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Erik Chang Rhetorical Analysis Roberts, David. "Brutal Logic and Climate Communications | Grist.

" Grist | Environmental News, Commentary, Advice. 17 Dec. 2011. Web. 25 Jan. 2012. <http://grist.org/climatechange/2011-12-16-brutal-logic-and-climate-communications/>. David Roberts begins his argument with what he calls brutal logic that is implied by a scientists (Kevin Anderson) research paper. He continues to summarize the paper without actually citing evidence to support his argument. It is interesting that Roberts decided to use inductive reasoning to deduce the reasoning behind the academic paper by Kevin Anderson. His statement to sum up was a red flag that he might be misusing evidence. However, after reading the paper on climate change by Kevin Anderson, I deduce that Roberts merely extrapolated the results summarized by the paper in efforts to panic the reader in order to help prove his thesis. After startling the reader into thinking the world is going to fall apart due to climate change, Roberts draws their attention what people feel when surprised with the seriousness of climate change: denial, disengagement, apathy, system justification, what have you. He comments on the human reaction of fear: that the logical conclusion seems to be, were f*cked. Our overwhelming instinct is to change the subject. Roberts premise that climate change scares people leads him to conclude in the first section of his paper that humans avoid the language of fear and crisis. Interestingly enough Roberts refutes his former claim that humans are afraid of fear with the follow-up statement I think thats a misunderstanding of how social change works. He then continues to argue that public opinion is hard to understand because of the complexity of social dynamics. Theres long been an obsession among climate/energy folks with finding a message that appeals to the middle. Roberts contention is that in order to change the minds of people mass media must find the medium between alarmed dismissive in order to sway the opinion. After explaining what is needed, Roberts talks about how effective political communication strategies work: Any effective political communications strategy needs three things: a victim, a villain, and hope. Roberts brings up the contention that climate change in unique because it is difficult to create a villain in such a situation because the mass majority of people consume fossil fuels on a daily basis. Faced with these challenges, lots of people have decided, explicitly or implicitly, to skip the victim talk and the villain talk and cut straight to hope. However, using Al Gores movie An Inconvenient Truth, Roberts does mention a period in where the fear in society is able to manifest itself into something productive. Interestingly enough, Roberts ends his argument with the plea climate change is some genuinely dire sh*t and that now is the time for ambition and courage, a serious call to action. While I was reading I could see where he was giving premise to his argument and could usually predict where he was going in his argument. I was surprised when he transitioned from his intro statement this is some serious stuff to how people act with climate change and the how the media is struggling to find a proper rhetorical device to convey that climate change is a huge problem. Through his effective use of rhetorical devices, Roberts makes a strong argument against climate change, ending where he started. We need to stop f*cking around and get our sh*t together