In this video I share basic thoughts about risk, safety, and climate. Last week I promised to share some observations about COVID-19 and climate change.
Posts by Joel Nodelman
Today I want to share four observations about crisis, response and recovery. It has be a surreal couple of weeks. Before this, if you had told me we could essentially shut down the world in under a week, I would have laughed at the idea. But that just happened. It’s like a Tom Clancy novel just became reality.
In this video I reflect on moving the goalposts in climate argument, or, as I have learned, one sure way to get nowhere fast.
This pops up everywhere, in our relationships, at work, and in politics. So, it should come as no surprise when we see it in climate discussions.
Moving the goalposts happens when somebody changes the conditions of an argument to avoid being wrong.
Today, I look at the slippery slope in climate argument. Or, as the champion of the argument would have it …
“We are only three easy steps from Armageddon!”
The slippery slope asks us to believe that an action will cause a series of unavoidable events ending with something terrible. If the last step is awful, we shouldn’t take the first step.
Today, I want to share some thoughts about false balance in climate argument, also known as false equivalence. This is the belief that there are two equal sides to every issue. Both sides are valid and must be given an equal voice. While this may be true when things are a matter of opinion, it is not always the case. We need to understand the difference.
We see this in climate argument when opinion is treated the same as scientific evidence. This is just wrong.
Today, I want to revisit a topic I covered in a recent video, appealing to hypocrisy in climate argument. I talked about this late last year, at the height of the social media firestorm around Greta Thunberg. The tactic is so common though; I think it warrants another look. It is a form of attacking the person — the ad hominem argument. But, it is a special case, and one we see a lot in climate work. It’s tinged with smugness, shared on social media, and supported by scads of attaboy messages and re-shares. In fact, it’s a circus!
Several weeks ago one of my Facebook friends shared a post that slammed electric cars. The post struck a chord with me because of its negativity and its blatant appeal to an irrelevant expert. Here, the expert was both unnamed, and if he even existed, wrong.
This is an example of a common tactic folks often use when they discuss climate change. Sometimes, as in my friend’s post, the expert is anonymous. Other times, the expert may be a famous actor, a Ph.D. in an unrelated field, or worst of all, the self-proclaimed expert – you know, the guy with a bias and a blog.