Skiing into oblivion
The issue of whether or not our lifestyles are environmentally and economically sustainable has been the source of an ongoing debate and prompted an opinionative piece with an accompanying photograph by Paul Evans, “Skiing into Oblivion” (March, 2008). Contending in a predominately concerned and passionate tone, Evans argues that our consumption of the planet’s resources is irresponsible and that we are becoming increasingly motivated by the need to attain unrealistic lifestyles driven by consumerism. However, he also encourages his audience to take action through the use of emotive language, saying that “it is still possible to change direction and take a conservationist route.” Upon commencement, Evans explores the notion of “skiing” as a metaphor for the unsustainable “route” we are taking in his title, “Skiing into oblivion.” Along with the negative connotations associated with the term “oblivion”, Evans aims to alert readers that we are on a road the road to doom and destruction but are still not taking responsibility and making changes. The term also establishes within the readers’ minds a sense of urgency and appeals to their sense of fear. Followed by the juxtaposition of a “wry” anecdote of baby boomers ‘SKIing’ with the reality of people today ‘”indulging and enjoying” luxurious lifestyles, readers are made to realise how they are increasingly becoming affected by consumerism and the consequences that result. Additionally, Evans poses a threat to his readers: if “SKIing” continues, “there will be no inheritance, just a debt that [they], or the next generation, may not be able to repay.” In doing so, readers are urged to firstly, stop wasting the planet’s resources and moreover, take the initiative to correct their actions. Enhancing Evans’ claims is a large photograph, which is depicted in such a way to agree with his contention that the earth’s resources are being consumed at an...
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