Progress Can Kill

Progress Can Kill

Imagine that a tribe of people is discovered, living deep in the rain forests of New Guinea. Somehow, the tribe has been isolated for millennia from the outside world, so that its people know nothing of technology, modern trade, or other aspects of the contemporary world. Its people have lived in peace, without war, and without serious disease. The tribe’s traditional lands, which they revere as part of their animistic religion, have recently been surveyed by satellite, and are now believed to contain large deposits of oil. Meanwhile, the outside world is growing short of oil. The price of transportation, both ground and air, has skyrocketed. The costs of commodities like food, which need to be transported, have risen dramatically, causing hardship for people in all parts of the globe. The world desperately needs to find new deposits of oil, and the lands of the New Guinea tribe are perhaps its best hope of obtaining a short-term solution to the oil crisis that has shaken the industrial world. However, no one wants to disrespect the rights or religious beliefs of the tribe. In fact, an urgent meeting of the United Nations has been called, to determine what should be done about the tribe and its lands. Should outsiders leave the tribe alone, and allow its people to freely pursue their own destiny? Or should outside industries make contact with the tribe, and arrange to drill for oil on the land? A vote will shortly be taken in the United Nations to determine the final fate of these newly-identified people. You have been hired as an adviser by a powerful nation, which will cast a decisive vote in the United Nations. It is your job to present a convincing argument stating what should be done about the tribe in question, and why. You will have to outline a specific set of policies and justify it. Create a sense of ethos for yourself as the United Nations advisor persona. Lay forth your arguments, making sure to use all three rhetorical tools of logos, pathos, and ethos. Also try to create common ground and build reader openness through a Rogerian strategy. Remember not to ignore strategies different from the one you choose to advocate. Instead, discuss key arguments that would be on the opposing side, and show why your view is better.

Construct your essay on this basis. Your essay must persuade an audience. The fate of many people will depend on how well you do your job. You are free to conduct any sort of background research you wish. Of course, if you do this, you must accurately document your sources with both MLA in-text citations and MLA end citations. However, since it is a hypothetical scenario, and there are not actually any big oil reserves in New Guinea, you will not be able to research some of the key parts of this scenario. This is because you have been given enough facts to use logic to address the hypothetical situation. All you need to do is to take the hypothesis and use logos to “run with it”– regardless of what else is true. Start with the hypothetical situation for all that you do in this paper.

Lay out the background on the situation, present your position clearly, establish your credibility, and state all the arguments that back up your position. Finish by presenting a set of policy solutions and recommendations.

In this essay, you are required to wrestle with an imaginary opponent. Do your best to anticipate the primary objections to your views, and to counterargue against them, using concession, refutation, and accommodation where appropriate. Since you are a diplomat, be sure to employ a Rogerian strategy in your writing.


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