Re: [asa] Carbon Offsets for the Elite (or, How the Wealthy Adapt to Warming)

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Sun Mar 04 2007 - 00:15:41 EST

On Mar 3, 2007, at 8:34 PM, David Opderbeck wrote:

> An argument is ad hominem if it attacks the person presenting the
> argument rather than the argument itself.
> But the argument being attacked isn't global warming qua global
> warming, it's Gore's argument that governments should take
> immediate and drastic action that is being attacked. In that
> regard, Gore's energy usage, and the manner in which he purportedly
> offsets it, is directly relevant. I think it illustrates quite
> nicely the price elasticity of demand problem relating to carbon
> trading schemes -- which none of the "ad hominem" tut-tutters here
> have tried to address.

Wrong. Dead Wrong. The WSJ Editorial board have been using this as an
excuse for years. I'll take some of these choice quotes showing that
they using this ad hominem as cover for their denialism:

> Since that Byrd-Hagel vote eight years ago, the case for linking
> fossil fuels to global warming has, if anything, become even more
> doubtful.
> The Earth currently does seem to be in a warming period, though how
> warm and for how long no one knows.

> In particular, no one knows whether this is unusual or merely
> something that happens periodically for natural reasons.
> Most global warming alarms are based on computer simulations that
> are largely speculative and depend on a multitude of debatable
> assumptions.
> Then there's the famous "hockey stick" data from American
> geoscientist Michael Mann. Prior to publication of Mr. Mann's data
> in 1998, all climate scientists accepted that the Earth had
> undergone large temperature variations within recorded human history.
> This included a Medieval warm period when the Vikings farmed
> Greenland and a "little ice age" more recently when the Thames
> River often froze solid.
> Seen in that perspective, the slight warming believed to have
> occurred in the past century could well be no more than a natural
> rebound, especially since most of that warming occurred before 1940.
Janice may buy this crap, but we both know that this is utter bilge,
right? You also know that all of us don't even quote Gore because we
have ready access to the original research. We don't need Gore as a
filter. That's why Gore is not relevant because if we could get
everybody to not be in a state of denial then we could move onto the
policy debate. The WSJ editorial board, however, uses this as an
excuse to support particular policies. In the end, the ad hominem is
merely one of the many logical fallacies racked up by this group.

Note also the ad hominems against evangelical leaders where Dobson et
al tell the NAE leadership that they should resign because they want
to solve the global warming problem for the poor and by doing so they
obviously don't represent evangelicals.

> They acknowledge in the letter that none of their groups belong to
> the National Association of Evangelicals, a broad coalition that
> represents 30 million Christians in hundreds of denominations,
> organizations and academic institutions. But, they say, if Mr.
> Cizik “cannot be trusted to articulate the views of American
> evangelicals,” then he should be encouraged to resign.
> According to an Ellison poll of evangelicals last year:
> 95 percent of evangelical respondents agreed that "God gave us
> dominion over His creation, so we have a responsibility to care for
> it."
> 84 percent of evangelicals agreed that reducing pollution is a form
> of obedience to the biblical command to love your neighbor.
> 92 percent agreed that "in the long run, it will be cheaper to
> protect the environment now than to fix it later."
> 95 percent agreed that "a healthy environment helps to keep your
> family healthy."
> 51 percent said the U.S. should take steps to address global
> warming, even if there is a high economic cost.

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Received on Sun Mar 4 00:16:22 2007

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