There's a recent editorial by Tom Steyer that made me think - How Climate Change Changed Me - POLITICO Magazine After reading it, and reading the comments section below, I think it's worth having a discussion over how to handle Tuo quoque arguments in regards to the environmental/climate debate. I'm actually a little surprised I haven't thought of it more before. Anyway, it seems apparent to me that any major public figure, whether a businessman, celebrity or politician speaks out to the public with concerns on climate change, there are immediately questions about that person's own fossil fuel investments and carbon footprint. To a certain extent I am fine with this, I do agree with the argument that those of us who care about climate change should be doing the most to try to shrink our own carbon footprint. However, I think something is being lost here. Virtually every single person in the Western hemisphere has benefited from fossil fuel use or has used a good deal of fossil fuels themselves. The fact that so many people use fossil fuels does not change the physics of increased greenhouse gas emissions trapping heat in the atmosphere and disrupting the climate. They are two separate arguments and should logically not be coupled (Argument 1: "You are using a lot of fossil fuels yourself", Argument 2: "Climate change is a problem"). I actually think Tuo quoque arguments are mostly used as emotional arguments. For example the argument of "We should all be reducing our fossil fuel use to avoid serious climate change" is often responded with "But you use a lot of fossil fuels yourself!". Notice that the responder did not address the argument of whether or not reducing fossil fuel use would avoid serious climate change, instead created a new ad hominem argument about the presenter's own fossil fuel use. Do you see where I'm going with this? So what do I think should be done in response to frequent appeals to hypocrisy in the climate debate? I'm not claiming to have the answer, just the desire to start a conversation that I think is important. It's almost like an intimidation tactic. I think a lot of people are scared to say something about climate change because they are afraid that their own carbon footprint will be scrutinized. I'm not saying it shouldn't be, but look at it this way: If everyone who has benefited from fossil fuel use were to stay mum in the climate debate, then it is clear that nothing will be done to reduce civilization's dependence on fossil fuels regardless of whatever environmental calamity follows it. In fact, after reading Tom Steyer's editorial, I think it takes a big man to admit you were wrong to invest so much in fossil fuels to then turn around and change course, and invest that money instead in clean energy and environmental advocacy. In fact, I would like to add that if the Koch Bros came out tomorrow and said that they were doing everything possible to reverse course and promote clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, I would be the first to support them. It's not going to happen, but it's a fun thought. I really think the hypocrisy question is a skeleton we need to get out of our closet and address. It's not of an issue of one person's pride, but of an issue of human civilization doing what it needs to do to avoid an environmental disaster. Not only do I think that it would be extremely helpful for fossil fuel investors like Tom Steyer to reverse course and help out with climate action, the success of climate action itself could depend on it. I really am open to anything, anything reasonable that can be done to make that happen. After all, it's our future.