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Why going green isn't such a terrible idea





LittleBlackKitten
This guy makes a good argument. I can't really argue with him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zORv8wwiadQ&feature=related
Bikerman
It's pretty easy to destroy the argument.
The first criticism is that taking the 'extreme' case is a false starting point. For any action you can find an extreme view which will predict the end of the world. By allowing that extreme you immediately bias the later comparison.

The argument basically identifies a dichotomy where one option can never be acceptable - after all how could you possibly choose the column with ultimate doom in it, no matter how remote the possibility. That forces the choice. It is a false dichotomy for several reasons:
a) There is no universal 'plan' represented by the notion of 'action'; 'action' is somewhere on a continuum from doing nothing to reduce carbon emissions, to spending the entire Global product on the problem. We are already a way along that continuum. The author would say that is not enough, but what is enough? Is it a binary choice where crossing a certain threshold changes non-action into 'action'? I don't think that can be sustained.
b) It assumes that the comparison is between two possible states - doomsday and smiley face. What about slightly-frownie face? Or sort of half-smiley face? At what point does acceptable become unacceptable?
c) It assumes that tackling climate change can only have a financially bad effect (that bias really comes in now). But surely the consequences could be worse? Remember he's prepared to accept an extreme in choice of 'doomsday' so the same should be true here. I can envisage many situations in which controlling climate change could lead to world war....

That's my take from a quick viewing.....
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