Post #2: Neo-Aristotelian Analysis

The artifact that I have chosen for my Neo-Aristotelian Analysis using the 5 elements of the rhetorical situation and the 5 canons of rhetoric is Greta Thunberg’s “How Dare You” speech that she gave to the UN on September 23rd, 2019.¬†

There are 5 elements to the rhetorical situation and they are; the speaker, occasion, audience, exigence, and constraints. The speaker is Greta Thunberg, a 17 year old Swedish environmental activist. The occasion is the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23rd, 2019. The audience was the world leaders who she wanted to help fix the environmental situation that is currently going on. The exigence is the global warming crisis that is currently going on. The constraints are the leaders of the world who don’t believe in global warming or don’t want to actively try and fix it.

There are 5 canons of rhetoric and they are; invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery. The invention of this speech is the science that is the science backing the fact that global warming is real. The pathos of this speech is when Greta talks about that if nothing is done about global warming then the future generations, including her own, have been failed. The logos of this speech is when she talks about that for 30 years there has been science proving that global warming is real and needs to be solved now, not 10 years down the road when there is a 50% chance of no solutions working. The ethos of this speech is that Greta has been an environmental activist from a young age and has done her research into global warming. There is also the fact that she is distantly related to Svante Arrhenius, the father of climate change science. The arrangement of this speech is how Greta opened by saying, “We’ll be watching you”. She began to talk on how she should still be in school back home instead of across the ocean instead of being approached to find a solution to global warming while she is still a child. She goes on to talk about how the ones in charge are more concerned about money and eternal economic growth. How there is science, has been science, for the past 30 years stating that global warming is real and is a problem and yet the leaders of the world want to wait 10 years before trying to fix it. The style of the speech is how Greta said, “How dare you!”, and “If you chose to fail us – then I say we will never forgive you”. Greta makes a very impassioned at the UN Climate Action Summit to the point that at certain times during her speech she was on the verge of tears. She puts the emphasis on the current generation to fix global warming as she is still a child and shouldn’t be responsible for having to clean up the mess that previous generations have left for her in terms of the environment. To me the main memory of this speech is how Greta said, “For more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying you are doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight?” It shows how little has been done in the past 30 years to fix global warming and other environmental issues even though there is plenty of science backing that fact that these issues exist. The delivery of this speech is how while you can understand every word that Greta is saying, how her voice trembles and you can hear her choking back tears.

The overall effect of this speech was an increase in environmental strikes across the globe and an increased interest in the environmental issues that are occurring today. Currently no new environmental reforms were made, but this speech could be the first of many that result in environmental reforms and science that can greatly reduce carbon emissions.

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