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a planet for the taking

In the essay "A Planet for the Taking," David Suzuki describes Canadians' odd appreciation for this great natural bounty we call our own. He is an internationally acclaimed scientist who is concerned about the welfare of Canada. Suzuki's intended audience is the Canadian population that does not realize the grave danger they are instilling upon themselves by haphazardly taking our resources without looking at the subsequent repercussions of their actions. The essay is persuasive and informative. He compares various facets of science and gives reasons why none of these fields can explain why we are destroying nature. The organization of the essay supports the author's views well. It begins with general opinions about the Canadian population and is followed by more detailed explanations. The general opinions in the beginning are well-chosen considering the audience. Suzuki's tone is evident when he states "We have both a sense of the importance of the wilderness and space in our culture and an attitude that it is limitless and therefore we needn't worry." These words suggest that we are willing to reap the rewards of our vast resources but we fail to see the harm that we are doing, and will continue to do if we do not stop these actions. Although his approach for explaining his beliefs changes, Suzuki's tone of great concern remains consistent throughout the essay. After his views are presented, Suzuki begins to tell us what we have done to our country and how we are destroying it. Present day Canadians are compared to native Canadians which successfully serves its purpose in illustrating how, for centuries, people lived off the natural resources in Canada. With the development of science and technology, we have developed better ways of mass harvesting resources but these methods are taking at a faster rate than nature can sustain. Science suggests means of replacing these resources we are taking but there is no quick replacement for ecosystems that have taken thousands of years to evolve. Following his explanations of how we have destroyed nature, Suzuki discusses science and how society deals with it, "I believe that in large part our problems rest on our faith in the power of science and technology." This statement and the following sentences are used to describe how people deal with great developments in science and technology. Because there have been so many great advances in these fields in the past century, people are comfortable placing their faith in science though scientists are still far from discovering all of the secrets to the universe. Scientists interfere with nature without having a complete understanding, subsequently harming it. All sciences attempt to explain nature but are unable to do so. Therefore, following the discoveries of science may be more harmful than helpful. This idea about science is one of Suzuki's main goals in writing this essay. He wants to create an awareness that just because scientists have had many great successes, they cannot determine how to deal with everything else on the planet. Suzuki creates a good relationship with the reader from the start. He makes general statements about Canadians which most of the audience either believes or can relate to. The writing is persuasive but the arguments are presented in a non- offensive manner which creates a good rapport with the reader. When Suzuki explains the scientific parts of his argument, he does so in a simplistic way which puts the reader at ease but serves its purpose in provoking thought. The author is quite serious and certain about his topic. These feelings are evident through his powerful writing and diction. "We need a very profound perceptual shift and soon." This is Suzuki's closing sentence for the essay. His suggestion for a change in people's perceptions is clear and direct, leaving no room for misinterpretation; he does this consistently throughout the essay. Discussing the topic with such seriousness makes it an effective, persuasive essay. The essay does not contain much powerful, descriptive imagery but Suzuki's powerful examples serve the same purpose. Supplying the reader with examples to support his arguments is a valuable means of persuading the reader. By giving examples, the audience can relate to the topic and see what they have done to nature. Examples of the various types of sciences also help the audience to relate. Suzuki provides the reader with examples of the shortcomings of all the fields of science, helping to make the reader second-guess science. Some powerful images he does use, however, are present when he describes the terminology that society uses for plants and animals, "We speak of 'herds' of seals, of 'culling' 'harvesting,' 'stocks.'" These images support the theme of the essay because they show the way that humankind has taken over nature and how we feel as if we can control everything. It makes it seem as if we do not care about the environment; we are merely concerned with making more and more money. Imagery, when used successfully, can support the aims of the essay and create more persuasion for the reader. By writing this persuasive essay, David Suzuki wanted to convince his audience that we are destroying our planet for our own greed. It is no longer a matter of subsistence, humans are raping the land and if they do not learn to control this, it will lead to the downfall of humankind. Canadians act as if they are proud of their large, abundant country but then turn around and destroy it for their own wealth. This essay is persuasive, yet eloquent. It satisfies the author's aims in an informative and interesting manner.
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