The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic

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First Short Essay
Write a 500- to 600-word essay in response to the op-ed piece by Richard A. Muller, “The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic.” Your essay should:

  1. Describe your own process of coming to your current position on global climate change. Are you a climate change skeptic? Are you unsure? Are you, like Muller, a former skeptic who is now convinced? Have you always been convinced that climate change is real and humanly caused? What experiences and arguments influenced your process of coming to your current position?

  2. Answer the following questions: Do you agree with Muller that there is sufficient evidence to warrant him to conclude that “global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct” and that “Humans are almost entirely the cause”? If you agree, what makes the evidence that Muller found so compelling? If you disagree with Muller, what further evidence would you need?

  3. Describe the role that you think it’s appropriate for scientists like Muller to play in the conversation surrounding global climate change. Are ep-ed newspaper articles an appropriate source of information to make decisions about global climate change? If so, why? If not, what sources should people be using?


Your essay should introduce the op-ed article by giving its title and by using the author’s full name (Richard A. Muller) the first time you mention him. After that, use Muller to designate the author.

Use specific quotations from the essay as evidence of your claims.
Carefully cite any other sources you use.
Follow MLA style for both citations and formatting (see Appendix A in The Curious Researcher).

Formatting/MLA Style (.5 pt. deduction for each error) 10 pts.

Clear claims supported by evidence 30 pts.

Effective use of quotations 10 pts.

Focused paragraphs 20 pts.

Effective introduction and conclusion 20 pts.

Grammar and mechanics 10 pts.

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