming and start preparing themselves for what’s going to happen. I understand that this is a very scary thing to discuss and you might not be comfortable talking about it with them, but we really should because it is a very serious situation and it is unfortunately coming.

When I read about how this is making some people not want to have children, I was very depressed. Many people love the thought of having kids but are starting to question even having them because of all the future threats of climate change and massive extinction. Although I don’t like the fact that it has come to this, I fully understand why some people don’t want to have children. Everyone with kids always wants the best for them so it’s only acceptable that some people don’t want to have them so they won’t have to go through what is coming.

As Ingram discusses though, we don’t just distract and deny what is coming, we cause it to speed up. Many people don’t realize that they are doing anything wrong but they are actually making things worse. As Ingram puts it “we bend nature to our will, paved over forests and Greenland’s, and rerouted and dammed rivers and because of all that and more we have caused our atmosphere to have a high fever.” When we pave over Greenland’s and forests we don’t think about how it is affecting the environment. We live in what Ingram calls calls ‘The Matrix.” We believe that doing all the things like damming rivers and paving over things is normal because it is superficial to us. Not only do we do these things that hurt the environment but we also do more.

By burning oils and gases, we are damaging our atmosphere but yet again we don’t seem to understand that or care because it is superficial to us in some way. Since we keep doing all of these things to the environment and more, there are more and more future risks and significant costs of climate change happening now and it will only get worse and worse as time goes on if we don’t change the things we are doing and start paying attention to the environment around us and how the things we do affect it.

World Change

World Change


We are all not to inclined to admit that our world climate is changing. Us as an entire species are slowly destroying our world and we all need to come to terms with the fact that sooner or later there will be nothing left. After reading excerpts written by Catherine Ingram, I can conclude that she is a well-known author! One article in particular that she wrote I found to be a dramatic eye-opener. That article was called “facing extinction.”

This article she wrote is all about the world we live in and how we are slowly destroying it! Emotionally, this topic is something that will hit you hard. For me, it made me literally sick and had to read it not once or twice but over three times!!! Especially section three “Distraction and Denial” I was angry and upset. Reading about how we are destroying our world and ignoring the fact of what is happening. How can just ignore the fact that what we are doing in our everyday lives can affect us in the future? How can the older generation do this to us and expect us to fix it? In section three of Ingram’s article “Distraction and Denial”, Ingram says parents will “offer up their children.” Maybe because they fear what will happen to them. Maybe we should be very open to the elephant in the room…Parents are scared that their children will have to live in the devastation of the lives they have created. They also have to deal with the consequences of many others, in the world, that they have created for them. These parents and young adults can’t stand having their children suffer from their mistakes. Yet still, all we do is ignore the fact that we are slowly killing our home. The older generation wants us to fix the problem! However, the older generations won’t even tell us what is going on because they are so afraid to even speak of it. We need to stop the stigma that is going around about this topic. We need to stop the stigma that is going around about this topic. In “Distraction and Denial,” Ingram’s creates an emotional response in her readers by discussing the significance of world climate change and how this issue calls for new actions to be taken. We need to say “one of the biggest problems we face is climate change and we are in denial about it! This is unacceptable in our society!” Ingram also says, “we perceive them only as linear problems and assume we will have time to address them.” It is quotes like this, quotes that give a lot of credibility to the author. People don’t really think that climate change is a threat to us quite yet, but in reality, it already is! no one is really doing anything to solve the problem. They are just dancing around ideas to reduce the problem, and if we don’t do something about it, it will become an even bigger threat. It is said that we will have time to address the problem of climate change that we are facing extinction, but problems have already started happening and we are still blind to it because we do not want to think about the realization of what is happening. In “Distraction and Denial,” Ingram creates an emotional response in her readers by discussing the significance of world climate change and how this issue calls for new actions to be taken. We have already killed so many big mammals in order to take their land so we can build more things that will hurt us in the future more than helping us. Ingram states “we have bent nature to our own will, paved over her forest and grasslands rerouted and damned her rivers”. I look at it like a wooden ruler we bend it to its breaking point and went we bend it too far it snaps and brakes. Or that the grasslands and forest are like lungs to earth, and we are destroying her lungs like one of a smoker. Sometimes our lungs begin to collapse, and you won’t be able to breathe and if the earth can’t breathe, she won’t get oxygen and will slowly begin to deteriorate. The truth is this: earth’s lungs are beginning to collapse, and we need to do something about it until it’s too late. We are basically bending the earth like a ruler and bending her to the breaking point. once she brakes, she will never be the same you can’t fix a ruler and expect it to have the same measurements but if you try to take care of that ruler so it doesn’t break. This section stood out to me because of the title “distraction and denial.” First and foremost, we are distracted. Distracted by our fantasy life, or as Ingram would say the “matrix”: a life we create. Furthermore, we are in denial. We as a society are in denial about what is happening around us! How mother nature is breaking, and that soon there will be nothing left of her.


