Final Paper (Graded)

Final Paper (Graded) - How to Talk to an Environmentalist...

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1 How to Talk to an Environmentalist No matter how intelligent a species the human race has become, how can we survive without the very thing that gave us life and helped us sustain ourselves and grow for thousands and thousands of years? This “thing” that I mention is, of course, our planet Earth. It gives us water to drink, animals to eat, crops to cultivate, and soil to cultivate those crops in. All that I have stated thus far is purely logic, yet we still continue to splurge our resources wastefully as if there is no tomorrow. Unfortunately for us, there is a tomorrow, and we will not be able to say, “It will be our children and our children’s children that will pay the price if something is not done.” That line has been used before by earlier generations, and now we, the children’s children, are here. Is it too late? If not, what can we do? Or are things getting better, and is there even a problem? These questions are all asked and debated in the books we have read throughout the semester. Regardless of the authors’ answers, all of these books address a common issue: “environmental degradation as it relates to population growth and other human effects.” What sort of writing tactics do the authors of these five books use in order to get there opinion across to the reader, and do they do this effectively? These authors come from different eras of the environmental movement, but most agree that there is a very serious problem that must be addressed, but are their methods for discussion all wrong? Rachel Carson used that tactic of presenting overwhelming evidence to the reader in order to show the severity of the problem. John Ehrlich attempts to scare readers into acting to protect the environment by telling apocalyptic stories where the world ends in all out nuclear war.
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The other books take a slightly more professional and technical approach to getting their opinion across by using graphs and citing intensive studies which might be over the average readers head. Graphs, charts, and staggering amounts of data and information play a large part in the other three books. These books appear intimidating to most readers and do not come across as being “page-turners.” For example, Our Common Future , which addresses sustainable development, has an interesting subject, but the text is anything but captivating. The first chapter seemed to contain all the information that the commission found, but the three hundred pages that followed it were to crowded with examples and other data. The way that I perceived the book was that while the book could have been expressed just as well, if not better, in a fraction of the space, the authors decided to continue to print examples of problems and different solutions in order to make the problem seem a little more urgent even at the cost of redundancy. Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update
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Final Paper (Graded) - How to Talk to an Environmentalist...

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