Causal Argument–Daphne Blake

Polluting the Ocean Pollutes the Economy

The first image that enters the mind at the thought of the phrase “ocean pollution” probably isn’t a destroyed economy, but that’s exactly what the result will be. Everyday, millions of people litter the ground with plastic, paper, and metals that get transferred into the ocean or into massive areas of land. This process is what ultimately will lead to a destroyed economy. Initially, the first negative effect of ocean pollution will be the decreased population of sea animals due to the fact of microplastics being broken down from larger plastic materials. Microplastics are a bigger cause of the reduction of sea life because it’s harder to detect by sea animals. It may be easy for fish and other sea creatures to detect a two liter bottle or a large plastic bag, however, the material of plastic doesn’t ever fully break down back into the earth, it just reduces into smaller and smaller sizes. These are called “microplastics.” These microplastics become difficult to see, especially for hungry fish searching for something to eat. These fish that intake the pollution in the ocean get eaten by bigger fish and when these sea animals wash up on land, they have things like bottle caps and straws inside them that never fully got digested into their systems.

The average person might just shrug and wonder how the negative impacts on sea life has anything to do with them, let along lead to a destroyed economy, but the two are directly correlated. For one, seafood is a huge market. According to Worldwildlife, “Approximately three billion people in the world rely on both wild-caught and farmed seafood as their primary source of protein. As the largest traded food commodity in the world, seafood provides sustenance to billions of people worldwide.” There aren’t going to be anymore people consuming seafood if all the sea animals are either dead from ocean pollution or have hundreds of bits of plastic inside them. Ocean pollution serves as a direct hit to the seafood market which in turn hurts the economy due to the fact that all those people who were once redistributing their money into society will decrease because the seafood market will not exist anymore. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states the extreme benefits that the fishing industry give to the economy. Not only did it generate over two-hundred billion dollars in sales, but it also creates 1.6 billion jobs. Without the fishing industry, not only will this be detrimental in economic matters, but the total unemployment line will increase. Both money and jobs will be lost. And these factors are at stake from the steady rise in ocean pollution.

The seafood market is an example of a direct correlation to how detrimental ocean pollution can be on the economy, but there are other examples that aren’t as blatant. The beach market is also a huge contributor to the economy. The beach is one of the most desired locations for vacations. The endless stretch of sand, the beautiful vast and relaxing waves, and the feeling of excitement and satisfaction as the two come together before one’s very own eyes. These year long dreams will be slowly diminished if ocean pollution stays at a steady increase. The National Geographic reports that “Every year, tens of thousands of people worldwide volunteer for the Sisyphean chore of picking up trash from beaches. The largest effort is conducted every September by the Ocean Conservancy, which in 30 years of cleanups has collected 300 million pounds and more than 350 types of items.” They go on to quote Nicholas Mallos, the leader of these cleanups who says,I have been on beaches in Hong Kong, Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, and Indonesia where you can watch plastics and debris in the barrel of each wave crash onto the beach. Literally, the trash starts getting replaced as soon as you pick it up.” According to the U.S Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract of the United States 2012, Table 1240, 58.67 million people went to the beach in 2010. These numbers are going to drastically drop after the beaches become so filled with plastic that no one wants to visit them anymore. Again, the question may arise of how this affects the economy, well, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration points out how Tourism and recreation account for 72 percent of the ocean economy’s total employment and 31 percent of its GDP. These numbers prove how ocean pollution causes various harsh results for our world economically.

The beach and the seafood market both contribute greatly to the economy, but what about the costs of ocean pollution that the world may not have to pay right now, but in the future. Based on the current state of our planet, the future of mankind is at state, all due to ocean pollution. Planetaid.org presents the information that the ocean “provides over 70 percent  of the oxygen we breathe and over 97 percent of the world’s water supply.” But everyday the ocean is the unfortunate recipient of manmade pollution. The world is essentially destroying itself. Because of the road us humans are going down now, there are going to be a plethora of environmental costs the world is going to try to fix when it becomes close to too late. There are a lot of things humans hold as significant to life. People say tangible objects such as technology and clothes are essential to living, but when we don’t have a planet to live on, we’re really in deep water. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates how much it will cost to clean the oceans. They state that “At a cost of $5,000-20,000 per day, it would cost between $122 million and $489 million for the year. That’s a lot of money—and that’s only for boat time. It doesn’t include equipment or labor costs.” But that’s just the cost of it today, who knows the estimated costs in the future if people continue to pollute the ocean. Ocean pollution is a direct causal problem to a destroyed economy, from seafood to beaches to later on repairs. This is a serious detriment to the world’s finances, recreation, and most importantly, to our lives.

