Exercise 26: Plastiki sails across the ocean
List of persuasive techniques:
- Real life example of the inspirational example of Mr de Rothschild: who is concerned and who gives a first-hand account of the rubbish at sea.
- Attack: those who carelessly litter the ocean without regard to the environment and the fate of the sealife: figurative devices, similes to depict the ocean as a “dust-bin”
- Shaming tactics: to remind people of the damage they are doing when they fail to reuse their plastics
- Appeal to common sense (and duty of care): according to Mr de Rothschild, it makes sense that recycling should become a matter of habit because it has such a big, positive impact upon the environment
- Expert advice: Dr Parker from Coolabar University who criticises our throw-away habits; comments from the United Nations and the statistics relating to the fish that die (emotive examples)
- Fear and threatening tactics: protecting the wildlife is to protect our food cycle
- Alliterative phrases to reinforce moral values of care; and values such as responsibility: “reuse, reduce, recycle and rethink our relationship with nature”.
Mr Spanner recommends that people recycle their plastic containers and follow the example set by the crew of Plastiki. Primarily, Mr Spanner relies on the eye-witness accounts of the crew members to highlight the point that plastics are endangering our marine life and causing a great deal of havoc in the sea. Readers are likely to trust such evidence because the crew has first-hand experience and has witnessed the damage. Mr Spanner also uses negative words to describe the sea as a “dustbin” to shame people who are carelessly throwing away rubbish. The purpose of such evidence, as well as his logical and assertive tone, is to spark anger at those people who are irresponsible. Mr Spanner also uses repetition, such as “reuse, reduce, recycle and rethink” to reinforce the point that we must re-use our plastic bottles and cartons.
Secondly, Mr Spanner also contends that our health will suffer if we do not care for the environment. To build trust among readers and to show his knowledge, Mr Spanner also refers to Dr Parker from Coolabar University and a report from the United Nations which states that “a million sea birds” are dying each year as well as fish. Also the fact that the particles are seeping into the food chain is likely to alarm members of the public.
Mr Smart contends that the young sailors are not only endangering their own lives but the lives of the rescuers.
Attacking tactics: Mr Smart attacks Abby Sunderland’s motives and maturity. He suggests that she is not sailing because of her passion but because she is pursuing fame and fortune. He states sceptically, “she cashes in”. He thereby expects readers to distrust her motives. In addition, Abby endangered the lives of the rescue parties. “What about the lives of the sailors…” Mr Smart instils in Abby and in similar teenagers a sense of guilt for the fact that they did not recognise the consequences for others. Also, they will “encourage copy cat” sailors and teenagers will get younger.