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Opinion >  Letters

What crisis?

A recent letter writer opines that we are in a “climate emergency” in which “The stakes are now officially life and death on a scale no generation has ever seen.” (“Humanity’s greatest threat,” David Camp, Aug. 18) Sounds pretty scary, right?

But the writer offers no proof for such an outrageous claim. Instead, he commits the logical fallacy of false cause, claiming that famines, civil wars and millions of deaths are caused by people driving monster trucks, ski boats, ATVs, snowmobiles, RVs, hot rods and Harleys, etc.

The fallacy of false cause is committed when a person incorrectly states that one thing causes another thing to happen, when in fact it does not. For example, a bluebird singing in Idaho does not cause an earthquake in California. Saying that it does falsely attributes the earthquake to the bluebird. Thus, it is a false cause.

The letter writer certainly has a right to his opinion, but opinions are quite different from facts. Unless he can present conclusive evidence that carbon dioxide-emitting vehicles contribute to famines, civil wars and millions of deaths, then we have no reason to wring our hands or change the way we live.

As Carl Sagan famously stated, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. Up to now no one has been able to provide such evidence regarding any “climate emergency”.

But then, it has always been difficult to produce evidence for that which does not exist.

Monte Heil


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