News reflections



  1.    In the beginning, the piece of news related the design of a Martian boot to the grand plan of colony on Marx which can greatly arouse readers’ interest to find out the connection between the two. The lead induces the readers to dig deep into it. The news also mentioned that many organizations are learning how to manage waste and grow the mycelium in space. Besides, the title of the piece of news is a question which can increase readers’ curiosity. How fungus and sweat could transform Martian exploration. The article by Diego discusses the use of biomaterials to build items for use on planet Mars. The article stresses the use of mycelium, which is the vegetative part of the fungus and human sweat in making footwear. Mycelium has been used in many projects as a structural component and is currently an element of Nasa and Esa experiments.


  1.    This piece of news includes lost of visual images to illustrate the arguments. In total there are five photos and one map. The news is mainly about the miserable situation of family farms when food giants squeeze them out in the market. Therefore, the pictures of deserted family farms are very persuasive. Readers can get more information from these pictures. Chris McGreal paints a devastating picture of how family farms have slowly been taken over by corporations that use capital intensive equipment and sophisticated technology in farming. Corporations have taken control of the entire production line, squeezing out small farmers across Americas Midwest.  Over time, corporations have consequently, extracted wealth and power from communities as well as degraded the environment.

  1.   Josh Ocampo used the second person, namely you perspective to engage in the readers. When I was reading the piece of news, I just felt as if the author talked to me face to face. This piece of news aims to call on people to donate their old clothes, so everyone reading the news can be targeted by your perspective and takes actions. Josh Ocampo politely cautions against trashing old clothing and offers solutions towards effective disposal of unwanted and old clothing. Particularly, Josh calls for recycling and gives a number of recycling facilities that can be located using Earth911 locator as well as cites some retailers including Patagonia, the North Face and H&M that accept old clothing for recycling. Josh also advises that clothes can be donated for reuse.


  1.    When I opened the webpage, the mind-blowing illustration first jumped into my sight. It is a piece of soft news about artificial intelligence. In the sixth paragraph, the author bombarded the readers with a series of questions, such as “what was the pitch that got it there?” Those questions give clues about what the author is going to present to the readers. Through these key questions, I can quickly get the main idea of the news. Brian Merchant offers misgivings as to the effectiveness of self-checkout systems. Particularly, Brian argues that the systems are only designed to cut down on labor costs rather than improving the customer experience. The author terms the systems as “shitty automation” due to their frequent break-down and their lack of user-friendliness.  


  1.    Sködt McNalty explains measures taken by both Starbucks and A&W in addressing the plastic problem. The article indicates that pressure from environmentalists and conscientious consumers is pushing big chains towards cutting on the use of plastic. In this regard, A&W has pledged to eliminate plastic straws and substitute them with paper ones. On the other hand, Starbucks intends to do away with plastic straws altogether and in its place, use recyclable straw-less lids.


  1.    In this article, George Monbiot, raises concerns on the harm cars are causing to the environment. George Monbiot argues that car fumes are polluting the environment and are a devastating health risk. The author adds that cars are contributing to more pedestrian deaths through accidents and the noise pollution from a car engine is also a great nuisance. The author intimates that the use of cars should be abolished to safeguard both the environment and save lives.



The article by Beth Gordiner illustrates how diesel engine cars are polluting the environment and the drastic health effects the pollution has caused. Beth cites reluctance by regulators especially in Europe as a major reason why car makers are flouting the laws. The article insists on using environmentally friendly means of transport including electric cars and bicycles as well as effective enforcement of pollution rules to phase out non-compliant cars.



In this article, Veronique Greenwood reviews a survey conducted around Vancouver revealing that honey can be used as a pollution detector. Ideally, the study finds that honey can be tested to establish whether there are pollutants such as lead, iron, zinc, and other substances as well as establish the exact sources of the pollutants.





The article “Nature Loss: Report to Show Scale of ‘Silent Crisis’.” by McGrath highlights the call to action that will be necessitated by a report on the impact of humanity on the natural world. This report which is to be produced by the UN’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services will reveal the truth that humanity has been too scared to face, about man’s actions in the natural world and the consequences that follow. In the study, people will have to come to terms with the effects of their trampling of the environment, which might lead to a lot of denial and politics to dismiss this report. Nonetheless, it will also put forward the thought of taking action to preserve the environment which mankind has depleted, and conserve the few remaining plant and animal species for the sake of the future generations.




“Nature’s Emergency: Where We Are in Five Graphics.” By Griggs et al talks about the UN-backed report but in a more detailed manner, explaining where humanity lies using five graphics detailing the loss of biodiversity and habitats for many animal species, the effects of pollution and climate change. Using these graphics, the article highlights the effects of mankind’s actions on the natural world, stating that animals and plants are disappearing at an alarming rate due to the conversion of habitats, endangering all species populations. The article’s graphics are particularly detailed, and reveal just how much human activities have led to mass depletion of the natural environment and species; hence, calling to action the efforts to reduce adversity on the natural environment and habitats all over the world.




In the article “Biodiversity Crisis is About to Pit Humanity at Risk, UN Scientists Warn,by Watts Jonathan, the author speaks about the 1800-page study by the UN in a different manner, emphasizing that the report will depict how people are living today and the ways in which they can change their lifestyles to reverse the loss of plants, insects, and other creatures that support human life on earth via activities such as pollination, and purifying the environment. The article highlights that the report is an environmental emergency for humanity, emphasizing that people have to take action immediately, sparing no time to despair. The goal is to persuade them to repair the actions of the last few years by improving biodiversity and engaging together to avert the twin crises of nature and climate, which is the extinction of many species in this world.




“Your Questions about Food and Climate Change, Answered,” by Moskin et al talks about the kinds of food that humanity should observe and their impact on climate change. It directs the reader on the different kinds of foods with the largest carbon footprint, stating that more people should change their diet to reduce environmental impact. The authores of the article recommend that people should rely less on meat and dairy products, and instead, eat more organic foods such as nuts and grains. Seafood can also be used as a good compromise for proteins to help reduce environmental impact. The authors also recommend the reduction of the use of pesticides and fertilizers to grow food, and the banning of plastic bags because they can lead to significant pollution effects on nature and the environment.




The article “We Stood in Shock: What Happens to a City After a Disaster?” by Sou and Douglas shows some of the devastating effects of climate change and man’s activities in the environment. This article can be perceived as a culmination of the report discussed in the previous articles, showcasing the results of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico, which is home to about 3 million people. In the aftermath of the hurricane, it is estimated that the country experienced about $30 billion dollars in damages, including the death toll of around 4600 individuals, many of whom died in the aftermath of the hurricane due to lack of medical and recovery care. The effects of the hurricane are graphically depicted using cartoons highlighted in a graphic novella by the authors, Gemma Sou and John Cei Douglas, about the recovery of one family from the hurricane that tore through Puerto Rico in 2007.


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