Why Bother By Michael Pollan Analysis

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Penned by Michael Pollan in 2008 Why Bother was written in response to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. This essay covers what many Americans were thinking at this time, why bother? If we changed every aspect of our lives in order to save the Earth, would it really fix or undo anything? In his essay, Pollan relies heavily on Ethos and Kairos to fulfil his argument being that with one easy life change it could cause a chain reaction that influences other behaviors resulting in a reduction of our individual carbon footprints. This easy life change that Pollan proposes is gardening. Gardening is an activity many Americans already partake in. However, Pollan digs deeper and illustrates the positive outcomes of this simple task. To support his argument he proposes if we grow a small portion of our own food we will rely on the shopping centers less. We won’t be driving to the stores as often, so that is less fuel emission in the air. If we are out in the yard gardening we won’t be using the electricity inside the house, which saves energy. If we are busy working up a sweat in the garden we will…show more content…
Pollan states “The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum…” meaning that saving the earth does not need to be an all or nothing effort. That statement is very rich in Ethos. Ethically we can understand we can do a little bit each day even if logically it seems like a lost cause. During the course of his essay, Pollan discusses an imaginary evil twin he has who will continue all the bad habits Pollan swears to drop. This metaphor feeds into the title ‘why bother’. Even if we were to fix all of our harmful behaviors there will still be another person who does twice the damage. Pollan counters this train of thought with his own spin on changing the light

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