2016.6.4SAT亚太考试作文A Carbon Tax Beats a Vacuum Ban来自美国新闻网opinion版块2014年1月23日发表的一篇文章。作者认为通过对碳排放收税是比禁止一些类型的真空吸尘器的使用更好的策略。
In an effort to fight off negative impactsof carbon emissions on the environment, the EU has decided to impose a strictban on vacuum cleaners using more than 1,600 watts of power. Is this the rightaction to take? Obviously, Sita Slavov, a US News contributor, does not side withthe decision in her article A Carbon Tax Beats a Vacuum Ban, in which sheclaims that a carbon tax would work as a better solution than the ban. Sheemploys logical reasoning and mainly rhetorical questioning to sway the readersinto her side.
Logical reasoning serves as the mostpowerful strategy utilized to present reasons against the vacuum ban and forthe tax.Stating the carbon tax as a better solution,Slavov starts her claimoff with the reason–the tax is“set to reflect the spillover costs of carbonemissions.”This reason clearly addresses the vacuum ban backers’claim thatthose who“buy powerful vacuum cleaners and incandescent bulbs”do not considertheir spillover costs,so the readers would begin to deem the tax as at leastone of the alternatives to the ban.What would persuade the audience to believethat the tax is a better option is the author's next argument:it givescustomers free choice.In a democratic country,no one would like to be told orforced by“government bureaucrats”to do their business,even a small decisionlike buying energy-efficient vacuum cleaners and light bulbs. Anotherargument,the tax targeting directly at the real culprit–carbon,would enablethe readers to realize that the ban might have a major defect:the“reboundeffects”could decrease its effectiveness.Having realized the point,theaudience would be more reluctant to support the ban. The final statement madeby the author to bolster her claim would function as the last straw to breakthe back of the ban.In the statement,Slavov mentions that“economists of allpolitical stripes”agree with her points, citing a 2011 poll to add soundnessof her claim.Those ready to take her side would feel that they are not alone,backed up by all these professionals.By repeatedly pointing out theincredibility of the ban proponents’reasons and the drawbacks of the ban, theauthor establishes and strengthens solidarity and authenticity of her claimthat the tax is a better choice.
Logical reasoning aside,rhetorical questioningis flexibly employed to play to the readers’ emotion.The two rhetoricalquestions,“Want an incandescent light bulb?”and“How about a gas guzzlingcar?”,demonstrate how the government rudely intrudes people's daily life andmakes decisions for them.This would arouse the readers’distaste,as it isridiculous that someone else rather than oneself could meddle in one's ownaffairs.Therefore,they would definitely say no to the next question,“Do wereally want the government telling us what kind of vacuum cleaner or lightbulbto buy?”.When reading the subsequent question,“Don't policy makers havebetter things to think about?”,they would begin to ponder upon whether therewould be a“better thing”than the government's manipulation of their life viabans and regulations.This rhetorical device,clearly a strategy of appealingto emotions,makes it much easier for the audience to embrace the author's solution—a carbon tax—proposed immediately afterwards.
All in all,logical reasoning and rhetoricalquestions strongly champion the author's claim that a carbon tax performs muchbetter than a compulsory ban on vacuum cleaners.Persuaded by her article,thereaders would choose the former,a less political option,the next time theyneed to address“climate change while protecting consumer freedom and raisingrevenue that can be used to lower other taxes.”