A Detailed Look Into &Quot;Is Humanity Suicidal?&Quot;

1556 words - 6 pages

"The Earth is going to expire by the year 2050," or "the world's a ticking time bomb" are just two of the many statements people hear everyday about the end of the world. Christians believe that only God knows the true date in which the world will cease and He will burn the world to ashes. On the other hand, another large group of people believe the world will soon end if humans do not change their way of life. A small percentage of those same people have faith in the fact that one day humans may change and the Earth will prosper. In his essay, "Is Humanity Suicidal?" Edward O. Wilson uses techniques to convince the human race that they must change their ways in order to save their own existence. His techniques include: a story as an attention grabber; his tone of voice; contrasting opinions; an explanation of environmentalist views; stating his position throughout; a description of how other groups have recognized that a problem subsists; and finally, solutions to the dilemma.

Starting with a story, Wilson captures the reader's attention by introducing the possibility of the world coming to an end. The story revolves around aliens who are watching the planet from satellites and are noticing the destruction humans are causing to the Earth. Some of the results human destruction has on the Earth include: "Atmospheric carbon dioxide rises to the highest level in 100,000 years. The ozone layer of the stratosphere thins, and holes open at the poles" (501). The aliens then patiently wait for the time when the Earth cannot handle the destruction from humans anymore and watch closely as fire engulfs the Earth. The story illustrates how human's interaction with the different aspects of the environment combines to destroy the Earth. The story allows the reader to have a feeling for what will actually occur on this dreadful day if humans do not consider the consequences of their actions to the environment. Other reasons for starting his essay with a story is to give the reader an indication of what to expect throughout the rest of his essay and it helps set the tone.

Throughout the essay one is able to determine Wilson's views by the tone of his writing. At first, the reader experiences sadness which allows him or her to see the destruction humans are causing to the Earth. Examples include human's large consumption of natural resources and the increasing population (503). Next, one experiences urgency. The reader realizes that there is not much time left in saving the Earth and something must be done now. Finally, the reader experiences hope. He or she sees that people have realized a problem exists and solutions are being presented to keep the Earth from being swallowed up in flames. Through the use of different tones the reader is suddenly brought back to reality. These different tones presented throughout the essay allow the reader to experience different emotions and fully grasp what Wilson is trying to express. He appeals...

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