“Traffic Peaker” vs “Polar Cap Melter”?

Vancouver Traffic Peaker (July 19:44 Sports Page)

Downtown Vancouver “Traffic Peaker” Ad. Vancouver News-Herald. Sports page. July 19, 1944.

This 1940s ad, which I’m assuming was a production of the City of Vancouver, makes use of all three of the classical rhetorical appeals. There is ethos in the use of statistics, figures, and a chart to persuade the audience that the persuader is credible. Pathos is applied by attempting to make the audience feel emotions (guilt, primarily). And logos is used to persuade the audience by presenting an argument which the persuader hopes will be seen as logical.

It would seem that there has been little improvement in downtown congestion between the 1940s and the 20-teens.* What sorts of rhetorical appeals are used today in the ‘battle’ to reduce automobile congestion? The same ones as were implemented in the ’40s, as far as I can tell. Only today, the appeal to pathos seems to be in the guise of guilt over contributions to global warming, rather than guilt over slowing down your neighbours’ trips home at rush hour.


*But there appears today to be at least a willingness, on the part of many Vancouver residents, to support alternatives to automobile traffic into downtown (the growing popularity of mass transit Skytrain options, for instance, and bicycles). This is in contrast with the apparent situation in the 1940s. The ad assumes that the automobile is the only viable means of getting into downtown. And this in a decade when streetcars were still an option (albeit, for a very few years more).

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