Rhetorical Analysis

Audience Analysis

This article addresses the risks brought by oil extraction. Therefore, it has a wide range of audiences. They include students, teachers, oil company owners and all the citizens in the country. All these groups of people ought to be informed about these environmental hazards associated with oil extraction. The targeted audience ranges from the ages of teenage hood to adulthood. All people from any kind of ethnic community, with any level of education, should be exposed to this information.

The people are already aware of the fuel crisis in the world. Oil is a non-renewable source; therefore, it is facing the risk of running out, whereas the demand for fuel is increasing. This article has assisted people to understand the risks of extracting oil and all those challenges related. Resolutions of using other renewable resources are being sought since they are the most convenient solution.

Thesis Statement

This analysis focuses on the rhetoric strategies of an article by Michael T. Klare. The major idea of the writer’s work is to address the issue of dangerous fuel extraction and how it poses a future threat to the environment’s safety (Klare, 2010). This analysis comprises of how the author has written his work. It has been done by breaking down the contents of the article and discussing them in details. Some of the features in the article are target audience, themes, style or format of writing and other features.


Klare (2010) says the article’s main theme is the ongoing crisis of limited sources of energy, specifically oil. It goes on to explain that due to this problem, owners of  oil companies have gone ahead to approach dangerous zones in search of this commodity. Unfortunately, this action has brought severe negative consequences not only to the people but also to the natural environment. For example, O’ Reilly’s company is one of those that went ahead to tread on dangerous zones and extracted oil. Later on, these extraction areas have caused not only environmental but also economical and political disasters.

Another important theme addressed in Klare’s work is environmental pollution. This article has mentioned areas where oil extraction caused pollution of the environment. For example, oil spillage, which makes marine life to suffocate and die. The extraction leaves behind derelict land, which is a hazard to the environment. The common oil company known in spilling oil is BP. The last time they caused pollution to the environment, they had spilled about 5,000 barrels of fuel (Klare, 2010).

Disasters are inclusive in the themes of this work. In fact, they create a major concern to the writer. For instance, a major oil drilling plant called Deep Horizon went down in flames in April 2010. A few workers lost their lives and others were injured whereas a lot of fuel was lost. There could be other potential risks of disaster waiting to happen, due to these extraction activities. The main reason for these disasters is lack of taking the necessary precautions hence such an accident. Some are caused by unintentional errors made by the oil handlers, but whether intentional or not, these are big issues, which need to be solved soonest.

The most important point the author is trying to communicate is safety. He says that the previous disasters, which have happened in the Deep Horizons, were caused by the determination of reaching out to mine in dangerous zones. This is contrary to what the management of these oil companies said. They claim that it is possible to subdue the damages in this drilling rig yet they did not do so. They said that the resources of this commodity are limited whereas its demand is growing bigger as times goes by. Therefore, this is the main reason they are risking to mine dangerous zones (Klare, 2010).

Writer’s Purpose

Klare (2010) intended to write this article to the general audience. His main objective was to alert the people about what is happening in the oil extraction sector. He probably realized that people are not well informed about this subject whereas it was vital for them to know. It would enlighten them about current affairs and those expected in future. However, he writes because he wants to criticize oil companies for unreasonably endangering the lives of the people and the environment. He is also disappointed with the government because of not taking action. It should intervene and mind the welfare of the people who are going to be affected by these disasters in future and of course those who are already victims.

The writer intends to warn people as well about the shortage of fuel and the depletion of energy resources. Through this article, it will enable people to start thinking of possible alternatives. It would also help to persuade the oil companies to reconsider their strategies. Such an article could also make the government to demand corporate social responsibility from oil companies. This way, they will practice safety measures that protect the environment as well as all other employees in the extraction.

The author uses two possible incidences in the article to express fully, one of his major ideas. This idea is, the extreme lengths oil companies want to go in extraction of oil. The cases show two sites, which cause political and environmental controversies. The first case is Hibernia oil platform. This is an oil drill is off the shore and is seen to be the largest in the world. Its location is 190 miles off the shore of Newfoundland coast. This property is owned by the government of Canada and two other independent companies. The position, size, and weight of this property, is a potential threat to its surrounding in the face of a disaster (Klare, 2010).

