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Address both the FIVE COMMENTS from the first version, and the SIDE COMMENTS from the first revision. If you have any questions about those comments, or if you think I might have gotten something wrong, let me know. Keep in mind that I limited my comments to what I hope is a helpful but manageable number. That means there might have been lots of things that I didn’t say anything about. Don’t only rely on what I said; now that you are looking at your essay with your own fresh eyes, after having been away from it for a few days or weeks, what else would you like to do to improve it?
I’m looking now for a MUCH higher level of polish. That is, I want to see you proofread more carefully. On your revision, I pointed out representative errors, not all the errors. This means, for instance, that if I marked up three or four run-on sentences, there is a good chance that there are several, or even many, more which I did not mark up. I ask you to slow down to find as many of these errors as you can. If you have access to a printer, do print out your draft. This can make a huge difference when you sit down to proofread, especially if you bring a pen or pencil with you to tap out every word. You may want to use TTS Reader ( so that you can hear your paper aloud, at varying speeds and with varying accents. Also, you’re welcome to email me a few specific sentences if you’re unsure whether or not there is a grammar error. I will try to give you a quick response, especially if you write to my Gmail account (
With additional reading, you gain additional knowledge about the subject you are exploring. I am now asking you to make reference to (and quote from), at least TWO other articles that you have found which relate to your topic. One or both of these articles should come from The New York Times. If you choose only one from the Times, the other one should come from the list I gave you for New Post #15: The Nation, New York Magazine, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, National Review, The Washington Examiner. Your challenge: rather than just tack on these readings to the end of what you’ve already written, find ways to integrate them smoothly into different parts of the essay. You are welcome to use other sources in addition to (not instead of) the ones from the Times and other publications.
As you expand your essay, I highly encourage you to seek out opposing views—that is, views that disagree with your own. What are the best ideas that others have as they disagree with you? Present their ideas fairly, then explain why you believe your way of looking at the subject is better.
Opinion: US Wildfires
The United States of America is known for its strict regulation of the environment. The USA is ranked amongst the top industrialized countries with clean air. It surpasses countries like China and India by far. US Environmental Protection Agency has put measures that manufacturing companies must abide by to ensure that environmental pollution is minimized. Disposal of waste products is also highly regulated by EPA, thus safeguarding the quality of air. The USA might not have the cleanest air globally; however, it is doing exceptionally well compared to its industrialized counterparts. It is ranked amongst the top 10. Air pollution has detrimental effects. As Manjoo states, air pollution is responsible for over 4 million premature deaths across the world. Air quality in the US has continuously improved since the first passage of environmental legislation five decades ago. Wildfires have, however, been rampant in the last two decades. Failure of the government and individuals is largely attributed to these fires. This paper shall highlight the failures and why all relevant players should be incorporated in finding a solution to the wildfire menace.
​The USA is amongst the country in the world most affected by natural disasters. The USA has been frequently affected by hurricanes and wildfires. Wildfires have been rampant in the USA, and the most affected is the country’s western region. California and other parts of the country have been experiencing wildfires frequently. In the last few weeks, California has experienced wildfires, which release toxic plumes of smoke in the air. Dangerous particulates were released into the air, thus polluting the air in populous cities across the state. Its hazardous particulates in the atmosphere were worse than the polluted cities in India and China. Portland, Oregon’s largest city, is highly polluted with the worst air quality globally. More than 40,000 people have been evacuated in Oregon. Firefighters have been struggling to put off 15 large fires. Such fires cause so much destruction that the affected areas’ residents are forced to start from scratch. They lose their livelihoods when they are evacuated and depend on the state for help every time. Manjoo, in this article, argues that “maybe such disasters will finally force us to recognize the steep costs of an incompetent, neglectful, uncaring government.” There is a lot of truth in this statement. The USA has been experiencing wildfires for the longest time, and nothing has been done to mitigate the problem or eliminate it. In 2019 alone, more than 7860 fires were recorded. It is estimated that about 259823 acres of land were burned. This is a lot of destruction; however, we never seem to learn. As Manjoo asserts, perhaps the recent 2020 fires will awaken us to the government’s incompetence. I believe, however, nothing much can be done. The fires will be extinguished, and life will likely go back to normal until the next season.
