Fossil fuels empower the world that we live in. Everything from cars, heating for homes, and electricity use fossil fuels. However, fossil fuels are not a renewable source, and the crisis that we face as human beings is that it is running out. An alternative to fossil fuels is hydrogen fuel. The replacement of fossil fuels with hydrogen fuels has been debated for a long time. Some people believe that hydrogen fuel has great potential to replace fossil fuel, while others believe that it is something that may not be achievable at this time. Jeremy Rifkin, a social activist, wrote an article entitled, “Hydrogen: Empowering the People”. He believes that hydrogen fuel indeed has great potential and can also benefit society greatly. On the other hand, author Michael Behar believes that hydrogen fuel is actually barred by great financial, political, and technological obstacles in his article, “Warning: The Hydrogen Economy May Be More Distant That it Appears”. Both authors use different rhetoric styles to carry out their arguments. In this paper, I will attempt to analyze the rhetoric styles used by both these authors to support their arguments, and show how their arguments may be either strengthened or weakened by their styles.
The first point of view supports the use of hydrogen fuel. Social activist Jeremy Rifkin argues that fossil fuels present a problem because they are not replaceable and that hydrogen fuels could not only replace the different usages for fossil fuels, and also help shape the economy and society as a hole. He believes in hydrogen providing the possibility of “making energy available in every community of the world” (pg. 111) since it exists all over the planet. The second point of view opposes the usage of hydrogen fuels. Michael Behar argues that hydrogen economy isn’t exactly as it seems. He argues that there are many obstacles that prevent hydrogen fuel from becoming a suitable alternative to fossil fuels. He argues that hydrogen fuel isn’t exactly available in large quantities. He says that the hydrogen atoms are “bound up in molecules with other elements, and we must expend energy to extract the hydrogen so it can be used in fuel cells.” (pg. 112) He also argues that hydrogen won’t necessarily end global warming, and has many technological barriers that still exist.
Jeremy Rifkin’s arguments focus on the societal benefits of using hydrogen fuel cells. He argues that hydrogen fuels are renewable and an absolute effective and long-term viability of a new energy source. Hydrogen does not omit CO2, which is the main concern of fossil fuels. The CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels greatly harms the environment. In terms of the society, his arguments that it would benefit from the usage of hydrogen comes from an idea that hydrogen fuel could enable a decentralization of energy. He believes that by doing so, communities would “be able to produce many of their own goods and services and consume the fruits of their own labor locally.” (pg. 110)
Michael Behar’s arguments surround the idea that hydrogen fuel would actually not be appropriate within the near future. His arguments surround the idea that technology, finances, and politics all play parts in restricting the advancement of hydrogen fuel. He argues that although hydrogen does not produce the harmful CO2 that fossil fuels do, but the early stages of the hydrogen economy would still be running on fossil fuels. This creates an ironic argument against people who believe that hydrogen cars would actually decrease pollution. He also presents many facts that support the fact that hydrogen cannot actually run on renewable energy. He believes that the amount of renewable energy required to produce the hydrogen demanded would