Write an 800 word critical essay on "We're Spendthrift Environmentalists"
Include the following four elements:
Introduction: Identify the title, author, and context of the essay you are critically evaluating. Summarize very briefly the writer's basic position and state in general terms your overall evaluation of the argument.
Argument summary: Standardize the writer's argument using the five step method presented in Chapter 7 (or, if your instructor prefers, summarize the argument in paragraph form).
Critical evaluation: Evaluate the argument; that is, say whether you think the argument is a good, convincing argument and give reasons to support your view.
You may ?nd it helpful to keep in mind the following general guidelines on evaluating arguments, discussed earlier in this chapter:
Are the premises true? (Note: You may need to do some research to make an informed judgment on this issue.)
Is the reasoning good? Is the argument deductively valid or inductively strong?
Does the arguer commit any logical fallacies?
Does the writer express his or her points clearly and precisely?
Are the arguer's claims logically consistent?
Is the argument complete? Is all relevant evidence taken into account?
Is the argument fair? Is the arguer fair in his or her presentation of the evidence and treatment of opposing arguments and views? Conclusion: Brieï¬?y restate the key points of your critical response to reinforce them in the reader's mind. If possible, end with a strong concluding line (e.g., an apt quotation) that nicely sums up your response or puts the issue in a larger context.
We're Spendthrift Environmentalists
Eight out of 10 Americans regard themselves as environmentalists. Yet while we Americans comprise a mere 5% of the world's population, we consume an estimated 30% of its non-replenishable resources. So much of what we call environmentalism in this country, from recycling soda cans to petitioning Congress for wetlands preservation, represents little more than a clamorous sideshow to the far more painful issues at hand. We may be quick to take sides in political debates over environmental issues, but upon closer inspection we often are all on the same side in the larger ecological debate. Our voracious patterns of consumption engulf gadgetry addicted, fossil-fuel guzzling environmentalists and anti-environmentalists alike. The more single-mindedly we grab for that elusive, nirvana-like American Dream, the more inexorable the slippage in our quality of life. We suffer more stress-related illnesses now than ever before, while neglecting family and intimate relationships in our time consuming struggles to surpass the Joneses. America's most pressing ecological crisis stems from our societal addiction to consumerism. Our patterns of overconsumption reï¬?ect a dependency, a need for constantly whispering promises of untold bliss that mere goods simply cannot keep. This unbridled consumerism, editor Roger Rosenblatt notes in the book Consuming Desires, is â??threatening the ecological balance of our entire globe.â? In this holiday season of frenzied shop-til-you-drop spending, those of us who call ourselves environmentalists might just wish to take time out to reevaluate our personal patterns of consumption. What emotional or spiritual wounds do we really think that new item will heal? More to the point, what are the unspoken costs to the fragile, unreplenishable resources of this planet of our endless material acquisitions? And we Americans call ourselves environmentalists.
The name of the piece is We're Spendthrift Environmentalists by Constance Hilliard. The basic position of the author is that even though Americans are concerned about the environment, they carry on such activities that harm the environment. Essentially, the author picks up random actions by ordinary citizens that in her mind harm the environment. She considers such issues that one does not normally associate with harming the environment. For instance, she blames consumerism for its harmful effect on the environment. Further, she blames the buying and spending patters of individuals as responsible for harm to the environment. From one perspective Hilliard's perspective is fresh in the sense that she places the responsibility for environmental harm squarely at the doors of individuals. Normally, people have the tendency to place the responsibility for protecting the environment squarely on the government.
Hilliard argues that even though 80% of the Americans are concerned about the environment, their concerns are not supported by action. For instance, even though Americans comprise 5% of world population, they consume 30% of the non-replenish able resources of the world. She feels that actins like recycling soda can and wetlands protection are issues that too small for the real problem. The real problem according to Hilliard is our consumption patterns and specifically over consumption. She feels that over-consumption is responsible for great harmful effects.
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Critial Thinking is discussed very comprehensively in this explanation..