Eric Klinenberg's Argument: Air Conditioning

732 Words 3 Pages
In Eric Klinenberg’s article “Viewpoint: Air Conditioning Will Be the End of Us”, Klinenberg asserts that the American people need to decrease their dependency on air conditioning. Klinenberg defends his bold assertion by employing the logos appeal and the rhetorical device of antithesis.
Written after a heat wave passed through New York City during the summer of 2013, Eric Klinenberg condemns the American habit of cranking up the air conditioning during heat waves for its horrendous effect on the environment. Due to the boldness of his assertion, Klinenberg by acknowledging the ability of a reasonable amount of air conditioning to saves lives and boost productivity in the workplace. However, Killenberg refutes these two opposing viewpoints by denouncing the “indefensible” practice of excessively cooling
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First, Klinenberg uses antithesis to point out the flaws in the American habit of heavily chilling buildings even in the hottest places in America: “. . . there is now an expectation that indoor air will be frigid on even the steamiest days everywhere from the Deep South to the Great West” In this quote, Klinenberg puts together the opposing ideas of “frigid” temperatures during “the steamiest days” even in regularly hot areas of the United States making clear the extreme standards Americans have developed. Second, Klinenberg effectively utilizes antithesis in his ironic conclusion: “If you can’t stand the heat, you should know that blasting the AC will ultimately make us all even hotter.” In this quote, Klinenberg combines the contrasting ideas of “blasting the AC” and becoming “even hotter” to highlight the idiocy of harmfully overusing air conditioning to escape the effects of climate change. By using the rhetorical device of antithesis, Eric Klinenberg successfully evokes feelings of frustration among readers towards America’s outrageous and illogical air conditioning

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