Three Gorges: Different Perspectives

Facts/Opinions and Bias
How did the adverse effects of DDT affect
people's opinions in the developed world?
• Experts opinion was that DDT was extremely harmful to
the environment
• 1970 – most countries banned DDT
• Opinions based on the facts resulted in people’s
behaviour change and DDT was no longer used.
Why is it different in many parts of the
developing world?
• However, developing countries still produce and use DDT
• Low cost and high degree of effectiveness against Malaria
• 1996 spraying of DDT was stopped in South Africa and the
cases of Malaria increased by 150 per cent.
• When spraying resumed cases of Malaria decreased
1.a. What is the difference between facts
and opinions?
Give an example of each, other than
what is mentioned in the text.
Opinions: the beliefs that people hold, and
the judgments they make about events.
Opinions are subjective because they
form as a result of one’s personal outlook
on life.
Facts: Knowledge that is certain and
incontestable, observations, or personal
experience. Facts are objective.
1.c. Provide two other examples of people
continuing to behave in a certain manner
despite knowing the negative implications of
their actions.
• Over fishing most of the world’s oceans
• Governments not providing adequate
funding for education
• Driving vehicles that consume large
quantities of fossil fuel
• Cutting more trees than are planted
• Smoking when you know it causes cancer
• Not funding urban transit systems
2. What is bias?
• Bias is the presentation of an issue from a
single point of view.
How does bias usually show up?
• Including facts that only support your point of
• Use of language (biased words) especially the
choice of verbs and adjectives
• Selecting statistics that only support your point
of view and neglecting others
• Selection of Images/maps to support your issue
Mercator Projection
• Equatorial regions are smaller
• Polar regions are larger
Robinson Projection
Shape of the countries in the polar regions
are badly distorted. Used by national
geographic 1988 – 1998.
Mercator Projection - bias
• Projection was used to emphasize the
size of the British empire during the 19th
century, by extension its power and
influence around the world.
• Countries in the equatorial region
objected because they felt it diminished
their importance
Three Gorges:
Different Perspectives
Question 1
• Both articles should be reliable
• One is official government
• Other respected environmental group
• Each argument is skewed
Question 2
• Both present arguments that appear valid
and persuasive
• Can both sides be right?
• Yes. Because both are using facts and
opinions to support their point of view
• People are often swayed not by facts, but
by the manner in which facts are
Question 3
• Examples of based language:
Pro: Chinese Government
– “World’s largest” – is used three times and
“world’s most famous” is used once
– …”charming” scenery will be left untouched
Con: (Probe International)
– “catastrophic” flooding during construction
– Corruption scandals “plagued” during the
– …as cheaper power sources become
available that “lure” away customers

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