Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on rhetorical analysis over an inconvenient truth. Analysis of An Inconvenient Truth The greenhouse effect is a term that describes an increase of the average global temperature and is often associated with global warming which is the subject of great debate and concern worldwide. The greenhouse effect occurs naturally. When the sun’s light penetrates the atmosphere and strikes the earth’s surface only about two-thirds of the solar energy of the impact is absorbed by the earth. This continuing build-up of gaseous substances in the atmosphere traps more of the solar energy and reflects less. This increasing trend is the reason the earth is warming and its climate changing. Greenhouse gasses are predominantly man-made. (Lean, Pearce, 2006). People are the cause but their collective acknowledgement of the global warming problem has been slow. Because of this apathy, if the population of the planet were to immediately discontinue polluting the air with carbon dioxide emissions, climate changes would still continue long into the future. Humans are creating a planet that will experience major climactic changes in the near future, a shameful circumstance. The film by Al Gore An Inconvenient Truth is pointed directly at citizens and politicians of the U.S. who, for reasons unknown to Gore and the rest of the civilized world, are either unaware or deny global warming exists except in the mind of liberal environmentalists. To this end, Gore attacks the misconceptions perpetrated by large corporations such as oil and auto companies which believe they will be the losers if limits of CO2 emissions are legislated in the U.S. For example oil and gas company Koch Industries has given $73 million to climate denial groups. (Vidal, 2010). Recent commercials touted the benefits of CO2, how it wasn’t harmful because it was natural. CO2 is beneficial for plants and occurs naturally in the atmosphere which is true but only when considering naturally occurring amounts which are small and not the excessive quantities which have been emitted worldwide over the past 100 years. (Lupo, 2008). Gore further argues that new industries that supply solar, nuclear, wind and battery power will replace any jobs lost by the old pollution producing industries and likely produce more. The economy will be enhanced by aggressively pursuing alternate energy sources rather than destroyed. Gore shows that the nations that produce the most energy efficient autos also sell the most cars and suggests that if U.S. auto makers followed suit, their profits would rise, not fall as they claim. Unfortunately, the country that causes the most harm is lead by a person that seems to have ‘cause the most harm’ as his calling card. The solution to automobile emissions may lie in alternative fuels. Promising future alternatives to crude oil, vegetable oil can be substituted for diesel fuel while ethanol is an effective petrol additive. Brazil began converting to ethanol in the 1970’s and today does not import a drop of oil. Britain and other countries of Western Europe are following suit. Iceland is already well on its way to becoming the first nation to generate its power needs by means of hydrogen fuel-cells and France is leading the way in building nuclear power plants (“Alternatives to Oil”, 2002). Gore concludes his appeal by asking “Are we as Americans capable of doing great things though they are difficult?” He then uses historical references to show that the country has a track record of such accomplishments. Americans “formed a nation, fought a revolution and brought something new to this earth, a free nation guaranteeing individual liberty” (“An Inconvenient Truth”, 2006). The projected rate of climate change is very alarming to many scientists but not as much to politicians as this topic isn’t as high on the political agenda as some others. World leaders, outside of the U.S. have demonstrated a sense of urgency about them regarding global warming. The U.S. is lagging behind in not only addressing the problem but the technology involved in this growing alternative energy market as well. The consequences are devastating the economy of the U.S. and more importantly, the future of the world. Works Cited “Alternatives to Oil.” Disposable Planet? BBC News UK. (2002). May 9, 2011 “An Inconvenient Truth.” Al Gore. Lawrence Bender Productions. (2006). Vidal, Gary. “US oil company donated millions to climate skeptic groups, says Greenpeace” The Guardian (March 30, 2010). May 9, 2011 Lean, Geoffrey & Pearce, Fred. “Amazon rainforest could become a desert.” The Independent. (July 23, 2006). May 9, 2011 Lupo, Anthony PhD. “Anthropogenic Global Warming: A Skeptical Point of View” Missouri Medicine Vol. 105 No. 2 pg. 25 (March/April 2008).
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