Example Of Description Critical Thinking
Analysis of a New Yorker Cover
This cover of the New Yorker publication is dated May 19th 2014. The title of the cover bears the works “The New Yorker” in bold white lettering. On the top left-hand side is the price of the publication, marked in white as “PRICE $6.99.” The entire cover is an artistic representation of New York City. The background of the picture is a hazy blue skyline of the city with its key landmark buildings such as the Empire State building, the Chrysler Building, the slanted-roof Citigroup center and Wall Street. The buildings are identifiable because of their distinct silhouettes. The buildings appear far off and are surrounded by a blue haze which is partially illuminated in sunlight. In the middle ground there are brown-walled apartment buildings that appear to be at the outskirts if New York City. This image covers the roof tops of the brown-walled apartments.
On the foreground, there is a man, a woman and a baby standing on the rooftop of one of the buildings. They are surrounded by a waist-high red brick wall that encloses their rooftop garden. The man is wearing a white tee shirt and black trousers that are partially covered by his blue apron. On his head he has a red cap. He is watering the grass and a solitary fruit tree using a hosepipe. The woman, who is wearing a short dress, is carrying the baby by her waist as they look towards the horizon.
This image presents a lot of detail and affords itself to a keener examination. The reason I am drawn to these details is because of the repetitive display of environmental undertones and renewable energy cues. Notably, there are three visible solar panels in this picture. However, their linear arrangement at the edge of the rooftops indicates that there are more solar panels beyond the scope of this picture. The orientation of these solar panels is also an interesting factor. They are erected facing the morning sun at an optimum angle of forty-five degrees so that they can receive optimum solar radiation along the path of the sun. The path of the sun is evidenced by the shadows as well as the direction that the windows of the apartments are facing. I am drawn to these details because the solar panels look adjustable. They are anchored in a manner that suggests that they are adjustable to face the sun directly at different times of the day and different seasons. Solar panels covert solar radiation into electricity for the households.
In the picture, there are several windmills located adjacent to the solar panels. The windmills have long masts that place the turbine blades in positions that are higher than any nearby buildings. The reason for this height could be to facilitate the harnessing of wind currents that have not been slowed down by obstacles such as buildings. All the windmills are oriented in a North-South direction. This direction seems to be the most prevalent wind direction. This fact is evidenced by the direction the wind seems to be blowing the woman’s hair and dress in the foreground of the image. Another notable feature of this image is that all the rooftops have a garden. On one of the rooftops, there is a fruit tree. The presence of these gardens at every rooftop implies sustainability.
This image is the illustrator’s way of promoting the “Going Green” campaign that is meant to reduce global warming and discouraging the use of non-renewable energy sources. This campaign calls for the use of renewable and sustainable sources of energy like wind and solar to replace non-renewable sources like coal and petroleum. This interpretation is based on the combination of dominant features of the illustration. I made this interpretative leap based on the fact that the illustrator features two (and not one) alternative and sustainable sources of energy. The sources of energy in this image have been highlighted as solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The presence of solar panels implies a shift from unsustainable sources of energy to sustainable ones. Solar panels convert solar radiation into electrical current. This current is stored or used directly in households. It may be used for heating, lighting, and running electrical appliances. Solar energy does not only supplement the costly hydroelectricity, it replaces non-sustainable and pollution-causing energy sources. Some of the energy sources used today in households and industries cause greenhouse emissions such as carbon dioxide and methane gas that are responsible for global warming. On the other hand, solar energy has several advantages. It is renewable, does not emit greenhouse gases, and may be harnessed at any location with a significant cover of sunshine.
The second sustainable and emissions-free source of energy highlighted in this image is wind. The illustration features windmills. A windmill comprises of large rotors/ turbine connected to a generator. When the wind rotates the rotors, they in turn rotate the armature of the wind generator to produce an electric current. Just like in solar panels, this electric current is fed into the electricity grid system, stored in large batteries of used directly in households. Wind energy is a sustainable source of energy that has been touted as one of the solutions to the energy crisis and global warming problem.
The issue of global warming is significant in the world today because it affects the lives of future generations. Most of the current sources of energy employed in industries and households today emit greenhouse gases which trap the sun’s heat in the lower atmosphere. The result of this heat is the drastic alteration of climate, melting of the glaciers, flooding, and droughts. If this degradation of the earth is allowed to continue, future generations may not have habitable conditions on this planet. This image represents the illustrator’s conviction that alternative sources of energy may be integrated seamlessly into cities and people’s way of life.