References

Worldwildlife

https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/sustainable-seafood

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

https://www.noaa.gov/media-release/us-fishing-generated-more-than-200b-in-sales-in-2015-two-stocks-rebuilt-in-2016

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/oceaneconomy.html

https://dev1.orr.noaa.gov/about/media/how-much-would-it-cost-clean-pacific-garbage-patches.html

National Geographic

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/10/greenpeace-beach-cleanup-report-highlights-ocean-plastic-problem/

Planet Aid

https://www.planetaid.org/blog/how-ocean-pollution-affects-humans

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1 Response to Causal Argument–Daphne Blake

  1. davidbdale says:

    You’re doing a good job of making and substantiating causal claims, Daphne. Let’s look at your strategy paragraph by paragraph and see how well you guide your readers.

    P1. The first image that enters the mind at the thought of the phrase “ocean pollution” probably isn’t a destroyed economy, but that’s exactly what the result will be. Everyday, millions of people litter the ground with plastic, paper, and metals that get transferred into the ocean or into massive areas of land. This process is what ultimately will lead to a destroyed economy.

    —Like a good tour guide, you tell readers where we’re going.

    Initially, the first negative effect of ocean pollution will be the decreased population of sea animals due to the fact of microplastics being broken down from larger plastic materials.

    —Then you tell us the first stop along the way. Also a good strategy. But then you lose us. You call microplastics more dangerous than big plastic. Then you describe the process of plastic breaking down. Then you describe the accidental process of ingesting microplastics. Then you tell us that big fish eat little fish and have bottle caps inside them, as if the microplastics had reconstructed into big pieces of plastic trash again. Your logic path reaches a fork and tries to take both paths.

    P2. The average person might just shrug and wonder how the negative impacts on sea life has anything to do with them, let along lead to a destroyed economy, but the two are directly correlated.

    —This sentence comes very close to insulting your reader. Your goal is to stay friendly and gently but firmly guide your reader, so don’t call her average or make her clueless. Share the burden, as in “Most of us don’t connect the health of sea life with our own well-being, but the connection is closer than we might want to admit.”

    For one, seafood is a huge market. According to Worldwildlife, “Approximately three billion people in the world rely on both wild-caught and farmed seafood as their primary source of protein. As the largest traded food commodity in the world, seafood provides sustenance to billions of people worldwide.” There aren’t going to be anymore people consuming seafood if all the sea animals are either dead from ocean pollution or have hundreds of bits of plastic inside them.

    —A good tour guide prepares her tourists for what they will see so that the impact of the landmark is immediately apparent. Set your readers up to receive your evidence. Don’t explain it to them after they’ve seen it. Your explanation, “There isn’t going to be any seafood if we kill it all,” is weak when it follows the quote. But you could use your observation to prepare readers instead.

    Seafood is a huge part of the global food economy whose future is threatened by the devastation caused by plastic pollution. According to Worldwildlife, “Three billion people . . . .”

    See the difference?

    You do a much better job setting up your next bit of evidence:

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states the extreme benefits that the fishing industry give to the economy.

    Now that you’ve prepared them to appreciate the size of the benefit, your evidence has more impact:

    Not only did it generate over two-hundred billion dollars in sales, but it also creates 1.6 billion jobs.

    Stay alert to this technique. Timing your evidence is just as important as finding and providing it.

    P3. THE SETUP: According to the U.S Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract of the United States 2012, Table 1240, 58.67 million people went to the beach in 2010. These numbers are going to drastically drop after the beaches become so filled with plastic that no one wants to visit them anymore. THE EVIDENCE: “I have been on beaches in Hong Kong, Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, and Indonesia where you can watch plastics and debris in the barrel of each wave crash onto the beach. Literally, the trash starts getting replaced as soon as you pick it up.”

    THE SETUP: These numbers prove how ocean pollution causes various harsh results for our world economically. THE EVIDENCE: Tourism and recreation account for 72 percent of the ocean economy’s total employment and 31 percent of its GDP.

    P4. Examine the last paragraph yourself, Daphne, and see if you can time your evidence better. Remember the primary rule of good tour guidance: Prepare your tourists before you reach the landmark by telling them what it means, its relevance, its importance. Then, when they see it for themselves, it will be through the lens of your explanation. Otherwise, if you take them to the landmark first, they’ll decide for themselves whether or not it’s impressive, and they’ll be more inclined to argue with your interpretation once they’ve made up their own minds.

    Do you find this helpful, Daphne?
    You can earn more feedback by continuing this conversation, or by making substantial revisions and asking for specific types of advice.

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