'Taking Stock' - Language Analysis

Essay by Griffo1297High School, 11th gradeA+, November 2014

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'Taking Stock' - Language Analysis

After an 8 year old global commitment to reduce biodiversity loss, Professor Chris Lee speaks at the 2010 International Biodiversity Conference. On the 25th to the 27th of October, Lee makes a speech entitled 'Taking Stock' to an audience of leading environmental experts and leaders of respective countries. In a formal and direct style Lee contends that not enough has been achieved in the way of reducing biodiversity loss and more needs to be done to prevent further diminishment. Lee's opening slide has the year '2010' with shadows of various animals, a tree and happy people holding hands as holes in the numbers. This sets the opening tone of the piece as a congratulatory speech of achievements and encourages the viewers to listen on.

Lee opens the speech in an upbeat and buoyant tone, claiming that "this is a year of vital significant," quickly making the audience realise that this is a serious issue.

Lee quotes the United Nations, "It is a celebration of life on Earth and of the value of biodiversity in our lives" setting the speech up for what would seem as congratulatory, which is further reinforced by the opening slide. The audience is suddenly taken aback when Lee questions whether this has been a year of action. The immediate tone change to an accusing demeanour makes the listener contemplate whether or not much has been done. Lee continues to question, "honestly, how well have we done?" This repetition and reinforcement of the same question appeals to the sense of guilt of the listeners and as a result, makes them realise just how poorly they have acted to reduce biodiversity loss. Lee then asks a third time, "how far have we really come…" this time further elaborating on what he means. The...