Facing Extinction: Dark Knowledge

            Catherine Ingram’s, “Facing Extinction” starts off her ten-section article with a quote from William Shakespeare. “The heavens were all on fire, the earth did tremble.” She starts off her first section, “Dark Knowledge” with this quote to show the reader how truly terrifying it is knowing how much we have affected our environment as a whole. In this first section, the truth came out about how much we actually pollute our atmosphere and damage our environment, including the wildlife. Something Ingram stated that really stuck with me, was that we have burned too much Carbon into our atmosphere. So much, in fact, our Carbon emission has been the highest it has ever been in the past three million years.

            Ingram’s decision to name this section “Dark Knowledge”, and her first beginning quote from William Shakespeare, together, stood out a lot to me too. She showed how terrified she was with this horrifying knowledge and related this to the quote by showing, “the heavens we all on fire” because of all the damage we have done to our beautiful planet, and “the earth did tremble”, because it too felt the most pain from all of our pollution and the mass destruction. Ingram’s essay was an eye-opener for me. I never realized how much damage we have actually done, and reading these insane facts really does frighten me. It makes me think a little more differently about the world, our environment, our wildlife, and our time on this planet.

            In Ingram’s first section, she states truly frightening facts about how terrible our pollution is. “If we were to stop emitting carbon dioxide tomorrow, we are still on track for much higher heat for at least ten years.” She states. Ingram then continues on to tell us how the heat has affected our environment by the huge ice melts in the Arctic. “The Arctic summer ice is currently two-thirds less than what it was as recently as the 1970’s”. The Arctic is warming so fast, in fact, a full summer melt is likely to happen within five years. She also mentions how our pollution has affected our wildlife too. There are now approximately one hundred and fifty plant and animal species going extinct every day, and this is our world’s sixth mass extinction. This section “Dark Knowledge” is truly disheartening. Reading all this information about our pollution and the damage done, makes you realize how real this situation is that we are all in. I’m sure nobody wants to see our world go into a disastrous “end” state, but if we don’t do anything at all, we all will know why and how it happened. Then, everyone will realize, too late, that there really is nothing we can do to help anymore.

            The biggest battle in Ingram’s first section is people wanting to fight the truth about it all, and not knowing what will really happen next. Most people will read this and be stunned, like I was, or become very angry. These people that become angry are those who want answers to how this will all work out, even if it might not be able to be worked out. Other people might become in denial and not want to believe that there will ever be a way to fix this. Most people, of course, don’t want this to happen, but just don’t know how to fix it. Or others might even feel as if there is no point in trying if there really isn’t enough time to fix it now anyways. There is a lot of back and forth on the subject about what to do and what not to do, and many people voice their opinions at meetings, on the news, on the radio, and in many other places. But truthfully, not much is still being done about it, at all really.

