Global Hot Air from the BBC

Thursday's Editorial - January 10, 2008

Questions

NOTE TO STUDENTS:  This article is challenging to read.  Don't get discouraged by the vocabulary!  You can do it!  If you have trouble understanding the main idea, ask a parent to read the article and discuss it with you.  See who knows more of the vocabulary words from question #1.

1.  Match the following words used in the article with their definitions:

_______ ad nauseam (para. 2)
_______ erudition (para. 3)
_______ provenance (para. 3, 13)
_______ fallacy (para. 5)
_______ empirical (para. 6)
_______ rhetorical/rhetoric (para. 9, 10)
_______ bastion of impartiality (para. 10)
_______ posturing (para. 12)
_______ consensus (para. 12, 15)
_______ savant (para. 15)

a. an organization or institution that is universally believed to be unbiased
b. a question that is asked in order to make a statement and which does not expect an answer
c. general agreement
d. to a sickening or excessive degree
e. a false or mistaken idea
f. to assume an artificial or pretended attitude
g. based on what is experienced or seen rather than on theory
h. specialist knowledge of a subject
i. a person of learning; especially: one with detailed knowledge in some specialized field (as of science or literature)
j. proof of authenticity
(Scroll to the bottom of this page for the answers.)

2.  What argument is Mr. Cunningham making in his commentary?

3.  What proof does he offer for his assertion? (see para. 5, 7, 9, 15)

4.  What solution does Mr. Cunningham propose?

5.  In paragraph 13 Mr. Cunningham says:
"The hard reality is that if you want to understand anything -- the great currents of change at work on the planet or anything else for that matter -- you are going to have to invest time and energy in educating yourself on that subject. You are going to have to actively go looking for alternative sources of information, checking the provenance of sources, cross - checking for logical inconsistencies, vested interests etc. You are categorically not going to get it on a plate from the world's media."
Do you agree with Mr. Cunningham's pronouncement?  Explain your answer.

 

ANSWERS TO QUESTION #1:
d. to a sickening or excessive degree
h. specialist knowledge of a subject
j. proof of authenticity
e. a false or mistaken idea
g. based on what is experienced or seen rather than on theory
b. a question that is asked in order to make a statement and which does not expect an answer
a. an organization or institution that is universally believed to be unbiased
f. to assume an artificial or pretended attitude
c. general agreement
i. a person of learning; especially: one with detailed knowledge in some specialized field (as of science or literature)