Evaluating the authors arguments

The author of this viewpoint is Greenpeace, an environmental activist organization. Does knowing this background influence your opinion of the author's argument? If so, in what way?

"There is no scientific evidence to show that the [plastic] bags pose any direct threat to marine mammals.

The Threat of Ocean Garbage Has Been Exaggerated

Alexi Mostrous

In the following viewpoint author Alexi Mostrous argues that the threat of ocean garbage has been exaggerated. Specifically, he claims that plastic bags are not a threat to marine animals as some environmentalists have claimed. Mostrous contends that plastic bags in the ocean have become demon-ized as a result of environmentalist efforts to exaggerate their threat and of officials who have misinterpreted several key studies on marine debris. In reality, says Mostrous, plastic bags rarely cause the entanglement of animals and almost never cause their death. For these reasons, Mostrous concludes that plastic bags pose a minimal threat to the marine environment and that banning them will only create hardship for consumers.

Mostrous writes regularly for the London Times, from which this viewpoint is taken.

Alexi Mostrous, "Series of Blunders Turned the Plastic Bag into Global Villain," Times (London), March 8, 2008. Reproduced by permission.

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