[extropy-chat] The great global warming swindle

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Fri Apr 6 00:36:52 UTC 2007

On 4/5/07, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <sentience at pobox.com> wrote:
> Rafal Smigrodzki wrote:
> > On 4/5/07, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>In the context of the "climate swindle" allegation, this is about as
> >>relevant as dismissing the claims of an astronomer who reports
> >>evidence that a killer asteroid is heading our way by pointing out
> >>that she holidays each year in the Swiss Alps and wears fuck-me shoes.
> >
> > ### Well, I see Mr Gore as another evangelist, thumping his green book
> > against the pulpit, invoking fire and brimstone (or rather, high AC
> > bills) to bring us sinners to the path of righteous self-denial.
> >
> > I find it is quite relevant to bring such personal, moral arguments to
> > bear here, since it is a moral, not a scientific discussion.
> But Rafal, that fails even as a moral argument.  Logical fallacy of ad
> hominem tu quoque.  Just because someone is a hypocrite doesn't mean
> they're wrong.
### I would be guilty of ad hominem tu quoque if I were arguing that
Mr Gore's pronouncements about facts were untrue because he behaves as
if they were untrue ("He is burning electricity as if it didn't matter
for the climate, so maybe it really doesn't matter for the climate!").
That is not what I do. I know that the more electricity you use, the
more impact you may have on the climate.

In highlighting his hypocrisy I take issue with Mr Gore when he makes
moral statements, or prescribes courses of action based on some moral
standard ("we Americans should", "we must", "we must not"). Now, a
hypocrite could make moral claims that I could see as valid, if the
hypocrite was using my own moral system to generate them. In that case
his hypocrisy would not matter, since all statements are made in the
same moral system.

What Mr Gore does is however different - he aims to spread moral
notions that, if adopted, would result in great material harm to me
and almost everybody else, forcing a much lower standard of living. He
personally would benefit, as one of the leaders of statist
environmentalism. Yet by living an energy-profligate life he would
avoid the harm his ideas inflict on others.

In this context, in a clash of competing moral notions, pointing out
hypocrisy is a valid argument. The preachers of communism spouted
about equality, while elevating themselves above others. The preachers
of the Roman church preached self-denial, while wallowing in avarice.
The preachers of environmentalism also preach self-denial, but only to

A loathing for hypocrisy brought about the Reformation, and the fall
of communism. May environmentalism follow this path.


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