Comment Of The Day: “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/7/2020 [Item #2, Climate Change Hype]”

Just to prove that an Ethics Alarms Comment of the Day need not be a magnum opus, here is Humble Talent’s concise, trenchant, tough COTD on the climate change segment of the post, “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/7/2020: Oh, Great, A Red Sox Ethics Scandal”:

It’s not just climate change. Progressives are really bad at defining their terms and holding their own to a reasonable, consistent interpretation. So labels that describe a thing in reality, and might to an extent have a point (see: climate change or corporatism), are almost immediately gobbled up by a population interested in pidgeonholing those theories into personal narratives, no matter how different their narrative is from the actual intent of the label. And then, out of the myriad of misunderstandings of their own damn terms, these labels grow into monolithic, all encompassing, god of the gaps theories that end up being unfalsifiable because you can’t even pin down what it is you’re trying to falsify.

Worse, they have a healthy tradition of labeling things in the most bombastic way possible, almost designed to foster those misunderstandings (see: toxic masculinity, privilege theory). The answer to questions about patriarchy is the patriarchy, the answer to questions about communism is communism, the answers to questions about racial issues is racism, and anyone who disagrees with the current iteration of their catechisms is a heretical racist, sexist, xenophobic, etc. etc. etc.

The very worst part about this, in my opinion, is that these adherents will claim that the people who disagree with them are somehow rejecting science, having wrapped themselves in the armor of disbelief, armed with terms they only tenuously understand, not terribly wanting to be confused by facts.


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7 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/7/2020 [Item #2, Climate Change Hype]”

  1. The biggest one for climate change is Argument from Authority (correlation-causation is a big one too).

    The basic argument is: there is a consensus on the part of scientists that climate change is man-made. That is an argument from authority.

    But, what is interesting is that they have warped it slightly to be an Appeal to IMPROPER Authority.

    What this allows them to do is commit the fallacy while claiming not to. Saying 97% of climate scientists agree about global warming so it is true is fallacious reasoning. But,in their view, because climate scientists are authorities on the science, they must be believed (or you are anti-science).

    But, whether the scientists are right does not make fallacious reasoning “valid” (i.e. non-fallacious). It is still fallacious reasoning.

    It is fallacious to say that relativity theory is true because Einstein said so. Einstein had no such luxury; he actually had to do the math; had he simply said, “relativity is true because I said so,” he would have been much less persuasive (even if he was correct).

    However, just because THEY choose to rely on the authority of those scientists (and let’s face it: we all have to rely on people for their expertise from time to time–but it is a decision we can make in whatever way we choose) does not mean I have to.


    • “97% of climate scientists” sounds like 9 in 10 dentists to me… Who are the people they’re talking to? But more than that, what are they actually saying? If the claim is that 97% of climate scientists said they believe that Earth’s climate is changing, and part of that change is anthrogenic (caused by people), then sure.

      I mean, It’s fairly obvious that people can have huge effects on the planet; take the ozone layer, for instance. Probably haven’t heard much about it lately, have you? That’s because it’s basically back to the density it was before people understood that it was depleting. Some of the chemicals in hairspray and that bubbly type of styrofoam were the culprits, there was a global ban on the use of those chemicals, and now ten years later, the crisis is a footnote in history.

      But what no one can seem to agree on is how much effect we have on the planet, what the outcomes of emissions are, or what the best plans are to deal with the issue. Hell, we can’t even get people to agree that there is an issue. You start asking a question more discrete than “Is climate change anthrogenic?” and all of a sudden that 97% starts to whittle away.

      Does anyone *really* believe that if we don’t do something immediately, humanity will cease to exist in 10 years? Climatologists haven’t been able to make an accurate 5 year forecast yet, and we’ve been given countless deadlines, blown past them all, and still exist. Our mere existence is proof that the climate lobby has a massive credibility problem, and we’re supposed to capitulate to them because they say we have to?

      Yeah. I’ll get right on that.

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