“High Noon” Article in The Amicus Journal


The article under analysis is an editorial in The Amicus Journal published in 2001. The writing dwells upon the importance of the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and the effects of global warming, as well as possible solutions to the problem. The author targets a wide audience with a focus on the American reader. The article is characterized by a high level of persuasion as it contains effective arguments. It is necessary to note that some weaknesses can still be found, but they do not have a considerable negative effect on the effectiveness of the entire article.

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The article in question starts with a brief description of the potential outcomes of global warming. The author also states that the so-called Kyoto Protocol is one of the effective ways to address the most burning environmental concern. The damages of climate change people witness are illustrated in the article. For instance, it is emphasized that the average temperature of the planet has risen by one degree Fahrenheit since the start of the Industrial Revolution. The results of this heating include floods, mudslides, the destruction and change of ecosystems that have adverse effects on people’s health and even life. The author admits that “weather happens in spurts, with or without global warming” (“High Noon” par. 5). However, it is added that the exact impact of human activities is hard to estimate. According to the article, the major factor leading to global warming is carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. Industrialization accounts for the increase in this concentration by 30%.

It is also mentioned that the USA is the “biggest greenhouse gas polluter” in the world as it produces over 20% of these emissions (“High Noon” par. 9). The author notes that certain positive shifts have taken place due to the use of advanced technology, and it could be possible to considerably decrease the emission of greenhouse gases through “tightening up national fuel economy standards” (“High Noon” par. 10). Nevertheless, it is noted that the introduction of such standards is postponed and even undermined by a strong fossil fuel lobby. The Kyoto Protocol requiring the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 5% by 2012 can contribute to solving the problem, but some issues related to the document need to be addressed. The author mentions that the enforcement of the protocols should be effective, buying “credits” from countries that emit fewer greenhouse gasses should be adequate, and the management of tree planting should be efficient. The article ends with a call for action and a description of steps that can be made. The modernization of cars, power plants, and buildings is regarded as a relevant strategy.


The article under consideration includes persuasive arguments and some effective rhetorical devices. The use of logos is one of the features that make the article credible, as the author provides sound evidence to support their claims. For instance, the author mentions specific temperatures (one-degree Fahrenheit increase) and exact levels of the rise of the ocean (6-8 inches) (“High Noon” par. 3). Importantly, the article contains data concerning the USA, which makes American readers more interested in the topic as it is linked to their lives. The mentioning of El Niño affecting the West Coast or the West Nile vires jeopardizing the health of New Yorkers makes US residents more involved in the discussion of the issue. Some facts regarding climate change on the global scale display the extent to which the planet is affected.

The author also highlights particular details regarding the positive changes in the US economy that led to the reduction of carbon intensity by half since the 1970s. The estimate of a potential outcome of the yearly elimination of “450 million tons of carbon dioxide” is a convincing argument persuading the reader that people can solve the issue (“High Noon” par. 10). The article is concise and easy to read, which contributes to its persuasiveness.

The use of pathos is another feature of the article that tries to appeal to readers’ emotions. For example, the starting paragraph is rather strong as the author tells about potential issues children born these days may face. The description of children’s suffering is always a potent instrument making people act and become alert or emotional. The author also uses metaphors, which also creates an emotional load. Climate change is compared with a wild beast several times along the article, which makes readers feel anxious. The author appeals to the basic fears of human beings who have feared wild animals since the dawn of humanity. Importantly, the articles’ final paragraph also includes an appeal to change modern ways for the sake of future generations (“High Noon” 15). Again, readers are encouraged to think of their children and their well-being.

Some ethos is also utilized to make the article persuasive. The author uses the first-person plural when writing about actions to make or hazards to be expected. In this way, the reader feels that the topic is vital for the author and the audience as they are in the same position. At the same time, the ethical appeal could be strengthened by the utilization of references. The mentioning of one scientist, Wallace Broecker, who compares environmental issues with a wild beast, is far from being enough (“High Noon” par. 4). Of course, the article is a brief editorial called to frame the overall message of the journal, but referring to peer-reviewed articles or statistics sources could be beneficial. The article includes a significant number of facts, but their validity and reliability are rather poorly established. The lack of references makes the entire writing less persuasive.

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The article’s effectiveness is also undermined by certain fallacies that are not numerous but can still be found. For example, the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy is present in part concerning the adverse effects of global warming. The author states that such diseases as the West Nile Virus have become common in New York due to the move of mosquitos to other areas (“High Noon” par. 6). However, the fact that the disease appeared in the USA in the late 1990s does not necessarily mean that global warming was the only reason for that. Globalization could also account for the spread of the virus in the USA. However, irrespective of this weakness, the overall article is persuasive and characterized by the use of effective arguments.


The article in question is an effective piece of persuasive writing that addresses one of the most urgent issues humanity has to address. The authors remind readers of different manifestations of climate change and its potential impact on the future of humanity. The author chooses the facts that are most relevant as they are related to people’s health, economic issues, and biodiversity. One of the strengths is the article under consideration is the description of certain economy-related aspects. This topic is often used by opponents of the implementation of policies and treaties aimed at diminishing people’s environmental footprint. However, the author shows some benefits the US economy can witness if the country chooses to decrease its carbon dioxide emissions.

The article is rather appealing as it inspired people to act or at least to learn more regarding the topic. The text contributes to the ongoing discussion of the need to employ environmentally friendly strategies. Clearly, the article focuses on the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and the elimination of carbon dioxide emissions. However, it could be beneficial to add that other steps are necessary as the changes in greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere will hardly stop climate change in the short-term perspective. The article also lacks the description of specific outcomes of the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by major industrial countries. However, it is clear that the format of an editorial makes it impossible to mention all the facts and data mentioned above, so, overall, the article is effective since it achieves its major goal. After reading the text, readers will contemplate environmental issues, and some of them may even start taking an active part in the development of effective solutions.


On balance, the article under analysis is an effective persuasive paper that informs and calls for action. The author uses various rhetorical instruments to make arguments strong and valid. The utilization of logos is specifically remarkable as the author manages to justify the need to sign and implement the Kyoto Protocol as well as undertake other measures. Although some weaknesses can be identified, the article achieves its major goal, to persuade people and make them agree with a certain position regarding environmental issues.

Work Cited

“High Noon.” Editorial. The Amicus Journal, 2001.

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