The thing about sports, love them or hate them, is they create challenges for the athletes, who work very hard to play the game. They face equally determined opponents, and someone has to win.
It occurred to me that in our climate change work we face similar challenges. The better prepared team, the team with more desire, and the team with a few lucky bounces, will win the day. I have no intention of trivializing our climate challenge. But, if we are to make real change we need to accept that this is a big challenge, we have opponents, and will need all of our preparation, wit, will, and a bit of luck to win the day.
More Posts by Joel
Today, one of my pet peeves, the sleazy black and white climate argument.
I see this all the time, in political discussion, on social media, or simply dealing with folks every day. It is so common, we just often blind to it, and so fall into its trap.
In academic circles we call this the “false dilemma” or “False dichotomy”. But, these are just fancy ways of saying that the argument incorrectly demands that we accept there are only two sides to any issue. If you accept one, you reject the other. Most times, this is simply false.
As the heat builds up in the climate dialogue, I see this more and more often, even from very knowledgeable and otherwise trustworthy folks....
Cherry picking data is a sneaky climate tactic, that we often see during a period of normal weather that seems to go against the trend. Often, powerful folks use this technique like politicians, media pundits, or influencers on our social networks.
It usually spawns a barrage of memes and re-posts across social media. Folks jump on the bandwagon. There is a ton of noise.
I find this climate tactic more frustrating than most of the others. It misrepresents Global Warming entirely. It is wrong on so many levels that climate change specialists are left speechless because we don’t even know where to begin. So, often, it goes unchallenged....
Today I start my series on bad climate arguments with the number 1 lazy climate change tactic, the personal attack, also known as the ad hominem argument.
In the world of applied science, we use the word “argument” to mean a logical reasoning process, based on evidence that leads to a conclusion.
This differs from the emotional conflict of a quarrel. Emotions have very little to do it. We are looking for evidence to support a conclusion, and based on that conclusion, an action plan founded on concrete data and rigorous science....
About the Author
President & CEO
Joel is an engineer and risk management specialist with over forty years of professional practice.