More Struggles with Climate Hypocrisy

I have struggled for some time with the idea that we need to be perfect to advocate change. This idea often comes up when we talk about the need for climate action.  Often, the discussion degrades rapidly into accusations of hypocrisy.

Folks demand:

"If you drive a car, or heat your house, or use synthetic fabrics, or any other technology, then you are a hypocrite and do not have the right to to advocate for climate action."

It is easy to take the emotional bait. We feel guilty, try to justify ourselves, and regain our composure, usually by trying to convince the other guy that we have the moral credentials to make our case.

The whole business is a sham. When we take the bait, the topic changes. We are no longer discussing climate change. Rather, we are talking about ourselves. The topic becomes about me. The whole debate goes off the rails, and there is no further discussion. This is the point, I think.

More Posts by Joel

Additional Sleazy Climate Tactics - 2-Sided Black and White Arguments

Further Sleazy Climate Tactics – 2-Sided Black and White Arguments

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. 

...
Read More
Yet 1 More Sneaky Climate Tactic - Cherry Picking

Yet 1 More Sneaky Climate Tactic – Cherry Picking

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.

...
Read More
Abusing the Person - The Number 1 Lazy Climate Change Tactic

Abusing the Person – The Number 1 Lazy Climate Change Tactic

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.

...
Read More

About the Author

More Struggles with Climate Hypocrisy 4

Joel Nodelman

President & CEO

Joel is an engineer and risk management specialist with over forty years of professional practice. He is committed to helping his clients achieve climate resiliency and sustainability.

>
Scroll to Top