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

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Sun Mar 04 2007 - 07:28:57 EST

Tut-tut again David. The fact that the wealthy can, ceteris paribus, cope better with a response to global warming is hardly a big surprise & is not an argument against such a response. The fact that your argument is in fact ad hominem is shown by the simple fact that you focussed on Al Gore. If it had been about the heated pool of Joe Schmoe it would have little impact.

But instead of concentrating on the weaknesses of Gore's proposals, why not come up with some of your own? The 3d line of defense of global warming deniers - after having admitted that warming is real & is in significant part caused by human beings - now seems to be that it costs too much to do anything about it.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: David Opderbeck
  To: George Murphy
  Cc: ASA list
  Sent: Saturday, March 03, 2007 10:34 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Carbon Offsets for the Elite (or, How the Wealthy Adapt to Warming)

  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.

  It also illustrates quite nicely that many of the people advocating severe, immediate regulatory action have no clue about the financial struggles of ordinary people. Al Gore and Leo DiCaprio won't feel the sting of whatever policy gets adopted -- they'll be sipping daquiris at heated poolside while us regular Joes try to figure out how to pay our electric bills or commute to work. That also is very relevant to the policy question.

  Finally, I disagree in principle that it's improper ad hominem to question the motives of a public figure. If Al Gore is a hypocrite when it comes to energy use, that goes to the overall credibility of his message.

  On 3/3/07, George Murphy <> wrote:
> You don't have to call a person names to do that & in fact everything you say can be true, but it's still a dodge. The facts about Al Gore's swimming pool have nothing to do with the questions of whether or not the earth is warming, whether or not if it is it's anthropogenic, & what should be done about it.
> Shalom
> George
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: David Opderbeck
> To: PvM
> Cc: asa
> Sent: Saturday, March 03, 2007 8:12 PM
> Subject: Re: [asa] Carbon Offsets for the Elite (or, How the Wealthy Adapt to Warming)
> Where's the ad hominem? Nobody's calling him names. The facts are the facts.
> On 3/3/07, PvM <> wrote:
> > I find it somewhat disturbing that when Al Gore receives an award for
> > his groundbreaking work, suddenly these ad hominem attacks appear out
> > of nowhere to try to undermine Al Gore's work. Swift-boating all over
> > again and since there is not much argument against the science of
> > global warming, the obvious course of action seems to be to attack the
> > messenger.
> >
> > Thus right wing news papers and other outlets are quick to accuse Gore
> > of being a hypocrite.
> >
> > I guess when faced with the inconvenient truth, some are quick to
> > attack, at all cost.
> >
> > May God have Mercy on them, for they do not know better
> >
> > To unsubscribe, send a message to with
> > "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
> >


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Received on Sun Mar 4 07:30:01 2007

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