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Analysis of Garth Lenz’s True Cost of Oil

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Rhetorical Analysis of Garth Lenz’s: The True Cost of Oil Many people are unaware of the devastating destruction that the Alberta Tar Sands are causing on Canada’s ecosystem and the lifestyle of the native peoples of the Athabasca. The Alberta Tar Sands are large deposits of crude oil, also known as bitumen. The Athabasca deposit is the largest known reservoir of crude bitumen in the world. The Alberta Tar Sands are unique in the fact that it is the only oil reserve that is suitable for surface mining.

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That being said, the Alberta Tar Sands are causing irrevocable damage to Canada’s fragile eco system. Photographer Garth Lenz has been capturing threatened wilderness regions, devastation, and the impacts on indigenous peoples, for the past twenty years. He has appeared in the world’s leading publications, and is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers which is a charitable organization whose aim is to further environmental and cultural conservation through communication enterprises.

Lenz gave a TED-Talk speech in November of 2011 titled the True Cost of Oil. As Lenz demonstrates through his emotional and shocking pictures of the Canadian landscape, the environmental devastation that this oil mining is causing to the ecosystem as well as the indigenous people of the land is irreversible and unprecedented. Lenz’s techniques thoroughly convince the audience that the tar mining in Canada is devastating to both the Canadian people and to Canada’s natural ecosystem and landscape.

In order to support his claim, Lenz uses a variety of rhetorical devices to capture the audience’s attention. The speaker first uses vivid imagery to draw in the audience with claims such as “The worlds largest most devastating environmental industrial project is located in the heart of the largest and most intact forest in the world-Canada’s Boreal Forrest . . . home to the largest remaining wild caribou heard in the world, the George River herd with 400,000 animals” (Lenz 2011). Through this claim, Lenz allows the audience to capture the severity and importance of this forest.

The speaker paints a vivid picture with dramatic words to match a vibrant photographic background of nature and wilderness. Lenz is granted the reader’s respect though displaying photographs that he took himself that silhouette and enhance the topics he is discussing. The logic he uses also makes it hard for the audience to disbelieve the facts that he is presenting. The audience is hit hard with numbers that makes one want to cringe at the fact that this environmental devastation is becoming our reality.

A pipeline ten times the size of Exon Valdez is in preparation to be built, the largest tailings pond on the planet is in the middle of the Athabasca Tar Mine’s where toxic drainage is equaled to two-thirds the size of Manhattan, and over eight hundred indigenous people are being affected by cancer through the carcinogenic foods they must eat out of pure necessity. The logos in the speech are evident and reputable. Lenz calls upon the deductive reasoning of the audience in a very effective and upright manner.

One cannot argue with the factual evidence Lenz is presenting, especially with the dramatic pictures Lenz uses to reinforce the topics he is presenting. Throughout the speech, Lenz personal feelings and emotions were displayed. He is very emotional when it comes to certain topics, especially when it comes to the toxic water supply that is affecting the hundreds of Athabascan people who inhabit Alberta and the surrounding areas. Lenz grabs the reader’s attention, as well as their hearts when he tells the story of a First Natives Man who warned him not to eat any fish from the river he was canoeing down, as they were carcinogenic.

At this point in the speech, Lenz’s voice begins to break as he describes how he later sees four fish hanging from the man’s porch. The man was forced out of necessity to feed his children carcinogenic fish from a river that the oil mining has polluted. Lenz sheds a few tears over this matter and it really shows the audience his ethos on the subject. He is truly an individual who is speaking about this cause not for personal gain, but out of love for humanity and the environment.

The ethos Lenz displays in his presentation is strong and heart warming; it allows the audience to connect with him on a much deeper and more personal level of respect. In giving this speech, Garth Lenz conquered the difficult task of gaining both the hearts of the audience as well as their minds with his ethos and logos. Lenz skillfully created a dramatic photographic background to enhance the topics we was speaking of; therefore, it is safe to assume Garth Lenz was able to convince and capture the heart of all audience members.

Cite this Analysis of Garth Lenz’s True Cost of Oil

Analysis of Garth Lenz’s True Cost of Oil. (2017, Jan 16). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/true-cost-of-oil/

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