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Mark Stringer's Blog

I've just realised...

What it is that's so annoying about people like George Monbiot and other people who are baying that the sky is falling down, the world is about to end and other dire predictions related to climate change. It isn't that their science is bad. There seems to be a good likelihood that their science is good.

That's not the problem. The problem is that their political and ethical thinking are utterly naive. They don't seem to have much in their locker tactically other than calling people who disagree with them nasty names. Recently George Monbiot implied that people disagreed with him because they have older brains and are near death (huh?). He compared the Canadian attitude to climate change to the Japanese attitude to whaling (if you disagree with me it's a bit like you kill cute whales). Would it be wrong to point out that both Canada and Japan are democracies? And I think very unfairly, Monbiot persistently calls people who disagree with him "climate change deniers" (I'm not the only one who thinks this is trying to imply that they are a bit like holocaust deniers).

Monbiot claims to be concerned for our climate and want us to change our behaviour as a result. He thinks that having the "truth" on his side should be enough and when it isn't, he doesn't have much else to offer except name calling. The people we should perhaps call Climate Change Acceptors especially try to glide over the "is-ought" problem. With this really bad argument "This really bad thing is going to happen, so you have to do what I say." But what if I don't want to? What if I need my car for work? What if the name calling doesn't work.

For people who's arguments are supposed to be base on fact, this is just really dumb. They're supposed to be the empiricists? Perhaps they should collect some data from the world? Who is controlling it? People who are telling the truth or people who have taken the trouble to understand the messy business of persuading people of your point of view.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009 at

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