Sample Toulmin Analysis

"The Environment: Us Versus It?" by Sneed B. Collard III

CLAIM: Our economic growth depends upon the protection of the environment. "The solution ... is not the abandonment of environmental protection but a better, more sophisticated understanding of the environment and how we fit into it." *Comment 1

QUALIFIER: Most companies, politicians, etc. try to offer "quick-fixes," fixes that won't have long-term results.

EXCEPTIONS: S.C. Johnson Wax, Monsanto, Xerox, 3M, DOW, as well as other companies who are looking to make changes in order to benefit long-term goals as opposed to short-term "quick-fixes" *Comment 2

REASON 1: Right now the world and the U.S. are cashing in on natural resources such as forests, oil, air, agriculture and other resources without attempting to conserve them at the same time.

What Makes This Reason Relevant? The fact that without natural resources, society and people cannot survive, therefore we cannot grow economically if our population is fighting simply to survive. *Comment 3

What Makes This Reason Good? The profits of natural resources are being relied upon in nearly every country in the world, therefore it is a good reason because economical growth cannot happen in our own country if we have no natural resources, but is also can't happen if other countries in the world run out of their natural resources either. It views the world as having control over our economic growth just as much as we have control over our own economic growth. This reason has strong value because without natural resources, out world can't possibly have a growing economy. More importantly, we must conserve our resources in order for society and our world population to survive, which in itself is a value that we should all be conscious of.

What Evidence Supports This Reason? *Comment 4 The author uses the example of Haiti's economic crisis to better illustrate this. "The near-total destruction of natural resources in Haiti has occurred due to a lack of environmental protection. Haiti can no longer sustain its people and, as a result, its economy in a shambles." For their short-term survival, Haiti has had to rely upon natural resources as a staple, "in doing so, the country has forfeited its future." This evidence is supported by Collard's own visit to the country in 1990, making it both accurate and credible. The evidence is also sufficient because it draws a level of sympathy and fear from the reader. Throughout this section, the reader probably feels fearful of the road that our very country might be taking as well.

REASON 2: Our world's resources are declining quickly, therefore "our ways of doing business must change."

What Makes This Reason Relevant? We must begin to change the lifestyles we have become accustomed to living in order to conserve and protect our environment.

What Makes This Reason Good? Our environment drastically needs change and Collard addresses this straightforwardly. This reason has great value because when the world's resources are gone, they will be gone maybe even forever and populations of people cannot survive without resources such as air, water and others. Collard wants us to realize the importance of preservation and conservation toward our future here on Earth.

What Evidence Supports This Reason? The author uses the example of the gasoline-powered car to better illustrate this point. He states that the leading contributor of greenhouse gases is the automobile, their roads and highways take up valuable portions of land as well. Not only these, but the car also has horrible effects on our economic situation as well. Collard adds a level of accuracy and credibility by stating figures to further support his reason as well. "Federal governments directly spend about $71 billion per year... Businesses and taxpayers spend $175 billion ... [cities spend] between $124 billion and $140 billion ... accident-related bill--another $350 billion." These figures also make the reason sufficient because there is now direct proof to help support the author's reasoning.

REASON 3: "Politicians ... devise high-profile, quick-fix solutions like regulation moratoriums instead of creating environmentally responsible, economically smart programs such as mass transit and urban planning."

What Makes This Reason Relevant? Society believes these short-term solutions to be more productive and long lasting than they actually are.

What Makes This Reason Good? Long-term solutions are required rather than these short-term solutions. And the very people that society relies on for the future of the world are these politicians, who remain short-sighted of environmental protection. The reason has great value because we, as a society, can change this environmental action directly by ourselves, by casting an educated vote in the ballot of our future.

What Evidence Supports This Reason? Collard uses such examples as George Bush, Ross Perot and Bill Clinton to demonstrate the disregard that politicians have toward the environment. They continue to devise short-term planning, regardless of the future and what it could possible bring. The author uses the history of our current president's environmental activity to state, "Unfortunately, the man who beat the rest of the field--smooth-talking Bill Clinton--has been no environmental messiah as governor of Arkansas." This quote gives Collard credibility and a level of accuracy to help his reason. The evidence is sufficient because he uses politically important figures to illustrate that even these people of whom society looks up to, lack the action and knowledge necessary for environmental protection.

OBJECTION: All politicians are poor supporters of environmental protection with regard to economic growth. *Comment 5

REBUTTAL: Al Gore--he "displays the realistic attitude toward our economic future that we so desperately need." Jerry Brown--only Brown "seemed to realize the importance of developing a sustainable economy which protects our natural resources."