Global Warming Follies

Climate change and slavery: apples and oranges

Posted in Follies by tjgavin on February 27, 2008

This pearl of a story comes courtesy The premise is that “defending the institution of slavery and climate change denialism” have a “moral equivalence.” I guess some dude wrote some paper with an academic-sounding title that compares the justifications of anti-abolitionists to global warming “deniers”.

When you consider, for example, the commonly heard argument that abolition of slavery would cripple the economy of the South, it does sound an awful lot like the contention that a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system would be a death blow to the modern U.S. economy. And in both cases, what we are really talking about are energy inputs: whether in the form of “free” labor through slavery, or by burning fossil fuels.

I like how thin that line of twine that connects those two concepts is. The underlying argument, hidden in a smokescreen of false analogy, is that those who would dare question global warming are as demonic as those who supported slavery. Rather than make a cogent argument the author resorts to the “Well you’re a Nazi!” and “So’s your old man” method of proving his point. It means nothing, except what it says about the speaker.

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