Tactics for comparison and contrast

One of the more obvious clues that can be used to determine a skepticism level is in the tactics of debate. Real Climate has a good example in Climate Cover-Up: A (Brief) Review. A first consideration, of course, is to decide what ‘quality’ is in such debates. Literacy Education Online provides information that might be useful in its Logical Fallacies page. Stephen’s Guide suggests that “The point of an argument is to give reasons in support of some conclusion. An argument commits a fallacy when the reasons offered do not support the conclusion.” A pictorial taxonomy of logical fallacies might also be useful.

Keys to look for are appeals to emotion, a dependence upon the ‘who’ rather than the ‘what,’ and a focus that confuses the issues at hand. The title of the Real Climate post starts with an emotion appeal regarding secret information and conspiracies. The initial paragraph lists many perpetrators and provides misdirection in the form of asserting “attacks against climate change science.” It then assumes that there is are “disinformation efforts” by “front groups.”

As a contrast, take a look at some of the more popular blogs and resources that are subject to condemnation in this post. They are much less about “disinformation campaigns” and labels but rather about studies and research and findings. They don’t take the approach of “climate wars” that have to be won but rather an approach of integrity to reality with an appropriate regard to what we know and how we know it.

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