American Public Intellectual Michael Pollan 's ' The New York Times Magazine '

1062 Words Oct 27th, 2015 null Page
As cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead once said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” In an excerpt from an essay published in the New York Times Magazine, American public intellectual Michael Pollan reveals his goal to convince the ordinary citizens of America that they are capable of saving the world from climate change and to answer the unappeasable question of “Why bother? (Pollan 764)”. This inquiry stems from the belief that one person is not capable of making a difference in relation to the larger spectrum of Americans who continue to emit a large amount of C02, increasing the effects of climate change, and destroying the environment. Through the exploration of behavior change, and other personal alternatives aimed to reduce America 's carbon footprint, Pollan aspires to have his readers gain a greater understanding that the environmental crisis is “at heart a crisis of character (Pollan 766).” However, although Pollan’s intended audience does have the knowledge and means to understand his situation and execute his purpose, he places a large stress on such a small group of people to change the world, while having no real proof to back up his claims that his ideas will make a significant amount of change in the environment. Pollan states that his distress over the state of the environment stems from a televised lecture made by American politician and environmentalist Al…

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