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notes for oreskes essay

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Vivian O’Bannon – Notes for Essay 11

CompareOreskes/ConwayandJensen/McMillan, eitherintermsoftheirkeyideas, theirimpact, and/orthedifferentwaystheytelltheirstoriesThisisinpreparationfordevelopingtheclaimthatyoullarticulateinnextweek'swebevent.


The impact of a comic book versus the impact of a scientific essay.

Although both are very impactful, the first is more of a step-by-step, informing a lot of in depth factual information about the decline of our environment.

The comic book, though not as informative as Oreskes, is much more powerful in using children to explain the simplest things, in the simplest way.

Comic books are a simple way to get across simple ideas to children. By directing this at adults, the book states facts as if they should already be known – in Oreskes, the facts are stated as more of a news headline, of something unaware.


The claims in Jensen/McMillan’s comic book are phrased in a way that corrects or negates another fact – they seem more like arguments.

The claims are phrased in a cynical, sometimes mocking way.

The method of presenting facts in this book is very different and more humorous, making the problems seem impossible to fix.

The comic book instills a lot more frustration and helplessness in the audience, but The Collapse of Western Civilization mere poses facts in a way that makes them seem new and important.

50 Simple Things to Do to Stay in Denial personalizes the problems by giving them voices, such as the one-eyed rabbit or the crow.

By personifying the animals, the problem can be understood through sympathy. Sympathy then changes the way one feels about a situation, and can make them feel more invested or affected.

The Collapse of Western Civilization is less personalized and allows for a more individualized interpretation of the information. The facts are not presented with an emotion, as they are in the comic book.

The comic book is written with images associated with words. Humans remember images better than words because the two are actually separate neurological processes.

By using a comic book with very powerful personalized claims, the claims are remembered very well and associated with the images, their evoked emotions, and the story behind it.