British green-business blogger James S Murray discusses the nature of argument with stubborn “sceptics”, suggests a taxonomy of possible responses discusses why none of them is really adequate, and urges businesses in particular to engage just the same:
writing about climate scepticism is a singularly depressing experience, simultaneously frustrating, futile, coarsening, and, worst of all, staggeringly boring. Frustrating, because you find yourself engaging with a school of thought that refuses to subscribe to normal rules of rational argument, has no qualms about embracing staggering illogical inconsistencies, and is committed to the use of discredited evidence to advance its cause. Futile, because you are arguing with a fundamentalist world view that will simply not correct its inherent flaws no matter how compelling the contrary evidence it is presented with. Coarsening, because with two sides of the climate “debate” that refuse to budge it inevitably leads to a degree of incivility on both sides; I have been accused of corruption, immorality, and, on one memorable occasion, treason for supporting climate science, and equally, whenever you engage with climate scepticism it is hard not to reveal that you regard your opponents as either intellectually or ethically bankrupt.
But worse than all of that, is the sheer boredom. Almost every discussion between environmentalists and climate sceptics follows a remarkably predictable and circuitous path that proceeds in ever decreasing circles until someone (usually me) gets bored and walks away.
The problem is that, like it or not (and in case you haven’t guessed, I categorically do not) engagement with climate sceptic arguments is once again being forced upon environmentalists and green businesses.
In a follow-up article he suggests that “if you really cannot find compelling evidence that climate change is a serious problem … you are not looking very hard.”
All very well-written, cogent, and worthy of your attention. Unfortunately it’s entitled James’ Non-Empty Blog, though, so Dr. Annan ought to sue. Anyway a new subscription for me, and a big hat tip to How Zow.