Thursday, May 01, 2008

An Inconvenient Truth and WOKs

Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth is powerful in that it approaches the topic of global warming using all four ways of knowing. He appeals to sense perception by using graphs and charts, as well as graphical representations of the potential effects of global warming. He also incorporates humorous footage from The Simpsons, as well as his own personal connection to the issue to provoke an emotional response. He also defines his arguments in strictly logical terms, and uses empowering language to make people feel as though they can make a difference. What if a case was made against global warming using the same techniques?
Follow this link:
Daily Show Global Warming
and explore the justifications of this viewpoint from a TOK perspective.


Paige C. said...

This spoof of An Inconvenient Truth made by the Daily Show is meant to reinforce the message of there being man-made global warming by creating a totally ridiculous argument (as it seems to me). However, analyzing it through a TOK lens allows use to explicitly explore why using the same WOK, some justifications appear absurd and some don’t. So here goes…
The argument of the spoof is that man has not caused global warming, and that it is actually caused by God’s wrath. Because of this, humans can’t do anything about global warming, and should actually work to speed it up (if they are one of God’s chosen) in order to experience the divine presence on earth.
In this spoof, the WOKs of emotion and logic in a sense are combined. The logical proposition of the argument is based on religion (and a very obscure religious belief at that). It would not appeal to the majority of Americans because they wouldn’t be able to relate to it on an emotional level. Religion is very much based upon emotion as there is little concrete sense perception to depend upon. Graphs and presentations are also used, but as they follow no recognizable form (such that the average American would see as having no data) they become worthless and the subject of ridicule. And of course, there is the “empowering” music and language at the end of the footage, which suggest things very opposite of what Gore proposed. In the context of the rest of the spoof, these seem even more ridiculous, and in a subtle manner reinforce the original intent these phrases had in the Gore video.
The whole spoof actually presents a fault in logical argument, as it presents the opposing side as ridiculous without allowing the other side a chance to actually defend itself (although that is what appears to be happening). All in all, it is very cleverly constructed, so applause for the Daily Show.

s_to_the_donnelly said...

Personally, I beleive that too many americans are lulled into this inevitable state of "going green" when in reality they are only "going green" because many other americans are. They need to see specific facts, and convince themselves that what they are doing is right and worth their interest.