I agree with Manjoo that wildfires that poison our air are a result of negligence from many quarters. Indeed, the states, individuals, cities, and government as a whole as failed. Indeed many human actions have been proven to be harmful to the environment. In as much as the government has failed, we as individuals have failed in our mandate of protecting the environment. We, as a nation, have been unable to plan and often are focused on quick fixes. We tend to react when a tragedy or disaster strikes but fail to plan and emphasize prevention. The USA has experienced wildfires almost every year, and by now, one would imagine a permanent solution could have been found; however, we are yet to find one. Since 2000, the USA has experienced about 72400 wildfires annually, clearing about 7 million acres of land. These numbers are heartbreaking, yet still, not much has been done to prevent it.
In this article, Manjoo highlighted the problem of the wildfires; however, there are various shortcomings in this article. He notes climate change has a major cause of wildfires, which is true; however, there are other causes like high gas emissions, human activities, and nature. Manjoo tends to blame President Trump for this menace. This is interesting because, despite his slack response, Trump did not start the fires. Wildfires have been around for decades now, and none of Trump’s predecessors dealt with the situation permanently. Manjoo tended to criticize Trump a lot as a person; his perspective seems to be politically motivated. The article could have possibly talked about the government’s failure and human beings and mention possible solutions.
The USA cannot pride itself on having the cleanest air quality amongst its wealth industrialized counterparts but fail to prevent the wildfire menace that cannot easily be eliminated. How many more times shall our people suffer due to the failure of government agencies? As much as the government and agencies have failed on various occasions, human beings are also to be blamed. Studies have proven that human beings cause 90 percent of wildfires. Cigarette butts, intentional arson, campfires are the common causes of wildfires. Unattended campfires might go out of control and start a wildfire. Burning debris in backyards and the presence of strong winds might cause the spread of flames leading to fires. Improper disposals of cigarettes and other small acts of negligence hugely impact the environment. One of the recent California wildfires, which burned more than 10000 acres, was caused by a “smoke-generating pyrotechnic device” in a gender reveal gathering. Such careless acts affect the environment negatively. Fireworks have also been reported to cause fires. Climate change is also responsible for wildfires. Humans and human activities are cited as the leading cause of climate change. Environmental experts and scientists have argued that the water sea levels are likely to rise in the few decades, and many landmasses/habitation shall be submerged or lost.
​Interestingly, only about 10 percent of wildfires are caused by Mother Nature; therefore, we are solely planning for wildfires and climate change. Wildfires destroy property, livelihoods, human lives are lost, and vegetation is destroyed. Millions of taxpayers’ money, which could have been diverted to something useful, are used annually to fight wildfires. Wildfires have many negative implications, and solutions should be found soon. Better forest management is vital in tackling the wildfire menace. The overgrown forests ought to be thinned. The government officials should ban camping in fire-prone areas. Residential development in fire-prone areas should be outlawed. The use of devices or igniting fireworks in fire-prone areas should be prohibited with harsh punishment like jail term not less than ten years if found liable. The government ought to increase budget allocation to fire research and prevention. It must work with relevant agencies to implement plans that would mitigate, prevent fires, and facilitate faster recovery in wildfire incidents.
In conclusion, western wildfires are growing lethal each time. They cause destruction worth millions of dollars. Experts believe that the fires might be even more destructive in the future, considering that climate change worsens day by day. Both individuals, state officials, policymakers, and the federal government must collaborate to find a solution to this unending menace. I believe solutions can be found if relevant agencies and researchers and environmental experts work together. Individuals who engage in negligent acts that endanger the environment should be severely punished.
Works Cited
Manjoo, Farhad. “Opinion | Human Weakness Is Responsible For This Poisonous Air”. Nytimes.Com, 2020, Accessed 10 Oct 2020.
Prof comments:
I’ve given out specific instructions for this assignment, Rasulbek. You’ve ignored them. What you’ve done here is summarize
That is absolutely not what I want.
If you have questions about the instructions, please ask them. Otherwise, I will just tell you to read them and make a real effort to do what I’m asking.
The only part of this essay worth commenting on is the last paragraph, when you finally include your own opinion. You make an intriguing point criticizing Kristof’s claim that wearing masks will ultimately help the economy. It’s fine to disagree with him, but first you should attempt to understand why he says this. I’m writing on Friday, October 23, the day after the presidential debate. Joe Biden made this same point at the debate: that the economy and our response to the pandemic are closely tied together. I am not at all asking you to agree, only to recognize that there are lots of people making this claim. Rather than dismiss their views immediately, show that you understand those views—and then show why you think they are wrong.


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