Is there any issue more dependent on widespread lapses in critical thinking than the idea of man-caused global warming?
Nothing wrecks an argument faster than a question revealing a gaping hole in that argument’s fundamental premise. Notice the abundantly obvious derailment in this example:
“We need to do something about the proliferation of ghosts causing an unprecedented number of people to have nightmares lately. This problem leads to widespread sleeplessness, which in turn leads to a downturn in work productivity and overall economic hardship, and you are a cold-hearted capitalist pig if you deny the need for workers to be healthy.”
Any critical thinker will yell, “What?! Prove ghosts exist before you start calling me names!”
The so-called global warming crisis has gotten away with an equally preposterous premise — that human activity drives climate change — for nearly two decades, because that premise at least sounded plausible. After all, humans do damage the environment to some extent in various ways, and the weather does seem a bit weird lately, so maybe it’s possible that our greenhouse gas emissions have a detrimental effect. Plus, reporters tell us that scientists are saying this is so.
Overlooked by many is the very thing that’s kept the issue alive all this time. No different from in a ponzi scheme, the public must never lose confidence in the idea that this issue is a problem in need of a solution. The moment anything approaching a majority of people starts asking tough questions about skeptic scientists expressing legitimate opposition, the entire issue goes into a fatal tailspin, taking down all those who unquestioningly defend the idea.
Think about all the assertions we’ve heard and what happens when anybody starts asking critical questions using information that’s easier than ever to find on the internet.