The Philosophical Environmentalist

by rsbakker

Daily Aphorism: Leave metaphysics to the philosophers. Some things are so stupid you need highly trained specialists to make them sound smart.

A couple of nights back I watched yet another environmentalist get their rhetorical ass handed to them by a pseudo-academic right wing thinktank type. The American Enterprise Institute guy began with a superficially appealing false dilemma, then dove into another nice sounding fallacy of equivocation, with some guilt by association thrown in for good measure. The environmentalist called him on none of it. My wife suggested it was the interviewing journalist who should have jumped in, but since they like to pretend to be photographers – the invisible viewpoint behind the frame – I don’t expect much from them. They too invested in their phony self-images too actually consider the possibility that they are regularly manipulated. How can you manipulate someone who is invisible?

For quite some time I’ve been worried by how much better prepared right wing pro-industry advocates. This morning I happen to bump into a couple of environmental advocates at the coffee shop, and after discussing this problem, I decided that I’m going to actually try to DO something – for a change.

The idea is to collect right-wing arguments, cull them for patterns, then put together a little rhetorical manual for environmentalists. The tentative title will be The Philosophical Environmentalist: How to Win Arguments and Get Mother Nature Laid

On another note, it’s nice to see some familiar e-faces! I hope to make my first browse through the first comments soon. I just need to figure out how this damn blog thing works.