Day By Day

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Climate Debate

Jerry Taylor has a nice post on the ongoing climate change debate over on the Corner [here]. He notes that defenders of the Gore position are far more prone than are critics to resort to non-pertinent or fallacious arguments.

His key point:
An argument’s merit has nothing to do with the motives of the arguer, the credentials of the arguer, or the popularity of the argument. Full stop. No exceptions.
Good point! But it, too, ignores the larger context within which environmental discourse takes place. The question of climate change is no longer one based on logic or scientific merits. It is part of the larger political debate in which rhetorical devices inappropriate to objective and logical discourse are acceptable. His argument makes sense only if we adhere to a model of scientific inquiry that sees it as isolated from the political realm. But that is not the case and probably never has been, and his article simply shows how completely environmental science, indeed all scientific inquiry, has been politicized.

There is nothing wrong with this -- it is merely being human.