Tactics of distraction accusation

The CSM illustrates how true believers can rationalize – and marginalize – those whose views they do not understand. The opinion is War over the Arctic? Global warming skeptics distract us from security risks. The thesis is that anyone skeptical of AGW is distracted from national security issues.

The first claim asserted as authoritarian is that the Arctic ice is melting. Heubert is quoted to affirm that the Arctic has lost 40% of its icecap since 1995. “It is not a matter of if, but when, the ice will be gone,” he said. This particular conclusion is elevated from the opinion of a scientist to a matter of absolute fact. That is then extrapolated to arrive at the idea that “Expected melting of summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean means greatly expanded access to increasingly scarce fossil fuels. It also means tensions over Arctic real estate.”

Then there is the straw man: “Partially because of years of climate change denial, “the United States remains largely asleep at the wheel,” according to a Foreign Affairs article last March by Scott Borgerson.” This gets supported by assumptions about the character of the lay public:

“Most Americans have no clue the United States is an Arctic nation,” said US Coast Guard Rear Adm. Gene Brooks. Such ignorance carries a heavy price. Yet broader public ignorance about climate change is the goal of some skeptics and deniers. It wasn’t that long ago when cigarette manufacturers told Congress that nicotine wasn’t addictive, or when Detroit’s auto moguls insisted that seat belts were a bad idea. Responsible dissent is one thing. But defiance of facts on the ground that imperil US national and energy security is quite another. Says Brooks: “The age of the Arctic is upon us.”

i.e. if you don’t agree with me, you are stupid and ignorant. You have no clue as to reality. You are in denial and morally equivalent to other despicable groups of people who took ignorant viewpoints.

Just because you won’t get sold a bill of goods does not mean you are in denial. The fact of the matter is that the allegations of denial have more behaviors in consonance with projection than do their subject with irrational rejection of false claims.

The facts is that there is no evidence that the icecap is suffering anything other than nominal variation (and it has recovered its extent in recent years), Skepticism of alarmist claims is appropriate and necessary as a part of education of others and confirmation of ideas. It is entirely reasonable to express skepticism such as “you want me to believe what is a result of a one degree change in climate over my lifetime?” There is a proportionality problem here that is not being addressed.

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