Nature and extinction are the key words used in Robert Pyle’s essay. Nature comes from the Latin word ‘natura’. ‘Nat’ means ‘birth’ or ‘to originate’. It also came from the word ‘icunde’ which means ‘to the nature’ in the early Middle English. The word extinction, in its turn, comes from the Latin word ‘extintio’.
Robert Pyle puts forward an argument that people have less or no concern at all about their environment but seem to be more absorbed in economic affairs. Thus, people do not care about nature and on the long run become perpetrators of economic degradation. The writer fears that common species within our environment will become extinct, thereby deprive our future generations of experience with nature. In general, the central idea of his work was to reconnect the audience with nature. The author wishes to create a passion for nature among the readership by pointing out some facts.
Robert Pyle (1) states the following:
So it continues, over and over, the extermination of experience devouring nature, the closeness from nature. The extinction manifests through elimination of common varieties from our surrounding which is the same as the total elimination of rarities. Those who care are concerned about conservation while those that are ignorant do not care.
Pyle highlights that a cycle of apathy towards nature results to its destruction and extermination. Cities and suburbs continually lose their natural environment, and people become more detached from nature. A sense of indifference towards nature grows resulting to its destruction (Pyle 9). Environmental conservation and economic growth always clash. With economic growth, for example, mankind requires good roads. For the construction of these roads, people must tamper with nature. For economic growth, humans require industries. These industries emit gases that destroy nature. However, it is necessary to conduct research in order to establish whether knowledge makes one more conscious of conserving nature. Pyle’s assumption that knowledgeable people care about their surroundings needs to be backed up to determine whether it alone can convert people to being lovers of nature (Bowers 13). In the book Education, Cultural Myths and the Ecological Crisis by Chet A. Bowers, Robert Pyle’s view gets support in that education is found necessary in facilitating conservation among people.
In his text, the writer employs several modes of persuasion to convince his audience. He strongly employs logos by stating observable facts. For example, the writer makes an observation of how the population places too much weight on economic activities in the cities and causes environmental degradation in the process. That is something that all readers can identify with. As a result, the writer wins their trust more effectively. There is a logical pattern in his argument that consists of both observable facts and imagination and enables him to connect well with his audience. He puts forward logical explanations on why knowledge about nature is important in helping one conserve it. The readership sees this through the statement pointing out that those who preserve nature care while those who do not possess enough knowledge do not care. He then puts forth a rhetorical question to bring this point to a conclusion.
Apparently, the use of questions invokes the readership to think and see sense in what the writer says. It helps him cement his point in the minds of the readers. The use of logos comes out dominantly as a way of persuading his readers. Robert Pyle effectively utilizes logos; however, to some extent, he almost falls into a pit of fallacy. He does this by creating assumptions and far-fetched imaginations. For instance, he assumes that the people who know about nature conserve it since they care about it. Conservation is not the plain reality as even knowledgeable people seem to be engrossed in economic hustles too much so that they forget about the environment issues.
These fallacies reduce the effectiveness of the writer’s arguments, though not to a colossal extent. However, research proves that education plays a role in making people care about nature. In the essay “Florida”, the writer says, “I believe everyone has only a single chance at place in this life, your life…” (Joy 118). The statement underscores the vitality in taking charge of oneself by first ensuring that the very thing that supports life – nature – is taken care of.
However, this does not mean that other forms of persuasion are absent. In the second paragraph of the text, the writer gives a piece of his mind to the readers by telling them what he believes in and what he thinks is right. He believes personal alienation from nature is the major cause of the ecological crisis. By giving his expert opinion that is informed by reason, he appeals both emotionally and ethically to his readership.
In the last paragraph of his text, the writer urges his reader to embrace conservation and help save the species from extinction. Here, the writer strongly employs emotional appeal to his audience. Hence, a pathos-driven appeal comes out clearly through his statement that avoiding extinction of experience will result to the creation of new attachments to land. He then points out what should be saved as part of life and, finally, states that it is paramount for humans to believe in the growth of the world (Pyle 10).
However, Robert Pyle intertwines pathos with a bit of logos; therefore, the pathos method seems to be faintly utilized in the entire text. In his work, Robert Pyle seems to speak with authority. He is a renowned passionate writer and lover of nature, but this will not become apparent especially where the readership is unaware of his scholarly reputation and work history. This factor inhibits his usage of ethos to a certain degree. But not all is lost. The only way left to judge his utilization of ethos is his mastery and command of the subject matter. The writer seems to be educated on matters of nature and those affecting it. He displays a wide berth of knowledge on the relationship between man and the environment.
His logical explanations based on observable and testable facts and explanations are essential in reducing fallacies, hence depict his usage of ethos. Still, logos remains the dominant method of persuasion throughout the text. The writer has had little application of pathos since his text is rather more authoritative and argumentative than it emotionally appeals.
In conclusion, Robert Pyle has used two categories of persuasion – pathos and logos – more effectively in his work. The usage of ethos has been minimal and the author’s knowledge of the subject matter is its only means of measure. There may be no evidence since the readership does not know of the writer’s expertise in this field. Despite that, the writer succeeds in convincing and reaching out to his audience effectively. Robert Pyle should have employed more ethos to balance with other appeals.