            The scariest of things, is it being too late. Some scientists say that the window to stop the warming has already closed, and each day that the heat is

Hiroshima Bombing Strike Zone
Figure 1: This image shows where the Hiroshima Bombing had made impact and the full mile circumference. This bombing killed well over 100,000 people.

trapped near our planet, it is equivalent to four hundred thousand Hiroshima bombs. This means that even without any more pollution at all, it still might be too late to fix this. That is why some people choose not to do anything and have stopped caring. They feel as if there is nothing left for us to do. Even though this could be the case, there still might be time left for us to help make everything right. With dedication and taking the time to become more ethical, you can better help the planet by recycling and always picking up trash. These are only small things you can do to help, but there is plenty more that we can all do.

            Ingram’s choice on how to use logos in her story was quite deep I thought. She really moves the reader to see how truly bad our pollution is with her dreadful facts. Our carbon emission is already bad enough, but our methane emission is far worse. She states in her article that “methane is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide”. If that didn’t scare you enough yet, “sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) is 23,500 times more potent than carbon”! These are all greenhouse gases that we emit into our atmosphere on a daily basis. This is when I started to really become concerned while reading this article. This is a lot of pollution that can’t just be stopped by tomorrow, but I still choose to not turn my back and to help in any way I can.

            In this whole article, Ingram used a lot of emotional sentences that catch the reader’s attention as they read. Her choice of pathos in this section, really hit me hard when she stated we are in our sixth mass extinction with around one hundred and fifty plant and animal species dying off every day. I love the outdoors and the wild, and knowing that all of our pollutions have affected the wildlife this bad, honestly just made me sad. There is nothing that these animals, or plant life, can do to help. It’s only us humans, and some of us don’t want to even bother to help.

            Ingram also had a lot of credibility throughout her article to back up her facts on our environment and the pollution. She was a journalist from 1982-1994 and specialized in social and environmental issues, so this makes her very credible for her own statements. She also had people she worked with in the past, people who she knows, and the people she has interviewed for her journals, that were also very credible people. Her article shows bone-chilling facts about our world and how we have damaged it. If it wasn’t for this article, I wouldn’t know all I do now, and I am sure I still wouldn’t be thinking the same way I do now. This article has changed me and made me realize that we are doing great damage to this planet and we need to start acting fast.

            Ingram’s, “Facing Extinction” is a true eye-opener for anyone who decides to take the time to read it with full discretion. With her very vivid details and explanations, she shows how threatening it is knowing what we have done to our planet, and not knowing what could happen next. She shows how important it is to take into consideration everything we do on this planet and how it affects everything and everyone around us. Pollution is a huge global issue and it needs to be taken very seriously. If we choose to sit back and do nothing about it, we will all watch the earth as we know it, soon fade away. It is already to the point of some people thinking we are at the tipping point, but we must at least continue to keep trying.

            Ingram, states how our global pollution has affected our wildlife and even the plant life too. Not only has it affected them, but it also has affected all of us humans as well. There are people that have to wear face masks every day to help breathe better because of all the pollution in the air. This isn’t fair to us that we have to live with all this pollution, just like it isn’t fair to the wildlife, and our great planet. Ingram’s article is very emotional and can have people feel a lot of different emotions, and even a lot of emotions all at once. But one thing is for sure, that we all must continue to try to help our planet as best as we can so hopefully one day, people can see the changes of the earth that we made. I am very unsatisfied with what our world has become and all of this pollution, and I know that we can make the change. It just takes all of us working together, and cleaning up our environment. Catherine Ingram has made me completely think differently about our planet and I will not stand in the shadows and let the world slowly die. I will do my part to help with the pollution and the waste I emit and create every day. I just hope others will do the same, and someday, our world will no longer be at the highest points in history for global pollution and climate change.

