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The History Of 'Why Bother?'

The Temperatures are rising, carbon emissions are increasing, ice caps are melting quicker than most scientists expected and planet earth is experiencing ecological and environmental issues due to global warming. Earth as we realize it might change drastically within the next couple of decades which is our responsibility to preserve the environment and preserve earth. Michael Pollan's "Why Bother" opens the reader's eyes in a powerful manor to global warming and related environmental issues. Pollan uses rhetorical strategies such as current and past events, logos and pathos to persuade the reader "to bother"(218) and begin thinking of the environment as an issue that involves all of the people. Pollan approaches the reader from different standing points as he addresses each counter argument and provides the reasons of why people should bother.

Pollan argues that even though our plant is at risk because of carbon emissions, "we"(individuals) have never done anything to stop it. It is this passive attitude, Pollan argues, that prevents us from helping our world. Michael Pollen quotes Wendell Berry saying that "the deep standing problem behind all the other problems of professional civilization is specialization"(87). It really is this "specialization" that triggers visitors to play only 1 role in society and they cannot expand to other field which they are not sure of. Quite simply, people do not waste their time on environmental issues because they do not think that it is their job to do so. The author urges the reader to liberate from the "cheap-energy mind" (120) and for once try to make a difference in the world. Pollan suggests that the best way to be green is to plant a garden. Although Pollan suggests a great many other means of being green in his article such as purchasing a hybrid car, walking to work, or even changing your lights to candescent type like Al Gore suggested in An Inconvenient Truth, none of these ideas will "reduce [people's] sense of dependence" (182) or reduce carbon footprint up to a garden would! Pollan hopes a person's decision to be green would influence someone else which in turn would create a huge chain reaction.

Pollan effectively uses examples of current and past events throughout this article showing the reader what size the challenge is. He uses Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth which really is a familiar documentary to most readers to aid his argument and to supply the reader a hint about what his article is likely to be about. Pollan makes a connection with the reader when he describes his own feeling about the documentary when saying "Al Gore scared the hell out of me, constructing an utterly convincing case that the very survival of life on earth as we know it is threatened by climate change. "(4) Pollan also references the analysis of Wendell Berry, a Kentucky farmer and writer, to support his argument of the people's dependency for solutions on specialists. He points to folks who fund and support environmental organizations while polluting the environment in their everyday activities. Pollan notes that folks won't change and think about the environment unless they overcome the double personalities in their believes and behaviors. All of this comes down to the moral potential of every person and his inner consciousness to identify clearly what's wrong around him in regards to to the effect on the environment.

Pollan uses logos in a robust manor to convince the reader of adopting a green life-style. He tries to influence the reader by presenting the scientists' projections about global warming that "seemed dire a decade ago to get been unduly optimistic. "(48) as the melting of the ice caps are occurring at a faster rate than expected. Pollan effectively uses a set of words to describe the boost of the rate of change to the melting down of the ice caps such as terrifying, threatening and scary to influence the reader and think more seriously about global warming. Pollan then ends with a question to keep carefully the reader considering global warming, he says "perhaps you have investigated the eyes of an climate scientist recently? They look really scared. "(53)

Another strategy which Pollan excels is the use of pathos to mention his point and to reinforce and strengthen his argument. Pollan engages with the reader in a set of counter arguments of you will want to to bother throughout his article. He presents many questions that are common and familiar to the reader such as the "evil twin"(15) that lives halfway around the world and is wanting to "replace every last pound of CO2 [a person] is struggling no longer to emit. "(18) This way, Pollan makes a connection between the reader and himself in a manner that ties the reader to his analytical thoughts. Pollan addresses each question throughout his article until he reaches to a conclusion of why "to bother. "(218) Pollan states that thinking about the environment with least planting a garden have "sweeter reasons"(218) than just benefiting the surroundings. These reasons contain healing "the split between what you think and what you do"(219) and re-engaging with neighbors. These reasons might influence other folks to check out the same path in dealing with environment and build a chain reaction that grows to beyond one's community.

Michael Pollan's "Why Bother" opens the reader's eyes in a robust manor to global warming and related environmental crises. He uses many rhetorical ways of convey his argument such as past and current event, logos and pathos to persuade the reader "to bother"(218) and begin thinking about global warming and related environmental issues as a serious matter that involves all of the people. Pollan approaches the reader from different standing points as he addresses each counter argument and gives the reasons of why "to bother. "(218)

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