As I sit down to write this column, one thing keeps coming to me over and over: “Now is the
time; now is the time.”
In the New Testament, the word used for this type of time is kairos. It means “right or
opportune moment.” It is contrasted with Chronos or chronological time as measured in
seconds, days, months, or years. In the New Testament kairos is usually associated with
decisive action that brings about deliverance or salvation.
The reason the phrase, “Now is the time” kept coming to me over and over is that I was
thinking of how to describe our current climate change moment.
The world has been plodding along in chronological time on the problem of climate
change since around 1988. No more.
Simply put: the problem of climate change has entered kairos time; its kairos moment
has arrived. How long will it endure? Until the time of decisive action to bring about
deliverance comes—or, more ominously, until the time when the opportunity for decisive
action has passed us by. Which will we choose? Because we do have a choice.
—Rev. Jim Ball, Ph.D., “It’s Kairos Time for Climate Change: Time to Act,” Creation Care: A
Christian Environmental Quarterly (Summer 2008), 28.
[Another action that Americans must take to combat global warming is to transition] to a clean-
energy economy in a just and equitable way. Global warming is among the greatest challenges
of our time but also presents extraordinary opportunities to harness home-grown clean energy
sources and encourage technological innovation. These bold shifts toward a clean energy future
can create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and generate billions of dollars in capital
investment. But to maximize these benefits across all sectors of our society,
comprehensive global warming legislation must auction emission allowances to polluters and
use these public assets for public benefit programs.
Such programs include financial assistance to help low and moderate-income
consumers and workers offset higher energy costs as well as programs that assist with
adaptation efforts in communities vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Revenue
generated from emissions allowances should also aid the expansion of renewable and efficient
energy technologies that quickly, cleanly, cheaply, and safely reduce our dependence on fossil
fuels and curb global warming. Lastly, it is vital that comprehensive global warming
legislation not preempt state authority to cut greenhouse gas emissions more aggressively than
mandated by federal legislation.
—Sierra Club, “Global Warming Policy Solutions,” 2008, http://www.sierraclub.org/
1. How do the strategies of persuasion differ in these two passages? Explain these
differences in terms of targeted audience, original genre, writer’s purpose, and
writer’s angle of vision.
2. How would you describe the relationship between logos and pathos in each text?
3. How would you describe the writer’s style in each?
4. How effective would either argument be for readers outside the intended audience?