Works Cited

Trump’s Motives Contributes to Threat of Nuclear War

Trump’s Motives Contributes to Threat of Nuclear War

Nuclear technology in the wrong hands could become dangerous not only for Americans but for the world at which bringing peace to the Mideast is no longer the focus. The Iran nuclear deal that has led to negotiations with Saudi Arabia is a relevant crucial topic being discussed today. The potential threat of a nuclear war has driven many people to skepticism with Trump’s irrational measures taken within the White House. Since the United States  has been a leader in nuclear technology, the International Atomic Energy Agency agreement guarantees: no materials provided by the United States be used for explosives, prohibits the sale of nuclear technology, and the transfer of classified data all of which are put in place to prevent the use of nuclear weapons and production of destructive nuclear bombs which would violate government policies. The past few years the Iran nuclear deal has raised many concerns as President Trump moves to shift the nuclear power balance of the Middle East in favor of Saudi Arabia despite it being a risk to U.S. national security absent adequate safeguards completely dismissing the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.

The Editorial Board from the New York Times article, “Trump’s Idea of a Middle East Nuclear Deal,” voices Trump’s motives with the Iran nuclear deal and states that Trump’s administration would provide materials to a government that can use nuclear weapons against Iran. Adding to the concern, the Editorial Board purposes there is reason to put stricter controls in place. “By ramming through the sale of as much as $80 billion in nuclear power plants, the Trump administration would provide sensitive know-how and materials to a government whose de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has suggested that he may eventually want a nuclear weapon as a hedge against Iran.” (Editorial Board, 2019) As a result of Trump’s nuclear cooperation with Saudis, the Editorial Board has argued that although the nuclear deal was deemed a risk, Trump’s administration overlooked laws and proceeded with nuclear dealings to gain profits and appears to exhibit no regard with the continued activities despite warnings by career and political staff members. Saudi Arabia claims they only want the technology to produce nuclear power for domestic purposes and prolong their oil reserves. (Editorial Board, 2019) However, despite their assertion Saudis’ refusal to make a commitment in surrendering uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing, without a doubt could lead to nukes.

Though some may disagree with the Editorial Board’s argument which focuses solely on one perspective viewing Trump’s effort as a selfish act of greed and negligence to be biased, manipulative, even distorted, I like many others, find this approach plausible because it provides logical thought, contributes to ethical appeals, and provides prospective to readers which is far more practical.

The Editorial Board can provide an explanation to their claim through the use of logos by applying proof of the corruption within Trump’s administration supporting that the actions not be in the national security interest of the United States. With Saudi Arabia planning a project to build reactors and having planned for nuclear foundations, Sanger and Broad (2018) found it becomes a serious concern when they refuse to rule out their right to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. Ultimately, the Editorial Board suggests, “it’s no surprise that the Saudis would prefer to negotiate over nuclear technology with Mr. Trump,” (Editorial Board, 2019) implying they rather negotiate with someone who looks passed the legal aspects and responsibilities also a reasonable implication to why they chose to approach the matter from their perspective.

Sources included in the article addressed by the Editorial Board, persuade the New York Times readers with reason and facts following a sequence of logical thought. With the Atomic Energy Act and incorporation of the 123 agreements, the Editorial Board can attribute the transferring of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia and the spread of atomic weapons. Thus, by elaborating on the 123 agreements criteria and requirements, the Editorial Board is also educating its readers of the agreement’s goals in order to establish its significance in the nuclear deal within the White House and how that connects to the Saudis involvement in uranium and reprocess of plutonium, hence a pathway to nuclear bombs.

The Editorial Board also expands understanding of what nuclear power could mean for the United States by convincing its readers why their opinion is rational. Using evidence and quotations, the Editorial Board is able to apply rhetorical analysis to the argument. They provide a perspective that helps to draw judgments on aspects of Saudi Arabia’s determination to produce their own nuclear fuel and nuclear power plants. Reports referenced by the Editorial Board, justify the relevance of concern they preserve as they go on to express their speculation, “but it’s hard to trust such assurances, given Saudi animosity toward Iran.” They also embrace a statement made by Prince Mohammed bin Salman, “without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible,” exposing credible interest. In addition, the fact that Saudi Arabia refuses to sign agreements that prohibits production of nuclear weapons, more specifically atomic bombs, also appeals to the logos and ethos. More so, it reveals character on behalf of those making the decisions and exposes their recklessness a sensible indication to why the Editorial Board would think that nukes may pose a threat in the near future.

