“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” - Often attributed to Plato but likely from Ian McLaren (pseudonym of Reverend John Watson)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

How to conduct a poll

Current Poll
» Will humans continue to be responsible with the resources of the Earth when the AGW Climate Change theory has been disproved?

 I will continue to be responsible with the resources of the Earth.
 It would make no difference to the Earths resources if we did not recycle household waste.
 I'm confused and only recycle to save the world from "Man Made Climate Change."

I am FAR from an expert on climate or on climate change, anthropogenic global warming, human caused climate disruption, etc. I read frequently about it at a dilettante level and have several climate related blogs in my blog roll. I read a fair amount of "skeptical" material as well as that of those who support the mainstream consensus of the scientific community at large that CO2 emissions are causing climate disruption and will continue to do so with increasingly negative consequences without dramatic societal changes.

In the former (skeptical) category I was reading a blog called Climate Realists  which seems to represent itself as both a clearinghouse of skeptical climate information as well as a venue for semi-scholarly discussion. I won't express an opinion on the level of scholarship, but in the sidebar, I found the so-called "poll" copied above. In terms of the concentration of hidden assumptions and logical fallacies, it seems to be nearly unique. In fact, it can only be intentionally so.

  • "Will humans continue to be responsible with the resources of the Earth..." This ludicrously implies that humans are doing so now.
  • "When AGW Climate Change Theory has been disproved." Really?
  • The first two selections are not mutually exclusive and, together, seem to imply that being responsible with the resources of the Earth consists of recycling 
  • The third selection makes at least two gratuitously insulting implications: that accepting the consensus position of mainstream science on the effects of CO2 emissions indicates confusion and that people who take this position believe that recycling will "save the world."
Now I'm sure that the owner of the blog is aware of these things and I imagine he or she would say "it's meant to be tongue in cheek" but is this really a good way to advance the dialog? But then, I suppose that isn't their aim.

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