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A Detailed Look Into "Is Humanity Suicidal?"

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"The Earth is going to expire by the year 2050," or "the world's a ticking time bomb" are just two of the many statements people hear everyday about the end of the world. Christians believe that only God knows the true date in which the world will cease and He will burn the world to ashes. On the other hand, another large group of people believe the world will soon end if humans do not change their way of life. A small percentage of those same people have faith in the fact that one day humans may change and the Earth will prosper. In his essay, "Is Humanity Suicidal?" Edward O. Wilson uses techniques to convince the human race that they must change their ways in order to save their own existence. His techniques include: a story as an attention grabber; his tone of voice; contrasting opinions; an explanation of environmentalist views; stating his position throughout; a description of how other groups have recognized that a problem subsists; and finally, solutions to the dilemma.

Starting with a story, Wilson captures the reader's attention by introducing the possibility of the world coming to an end. The story revolves around aliens who are watching the planet from satellites and are noticing the destruction humans are causing to the Earth. Some of the results human destruction has on the Earth include: "Atmospheric carbon dioxide rises to the highest level in 100,000 years. The ozone layer of the stratosphere thins, and holes open at the poles" (501). The aliens then patiently wait for the time when the Earth cannot handle the destruction from humans anymore and watch closely as fire engulfs the Earth. The story illustrates how human's interaction with the different aspects of the environment combines to destroy the...

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...ironmental deterioration put the very future of life at risk" (505). If scientists are stepping up and saying humans are doing wrong, then that should definitely be a sign to people that something needs to happen. Wilson uses these groups to demonstrate how people are trying to create solutions to the dilemma.

After reading the entire essay, one realizes the true destruction humans are causing to the Earth and that something must be done to help the environment. By using a variety of techniques throughout his essay, Wilson emphasizes his point that there is still hope for humanity if humans act now. Humans are the only ones who can save the Earth from extinction, but time is limited. If the majority of humans act like environmentalists then the phrases "the Earth is going to expire by the year 2050" or "the world's a ticking time bomb" will cease to exist.
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