Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Environment

Rule #1 for Climate Discourse?

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

A reader of James Fallows has a suggestion to better focus the national discussion of the moment that is equally relevant to the climate change debate:

I would love to see a list of common sense rules (similar to Michael Pollan's food rules) that serve as good reminders of civil discourse. What would you like to see on such a list? My first one, for example: "Never speak with the insinuation that your opponents do not have the best interest of Americans at heart."

If only Joe Romm and Anthony Watts, two of the most popular climate bloggers that happen to occupy opposite ends of the climate spectrum, would take that advice to heart. For the record, I do believe that both of these men have the best interest of Americans at heart. On a somewhat related note, via Andrew Sullivan, Fallows colleague at The Atlantic, I was made aware of this interesting post that suggests "arguments about climate change" provide

one useful way to think about the relationship between violent rhetoric and violent action.

The climate change example discussed by the blogger "Henry" relates not to civil dialogue but to the causal connection often invoked for random weather and disaster events. He writes:

...it is usually going to be next to impossible to tell whether any given event is 'caused' by climate change...Testing arguments about climate change involves multiple data points and the usual problems of statistical inference etc. Similarly, it is probably a bad idea to attribute any particular violent action to an overall climate of violent rhetoric without some strong evidence of a direct causal relationship.

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In