As a human you want to see the world and when you are young you first start to travel. At first it is small and usually just within your hometown, but as you get older you start going to other states and soon you are going to other countries. But when you take a step back and think about how many people are doing the same things as you, you have to realize that in some way you are effecting the environment. In 2007, Bill McKibben wrote the article, ”Global Warming and the Traveler’s World,” that was published in Travel+ Leisure magazine. McKibben persuades readers on how they can reduce the negative impact on the environment by travel. He uses familiar strategies of persuasion to bring attention to what is happening to the environment presently, how the problems can be fixed long term as well as short term, and briefly notes what will happen if this issue is not addressed to the extent needed.
Ethos or ethics is something needed for people to believe in what the writer is talking about, because if there is someone who is talking about something they know nothing about it is not very convincing to the public. McKibben, who is from Vermont, as well as a writer, plus an environmentalist, shows us how we can be more aware of our surroundings. Using this article McKibben shows that he is like everyone else, a traveler who uses planes, trains, and cars, but he Floess 2
is also aware that when looking into the future it is not looking too bright for the environment. McKibben talks about one of the best vacations that he had where he walked 10 miles to his friends’ houses for three weeks. In doing so he learned more about where he lived from his walking than he had in the five years that he spent driving it. With this McKibben is showing us that he is doing what he is preaching, he is not giving up traveling but he is trying to decrease his carbon footprint when he is traveling.
Everyone loves facts, because they back up what the writer is saying. They also can be used to support what McKibben is trying to persuade us to do. In his article there are articles that McKibben refers to that are by Aaron Clark which one of them is “What’s up in The Air.” In this article Clark says that Richard Branson is going to invest in “3 billion dollars worth of profits from his Virgin transport companies into renewable energy over the next ten years.” These are all simple things and McKibben is using this article to point out that you don’t need to go out and get rid of your car and start walking everywhere, no he is saying that if you start with the small things you will slowly start to make a difference. Also he uses people who have a lot of credibility in this industry like Richard Branson and Mark Ellingham. Richard Branson, who is the virgin Atlantic chairman, proposed “a series of solutions to air travel’s contributions to global warming.” And Ellingham who is the founder Rough Guides announced that he will travel by train as much as possible now and that he will also have a global warming section in his guide books. McKibben is bringing in people who most people know and using them to further his evidence to help decrease our carbon footprints.
Pathos or emotion is what is going to persuade the reader to actually do something about what it is that they are reading about. Since McKibben writes about how our world is going to change if we do not fix the way we are traveling, he is pointing out that this is affecting you too. At the end of the article McKibben leaves a powerful statement for us to ponder over. He says “We who are here now will determine whether it stays that way-and whether those who come after us will marvel at the same bountiful earth.” This makes us think about all the sites that we have seen and if we want our children to be able to see the same magnificence of those sites too.
Trying to persuade someone is very difficult. But if you have the facts, credibility, and make the reader really feel what you are feeling then you have accomplished a persuasive writing piece. This article that McKibben writes is very good because of the way that he states the facts of things and then backs them up and gives an example. McKibben leaves us with the thoughts that he is the same as us, still traveling, but he is now also trying to change the way he travels in order to save this world.
Mckibben, Bill “Global Warming and the Traveler’s World”, Travel +Leisure, Travel + Leisure,
Jan 2012, web, December 3rd 2012