The two main purposes Linnea Saukko has in “How to Poison the Earth” are persuasive and referential aims. She uses examples classification and descriptions to help the reader better understand the future of the planet if humans keep on the same path of destruction.
The main modes she uses in the first paragraph are cause and effect, and later classification of pollution into ground water and air methods is used Saukko starts the essay off by saying, “Poisoning the earth can be difficult because the earth is always trying to cleanse and renew itself.” She not only uses sarcasm to make reader think what she is saying is meant to taken literally, but she classifies the main methods to poison the earth. She stress the need for toxic chemicals like uranium-238, plutonium, PCB, and DDT. Along with the need to spread those chemicals around the earth, she starts to persuade the reader that if those two parts happen, we will poison the earth.
The next two paragraphs she emphasizes several ways to spread the toxins into the shell of the earth. She classifies those into deep-well and shallow-well injections, and dumping. The deep-well injections are to “ensure that the earth is poisoned all the way to the core,” while the shallow-well injections are to contaminate groundwater aquifers. In paragraph two she gives the reader examples of deep-well and shallow-well injections and how these will ensure that the core is poisoned. The third paragraph ties to the second by explaining that if humans place dumps by groundwater that this method and shallow-well injections will poison the water. Saukko sarcastically states that since there are only 50,000 dumps in the United States,” they should be located in areas where they will leak to the surrounding ground and surface water.”
In paragraphs four, five, and six Saukko uses cause and effect to show how to bring pesticides and other poisons to lakes, rivers, and oceans. She explains that if plants absorb the pesticides, then the poison will end up in the ground water. She again sarcastically implies that “surface water is very important to contaminate because it will transport the poisons to places that cannot be contaminated directly.” It is important for ground water to be poisoned so that lakes will be poisoned, since lakes can hold the poisons. The problem she talks about next is the rivers. Rivers act like a natural filter before water flows into the ocean. That is a cleansing effect where the problem lies.
In the sixth paragraph she explains how the oceans act as a natural buffer for the toxins. She then evaluates that the only way to stop this buffer is to dump directly into the ocean. This will not only pollute the buffer, but transport toxins to places that cannot be reached otherwise.
In the seventh paragraph she continues with the transportation by going into the air transportation part. She evaluates the cause and effect of combustion and evaporation to make acid rain. The acid rain destroys very few lakes and living animals, so the pollution will stay in the lakes, oceans, and rivers. She then explains that since “the lower atmosphere can cleanse itself fairly easily, we must explode nuclear test bombs.” The effect of this is that the radiation will circle the earth for years and destroy the atmosphere. But gravity will bring pull some of the radioactive particles to earth. The only way to fight the slowly decreasing radiation is to continue to set off nuclear bombs.
Linnea Saukko’s essay is very effective. She uses persuasive and referential purposes to catch the reader’s attention, with sarcasm, and bring to attention the main methods to kill the planet. At first the essay seems to be aimed at promoting what will kill the planet, but later on it is informative on what we need to be aware of so that we do not kill the planet. The author provides more in depth ways of killing the planet, but for the most part Saukko makes a basic outline on how to prevent poisoning of the earth.