Questioning the dangers associated with carbon dioxide emissions has a tendency to upset those attached to the idea. What results is usually logically flawed responses; personal smears, red herrings and the avoidance of discussion. These tactics were experienced by John Lott when he wrote a paper that supported concealed-carry laws for firearms. He outlines the response he received from the gun control crowd in his book, More guns less crime (chapter seven):
- Rather than focusing on any evidence, the authority of peer review is often submitted as proof that your opponents have no idea. Unfortunately for those who throw out such arguments, AGW skeptics have hundreds of papers that have passed this process, and so did Lott’s paper.
- If you question global warming, you must be paid by big oil. Likewise, if you question gun control, you must be in the pocket of gun manufacturers.
- Fred Singer’s credibility has been attacked on the basis of past and unrelated work he has done on smoking. Clearly then, he can’t be trusted on climate issues. So too, did Lott find his past statements on crime being used to discredit him. The trouble is for their respective detractors, that what they had previously claimed had been so uncontroversial, that their true meaning had to be distorted.
- Just as climate change fear mongers avoid debate with dissenters so as not to lend them credibility, gun control advocate Brandon Stone also avoided discussion with John Lott for the same reason.
The same old tired tactics, yet no meaningful debate.