JRP3: I am one of those who is extremely enthusiastic about the use of fossil hydrocarbons in such areas as polymers, whether as plastics or in lubricants. It is in the combusting of these long-sequestered fuels that our likely downfall looms, for reasons all in this forum know. Conversely, making use of active carbon products - vegetable oils, etc - as feedstock for the plastics industry, means we are devoting more cropland for same, increasing both mankind's global footprint as well as performing some kind of crowding-out effect for foodstuffs, with all the social ramifications that entails.
tigerade did the work for me (and I didn't even have to ask him to :wink:I have this much: | | and no more, sympathy with and support for Greenpeace. I grudgingly concede it is possible that the world might be a better place that an organization like Greenpeace exists.
However, unless they swtich over 100% to human-, wind-, or solar-powered vessels for their at-sea antics, I'm calling foul and hypocritical. Sorry to any of you who have more tolerance for them.,
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.
As I understand it:.../ What am I missing here?
With respect to Tigerade's position, this is in my opinion NOT a tu quoque. Were Greenpeace to be out drilling in the Arctic Ocean and then blasting Shell for doing the same, that would be such an example.
What they do is something far different. They might as well be saying "Thank you, Shell, for providing us the diesel fuel to allow us to roam the seas. Now, stop your drilling!"
What am I missing here?
I took the video as they need to stop creating Shell legos for kids that promotes destroying the earth by drilling for oil. Its all about eduacting kids on the wrong things through visualization.
But telling people about all the spills won't stop oil exploration/exploitation. You have to reduce demand.
I agree. I guess I didn't explain myself well. I meant that although drilling will still go on from Shell, kids' toys are not the place to promote the company. Children do not need to be seeing those images at such a young age. Instead, I think Lego should make solar panel and windmills Legos, still made from oil, but promoting a sustainable play time.
"The success of the Greenpeace campaign breaking the link between Lego and Shell shows that there is widespread public discomfort at the way fossil fuel companies try to get their 'don't worry about the future' message across by linking to other brands. This is a very positive development, as in my view society is better served by more transparency and less PR smoke and mirrors."
"We need a sensible, balanced and intelligent debate with the oil industry in which we critique bad things they do and embrace the positives. The people I talk to in the Shell Scenarios Team are bright, thoughtful people, trying to work out how to navigate a way forward to a better future -- accepting that climate change is real, driven by humans and not likely to be a good thing. It is scientists and engineers like these, not the activists, who in the end will deliver the alternatives to fossil fuels and are turning companies like Shell from oil companies into energy companies.