John Cook BSc (Hons)
This week I received an intriguing tweet:
The message links to a rather strange video whose discursive function isn’t entirely clear at first. It appears to be an attempt to generalize skeptic thinking to everyday situations, as my friend @A_ suggests.
The deniers who made the video are apparently aware that denial is no longer tenable in the climate change context, and are seeking to shift the focus of their denial to real-life topics (firefighting, contraceptives, engine maintenance, relationships, etc.).
Expect this tactic to become increasingly common as the science continues to firm.
On one hand we deserve a pat on the back—the science is evidently working!
On the other hand, we mustn’t rest on our laurels. Just because they’re not denying climate science any more, it doesn’t make their denial any more acceptable. Denial is wrong, by definition—whether it’s applied to the dangers of climate change or to the real world.
So let’s consider some of the video’s myths in their proper, debunked context before hitting the YouTube link.
(You’ll notice, as always, that the correction is stated before the fallacy it corrects. You should never risk exposure to misinformation without first girding your loins with the equal and opposite science.)