The other case is the American quagmire with Nigeria over the issue of supplying them with fuel. Nigeria is the top most country that sells oil to the United States. Oil sites in Nigeria are situated at Niger Delta, which is a known to be an insecure area. The reason is that the settlers at the Niger Delta use weapons to demand authority so that they become stakeholders in the site’s profits and share in the revenues generated from the oil resource. The authority at the delta poses a security threat to the delta. It has brought many cases vices like abduction, militants controlling the property, damage of the environmental and political instability. This situation has caused tension hence making some companies terminate their contracts of extracting oil. These two examples bring out a hazardous environment, political instability and economic retrogression, to both the Delta area and the oil companies situated there (Klare, 2010).

Writing style

The author has organized his ideas in a chronological manner. This makes it easy to read understand the intended message of the writer. At the beginning of the article, he starts by introducing the topic. He does this by referring to previous disastrous cases that have occurred because of oil extraction. For example, he mentions about the Gulf of Mexico fire, the hazardous mines discovered by Chevron, Exxon and other companies (Klare, 2010). He then continues to address his sole issue of future disasters. He gives instances of possible disastrous incidences, which could happen in future.

This layout is very effective in making the reader understand and persuading them to align their thoughts to the writer’s thoughts. By giving past examples, it assists the reader to see the logic of the article. These examples are the ones, which give this work its credibility. This is what will make the reader agree with the writer’s findings of the future. The proposed future findings have also been arranged in a chronological way. These examples of possible incidences have been put in written form according to how the writer predicts them to happening. They have been put in this order: The scenarios are the Herbania platform being destroyed by an iceberg, political quagmire in Nigeria over fuel supply for America, possibility of the cyclone hits on the pre- salt oilrigs and a clash over subsea gas in the East China Sea (Klare, 2010). These scenarios have been arranged according to the writer’s view of their urgency.

The writer has strong use of diction. His language is simple because it is meant for general audience. The words he uses at the beginning of the article are captivating and they encourage the reader to read on. He has been successful in this, not just by discussing the topic directly at the start of the work. He talks of related events that will lead to the discussion of the topic later on. To be accurate about the information he gives the name and time of his predictions, names of place and names of people. The writer avoids indistinctiveness and the use of general terms, which may not be clear, a factor that strengthens credibility of the information in the article. The words are plain and have no hidden meaning. For example, the words in the first paragraph show criticism of an action. The writer is unhappy because an evitable incident happened yet the companies go on mining in dangerous grounds.

Since the article is meant for general audience, language is formal and technical words have been partly used. There is no use of slang, style with in depth meaning like metaphors and symbolism. The writer has used simple language for all to comprehend. There is also use of direct speech, which enhances the work by making it lively. For example, the direct words of David O’Reilly show determination. He said about depletion of oil resources and his promise to ensure supply, despite where the site will be (Klare, 2010).

To conclude this analysis, more emphasis is put in the writer’s themes and purpose that despite the facts that enhancements have been made in extraction of fuel, there is still waiting disaster. It is well understood that oil is the most important source of fuel to people worldwide. On the other hand, people ought to find an alternative source of fuel, especially the renewable sources of energy like biogas, solar and other non-renewable resources (Klare, 2010). People should get rid of non-renewable resources because research has confirmed that non-renewable resources have greatly contributed to depletion of the ozone layer of the atmosphere, hence exposing people to ultra- violet rays.

The criteria used by an author or writer to create his or her work, is very important. It is the major way readers check to either reject or accept an individual’s work. Rhetoric is mostly important to the type of works, which are more concentrated on persuading the reader. Good rhetoric will identify the target audience, use appropriate language, choose the strongest ideas and lay them out chronologically. This way the audience will read and agree with the author, because the work has been organized in a comprehensive manner. Writers should keenly draft their work, for best results in the final paper.


Works cited

Klare, Michael. The coming era of the energy disasters. Counter currents. 23 June 2010. 2 November 2011. Web.

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