Are Urban Trees really worth it?- a question that many city dwellers would answer no because trees have become “dangerous liability ” after hurricanes and storms. Yet, Scott Steen has a different answer. In his article “Are Urban Trees Worth It,” he contends that urban trees are valuable assets to city life because they are “an investment that increases in value throughout their lifetime.” After reading the article, most readers would endorse the view offered by Steen who not only writes a persuasive argument but also demonstrates outstanding writing skills by applying a series of evidence, appeals to emotions and a coherent structure.
A cogent argument cannot stand alone without the underpinning evidence, a fact clearly understood by Steen who spares no efforts throwing a wide range of evidence to the audience. “It’s estimated that a single tree provides $57,000 in economic and environmental benefits,” Steen cites a concrete number, reminding his audience that their economic and physical well-beings are closely related to urban trees. This objective number helps Steen to convey his message in an unbiased way. Once readers become aware of the benefits of trees, their previous doubts would be dispersed and trust would be established between them and Steen. Not only does Steen use numbers to show the economic benefits of trees, but he also does so to indicate how the sense of safety is connected with trees. He mentions “public housing buildings surrounded by trees” suffer less from crimes and violence, suggesting that urban trees can bring about safety and happiness. This essential fact would certainly elicit reflections from audience who care about the safety of their families. Once they can associate urban trees with a happier and safer life, they would be easily swayed to stand by Steen.
Evidence alone can’t account for a perfect essay, but backed up by appeal to emotions, the argument is made more compelling by Steen. “…in neighborhoods with street trees, there is a lower prevalence of early childhood asthma,” a powerful assertion that strikes the emotional chord of audience who are parents as it suggests urban tress can lead to a healthier childhood. Out of human nature that parents always care about the younger generation, audience cannot ignore the possibilities that their kids would enjoy a life without the threats of common diseases just because of urban trees. This simple sentence succeeds in stirring their emotions and sways them to see as Steen sees. (This is an original work by Laozheng. Please do not repost without permission)
Steen’s argument also has a logic and persuasive structure, making his points clearer and readable. Steen begins his article with an allusion to the attitude towards trees that has changed in recent years, engaging audience who would naturally examine their own attitudes. Then Steen poses the question, “are urban trees worth the risk they pose ..?” forcing audience to confront themselves with a dilemma. After that, Steen tries to show his audience that the reason why tress can pose a danger cannot be attributed to urban trees themselves but to “Urban environments” which are “tough on trees,” implying to audience that their hatred towards trees is groundless. Next, he points out that trees are actually valuable “green infrastructure” that “increases in value,” demonstrating to audience that rather than a risk, urban trees can add to their general well-being before he cites a variety of sources to substantiate his position. By now, audience would begin to budge and want to read on to see how the author will be justified. At the end of this article, Steen provides advice to better the environment and neighborhoods by showing how city governments can get involved, injecting the whole article an optimistic tone and showing audience that a better future is within reach if urban trees are cherished. Finally, he ends the article with a concise yet powerful sentence “well, we can’t live without them,” answering the question in the title with conviction and reemphasizing the value of trees.
The intermarriage between strong evidence, emotional appeals and a well-organized structure helps the author Steen set the stage for his success in convincing his audience. Despite the depth of the issue and the misconception of the majority, Steen pushes his idea through smoothly so that people can realize the value of urban trees.
城市树木真的值得吗–这个问题，很多城市居民都会回答 “不”，因为在飓风和风暴过后，树木已经成为 “危险的负担”。然而，Scott Steen却有不同的答案。他在《城市树木值得吗》一文中认为，城市树木是城市生活的宝贵财富，因为它们是 “一种在其一生中都会增值的投资”。 读完文章后，大多数读者都会认可斯泰恩提出的观点，他不仅写出了具有说服力的论点，而且运用一系列的证据、情感的诉求和连贯的结构，展现了出色的写作技巧。
一个有说服力的论点如果没有支撑性的证据，是无法独立存在的，斯蒂恩清楚地明白这个事实，他不遗余力地将各种证据抛给观众。”据估计，一棵树可以提供5.7万美元的经济效益和环境效益。”斯蒂恩列举了一个具体数字，提醒听众，他们的经济和身体健康与城市树木息息相关。这个客观的数字有助于斯蒂恩以不偏不倚的方式传达他的信息。一旦读者意识到树木的好处，他们之前的疑虑就会被打消，并在他们和斯蒂恩之间建立起信任。斯蒂恩不仅用数字来说明树木的经济效益，而且还说明安全感与树木的关系。他提到 “被树木包围的公共住房建筑 “较少遭受犯罪和暴力，说明城市树木可以带来安全和幸福。这个基本事实一定会引起关心家人安全的观众的反思。一旦他们能把城市树木与更幸福、更安全的生活联系在一起，他们就会很容易被动地站在史丹身边。
斯蒂恩的论点也有逻辑性和说服力的结构，使他的观点更加清晰可读。Steen在文章开头就暗示了近年来对树木的态度发生了变化，吸引受众自然会审视自己的态度。然后，Steen提出了一个问题：”城市树木是否值得它们所带来的风险……？”迫使观众面对一个两难的问题。之后，斯泰恩试图向听众表明，树木之所以会造成危险，不能归咎于城市树木本身，而是归咎于 “对树木很苛刻 “的 “城市环境”，暗示听众对树木的仇恨是毫无根据的。接下来，他指出，树木其实是有价值的 “绿色基础设施”，可以 “增值”，向听众证明城市树木不是风险，而是可以增加他们的总体福祉，然后他引用了各种资料来证明自己的立场。到了现在，观众就会开始动心，想继续读下去，看看笔者会如何辩解。在文章的最后，Steen通过展示城市政府如何参与其中，为改善环境和街区提供了建议，为整篇文章注入了乐观的基调，并向受众展示了只要珍惜城市树木，美好的未来就在眼前。最后，他用一句简洁而有力的话 “好吧，我们不能没有它们 “作为文章的结尾，信誓旦旦地回答了题目中的问题，再次强调了树木的价值。