Debates, bad arguments, and snowstorms

In fifth grade, we had a unit on conservation. I was assigned to participate in a debate. I had to argue that conservation was a bad thing.

That experience taught me an important lesson: you can say things just to win a debate, even if you don’t think they are true.

I see that all the time with politicians. Yesterday on Facebook, I called out a common practice where those that don’t believe in climate change use one day’s weather as evidence to support their disbelief. “It’s cold outside; there’s no global warming.”

That’s silly, and politicians are smart enough to know that. Climate weather patterns and daily local conditions are not the same thing. They know that, but they know that some don’t know that and will rally around their champion’s rebuttal of those know-it-all scientists.

I know that global temperatures are up. I suspect it’s a long-term trend. I also suspect that human activity is involved. But I’m not enough of a scientist to affirm that 100%.

What I do know 100% is when people are making bad arguments. And I’ll point them out when I see them, no matter what the political stripe.

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