View Single Post
Old 14th January 2020, 01:49 PM   #861
Penultimate Amazing
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 47,698
Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
My view is changing on this, and I'm not sure this is a fair characterisation. She takes a climate model prediction and comes up with some fairly obvious logical demands based on it - like everybody needs to immediately stop using fossil fuels. She may be being too unwilling to take a risk on the climate, but that isn't something that there is a scientifically correct answer to, surely? The only thing she seems to me to be lacking is any clarity about the consequences of taking the medicine that she believes is necessary. That's where I think she is going wrong. Maybe she does say somewhere that we need a climate dictatorship to force everybody back to the stone age for a bit?
Fair enough. I'm a little stricter in my assessment, though.

I agree that her demands follow from the scientific facts. But they are not scientific demands. They are political demands.

I believe that science cannot answer questions of should. But that is where Greta spends all of her time: "We should do this." So it makes sense that most of what she says is vague about the science. What doesn't make sense is to claim that Greta is making nuanced and accurate scientific arguments. She's not making scientific arguments at all. (And she's definitely not making nuanced arguments.)

So, okay, she focuses on the "should". She doesn't support her "shoulds" by appealing to policy recommendations from climate scientists, because there probably aren't any.

But she also doesn't do the next best and most obvious thing: Cite an accurate and nuanced scientific assessment of the impact of her policy demands, or a scientific argument that the trade-offs inherent in her demands are optimal for achieving the policy goals she's demanding.

She says "listen to the scientists!" But there aren't any scientists telling us to immediately cut off all oil-related activity. Just activists like Greta. There's probably plenty of scientists who could tell us all about the economic, medical, and sociological impact of the changes she's demanding, but she isn't citing any of those.

Probably most of those scientists would tell us that her policies, if enacted, would cause a lot of death and suffering. Maybe she'd prefer if we don't listen to them?
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top