Essay about Bill McKibben's "Driving Global Warming"

Essay about Bill McKibben's "Driving Global Warming"

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Bill McKibben is a reputable environmental writer and a contributor to a wide variety of publications, including The New York Review of Books, Outside, and The New York Times. As found on his personal website, McKibben is a simple man concerned with family, faith, and fun. He argues in "Driving Global Warming," published 2001, in the magazine The Christian Century, that a gas guzzling SUV is the number one contributing automobile to global warming.

Rather recently, within the past ten years, SUVs have become a more predominant force in the society of automobiles. People of a certain social status seem to be the ones who purchase SUVs with an increased frequency. They have many features that are sold with them to entice consumers into buying them. McKibben presents his readers with a study done by the International Panel on Climate Change, which tells them that if we continue to burn fuel at the current speed, the earth's temperature will increase four to eleven degrees before the end of the century. The results of this study should alarm SUV buyers of the damages that a fuel inefficient vehicle causes to the ozone layer. McKibben states that the damage that CO2 has caused to the ozone layer has already reduced the thickness of artic ice to 40 percent from what it was 40 years ago. He also gives the readers a startling fact that Polar Bears are unable to feed on their main food supply and the warm waters are killing coral reefs. Due to these increased temperatures, sea level is rising and in 1998 high sea levels caused the people of Bangladesh to suffer through thigh-deep waters. But why are SUVs of so much concern when it comes to these matters? It is mainly because SUVs are one of the most fuel inefficient vehicles...


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Bill McKibben seems to provide readers with the information that he wants us to know and not necessarily the information that readers should know. The only opposing view that he speaks of is the idea that SUVs are safer. I believe that he does a rather good job of destroying this enemy of his essay, but he only presents one opposing view. This makes me wonder if he knowingly does this. He leaves out the idea that SUVs are not huge in number compared to the other factors of ozone decay. Even though this aggravates me to know that he doesn't present all sides of the issue, leaving out this data helps his essay when readers first read it. Although, when taking a closer look it actually corrupts the quality of his claim. I believe that this essay was rather well laid out, but did not have the specific evidence needed to provide readers with a strong argument.

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