Following recent environmental issues, in particular the growing use of coffee pods and rapid increase of landfill through this use, debate resurfaced regarding Australia’s value of consumerism over the environment. In an opinion piece for ‘The Conversation’ website on the 5th August 2014, authors John Rice and Nigel Martin argue in a generally attacking, bias and mocking tone as tonal shift occurs throughout the piece, that Australia’s dependency on coffee pods reveal the nations values of consumerism over the environmental matters. Through the use of informal speech and inclusive language, the reader of the website is positioned to share the viewpoint and agree with the issue Rice and Martin display.
The play on tradition in the beginning of the piece highlights the writers’ contention with its message of ‘we’ve always done it like this’. This being the reference of ‘the quiet gurgle of the boiling kettle in the morning’ which urges reader support of the contention by provoking feelings of valuing the importance of tradition. This, followed by colourful connotative language in the phrase ‘guttural sounds of steaming water being forced through aluminium or plastic coffee pods’, evokes a negative idea or feeling towards the pods. Rice and Martin are primarily proposing a change and seeking to appeal to tradition in order for readers of this website to show support by straying away from the pods and back to the traditional more environmentally beneficial option. This is cemented in reference to the image of the used pods illustrated in the article with the caption ‘A quick shot but then what?’ recalling the idea that while some are recycled the multitude, as shown, end up in the bin. Furthermore, the mocking statement ‘pangs of guilt are only tweaked by the latte socialists when the dank pods require emptying’ provoke feelings of further disappointment from the readership.
One word that appears more than most in the article is ‘sustainability’. The use of...
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