Although the Editorial Board’s response to Trump’s negotiations with Saudi Arabia encourages its readers to draw analysis from the information they provided in their context, they only considered one perspective and did not consider forming other points of view to appeal against the matter. With that said, it could be argued that the Editorial Board was manipulating the audience in one direction and might not be considered morally correct. Some could argue that it is not just the United States that is providing nuclear technology and could oppose the Editorial Board’s claim, that perhaps Trump’s negotiations with Saudi Arabia would in fact be in the United States best interest in keeping peace in Mideast and the United states if we cooperate with Saudis decisions. This is a theory that some may agree with if they consider the fact that the United States is not the only option for Saudi Arabia who has other countries such as Pakistan who might be willing to help. Because New York Times readers are limited in standpoint, the Editorial Board does not promote Trump’s motives as beneficial in the long run for the Mideast or the United States. They omit the advantage that the United States might have in monitoring the activities going on in Saudi Arabia.

Essentially, the Editorial Board’s concerns are relevant and plausible in present day, however there are still other angles to take into consideration that were not addressed in the article. But, in spite of overlooking different aspects of the circumstances the United States has been put in, and the lack of solutions offered in the Editorial Board’s response to the nuclear deal, they did offer an alternative shift to gain security considering the urgency of the matter. They took into consideration that there may be a huge change with nuclear power therefore, stipulations and provisions should begin effect immediately to ensure the safety of all communities not just our own. It would have been an even stronger article had they applied more solutions to their argument instead of just focusing on the problem but rather what we can do to fix the situation.

Though the Editorial Board fixated on one primary focus, Trump allowing Saudi Arabia the ability to contribute to the spread and production of nuclear arms, the Editorial Board allows the readers to respond and form their own opinions from the narrow-ended approach.

Some look at the situation from a different view point, I on the other hand prefer not to take such a leap in faith hoping for the best outcome regarding Trump pursuing negotiations with Saudi Arabia. I find that the Iran nuclear deal was a dangerous act to begin with and am not convinced that Saudi Arabia will not participate in destructive nuclear activities that could pose a threat in the future. I don’t put my money on Saudi Arabia nor my trust in them like Trump does because Saudis aspirations with uranium and reprocessing of plutonium urges me to believe Saudi Arabia will eventually conduct an atomic bomb. The Editorial Board allows its readers to question acts made such as why Saudi Arabia wouldn’t want others to oversee the activities going on in their country, and from this readers are able to draw their own conclusions.

The Editorial Board fails to foster more than one perspective and doesn’t propose alternative solutions. Some would depict this approach as biased pushing the audience to favor only their conception while others may look at it to reflect on why they chose to structure and develop their approach the way they did. However, considering the Editorial Board’s argument did not use vivid wording or appeal to emotional values on this political affair, it eliminates predisposed conceptions and allows for more accurate and objective opinions. Furthermore, the Editorial Board applied credible sources which constitutes the facts and data they applied to develop their point to make it convincing and allowed the readers to engage withholding judgment from the text. In short, the Editorial Board used the details of the text to achieve its purpose.

Work Cited

Editorial Board. 2019. “Opinion | Trump’s Idea of a Middle East Nuclear Deal – The New York Times.” February 20, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/20/opinion/trump-saudi-arabia-nuclear-technology.html.

Sanger, David E., and William J. Broad. 2018. “Saudis Want a U.S. Nuclear Deal. Can They Be Trusted Not to Build a Bomb?” The New York Times, November 24, 2018, sec. World. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/22/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-nuclear.html.