Comment 130072

By MichaelNabert (registered) | Posted June 30, 2019 at 12:05:34

It is always instructive to observe the way that ideologues deal with intellectual concepts like the burden of proof. If something they wish to oppose is, for example, supported by research using real world examples of a thing which already works in dozens of places being sufficiently robust to win the most prestigious award for excellence and rigour in effective research that exists in the entire world, they feel totally confident either casually ignoring it or misrepresenting it completely out of hand. When it comes to their own position, however, they believe that it's more than sufficient to cite the opinion of a lone outlier, or take a single statement by some professional completely out of context to misframe it, in exactly the same way that the tobacco industry found that finding even a single doctor willing to deny the link between cigarettes and lung cancer was more than good enough for a legion of addicted smokers who really wanted to believe it to be true. (Anyone paying attention will note that not only have the same methods been used to deny the reality of climate change for years, but also by many of the same individuals who first got paid to do so for big tobacco.). So when PGFontana claims above to have "proven" that carbon pricing isn't the most effective tool we have thus far discovered to effectively reduce emissions with the least amount of harm to the economy, they are merely demonstrating that they really couldn't care the tiniest bit what "proof" means, they just want to cling to their ideologically driven position at all costs. So of course they have not in any way proven that carbon pricing doesn't work (it does) or that economists don't recommend it (they do) or their pet claim that it is something it very demonstrably is not (a "federal tax grab" that doesn't put a single dime into federal coffers at all in any way) and they very definitely have not in any way proven that any other tool is more effective at reducing emissions (full disclosure: we do indeed know of one thing that reduces emissions far more effectively than carbon pricing, and that is a severe recession or economic collapse, which is why the intellectually honest speakers on this topic clarify that carbon pricing is not the fastest way there but merely the fastest way there which involves the least amount of economic pain), but they don't really care about things like that. What they desperately want to do is lack-of-virtue signal in public about their tribal political identity.

Where this is the most obvious lies in the way that they invariably devolve into derision and name calling. A person with an argument they can support feels no need for insults, because they've got facts, logic, or evidence to back them up. This is not only evident in efforts to insult my intelligence (tone deaf indeed to the self evident premise that making declarative statements about people you don't know merely indicates that you aren't to be taken seriously) but even more painfully clear in the way that when a bystander like positive1 above asks a question like "can you give specific examples and back them up with some sort of evidence?"they instantly resort to insulting their intelligence merely for posing the question instead of offering a substantive response.

When someone uncorks that kind of derision even to casual strangers asking simple questions, it broadcasts that they clearly imagine that belligerence will somehow magically make a weak position stronger, that browbeating others will discourage us from challenging them knowing that abuse will follow. It merely indicates that even they know their reasoning is weak, and advertises that unlike the rest of us, their debating skills never improved after grade school. Not once ever in the entirety of human history has someone been convinced of the correctness of someone's position or been brought around to another way of thinking by beginning with derision and disrespect. They're not here to discuss anything like an adult, merely to flaunt the chip on their immature shoulder, and couldn't be more loudly telling us not to waste our time with them.

"When debate is lost, slander is the tool of the loser." - Socrates; we've understood this simple fact since at least 470 BC.

Comment edited by MichaelNabert on 2019-06-30 12:07:06

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