Tuesday March 26, 2019
FULLY REALIZED EXPERIMENT RATIONAL
Part I: Decision Blog Post
For my fully realized experiment, I’ve chosen to write an op-ed. I’ve struggled a lot with
this decision (which I see as a good thing) because I could see myself realizing all 3 of
the projects. I choose the op-ed, however, because I think it would be the most
intellectually challenging, and beneficial to ‘force’ myself to really do research to justify
and back-up my opinions.
My origin piece (an empirical research essay written in the IMRAD structure) was
written out of frustration. I was frustrated that very few of my environmentalist peers and
friends were taking collective action to fight climate change, and wanted to find out why.
I am a person that dedicates a significant time to organizing events and actions around
climate action on U-M’s campus, and found that despite occupying a variety of different
environmental circles, few people showed up to these events, and even less were in the
I asked my environmental peers “what actions do you take to fight climate change on a
daily basis” and found that many people were taking very individual actions (not eating
meat, walking instead of driving, recycling) and few were taking collective action
(education, awareness raising, organizing, event planning). Again, being born out of a
sense of frustration, I realized that I wasn’t frustrated with the lack of environmental
action, but rather the lack of collective e nvironmental action.
I want to write this op-ed to those who think of themselves as environmentalists but are
absent in the planning rooms. I want to write this op-ed to those who think that recycling
is enough, or who think that walking instead of taking the bus is enough. Is it needed?
YES. Is it enough? No, well not in my opinion. I want to write this to convince those who
don’t take collective action that collective action is necessary. The issues of climate
change are not being solved fast enough, and we need everyone. Using collective
action to change large-scale policy is much more beneficial and impactful than forcing
the responsibility on individuals, forcing them to fix the problems and carry the guilt of
not doing everything possible. We need collective action.
I believe in this experiment because I think it would challenge me to very articulately
write out my beliefs, and also find fact to back-up these opinions. All successful op-eds
use fact to explain opinion, thus forcing me to do research for exact numbers about the
impacts of collective action versus the impact of individual actions. Again, both needed,
but we can’t just have individuals doing individual action. I am excited to do the research
so that I can both have more a more sophisticated and nuanced argument, both in my
writing and daily life. I find myself talking about this a lot, so having figures will be very
beneficial for me. I’m also excited to get the opportunity to carefully craft my opinion and
get it down on paper.
This is a strong genre because fact and opinion is a strong balance, and, like previously
mentioned, the op-ed needs both. One challenge is that people don’t like being told
what to do, especially over writing, so it might potentially come across as accusatory or
I want to publish my peace in the Michigan Daily. I recently published one about my
reflection on the March 15 Climate Strike, and it was a great platform to voice my
opinion. It is easy to get it published, and is close enough to home that I can bring in
specific examples of U-M collective action to back-up my point.