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August 12, 2015

Carly Fiorina's Answer to Katie Couric on Climate Change

People disagree on this.

Charles C.W. Cooke praised it as glorious; I see prescient11 was knocking Carly earlier for not directly contradicting the claim that global warming exists.

Here are my thoughts. I've offered variations of this a thousand times:

Yes, if you could convince someone of your unpopular, officially-disfavored opinion (one I share) , that would be the best outcome.

However, the odds of you accomplishing this are low. Chuck Grassley has been attempting it forever, to little avail.

So what do you do in these circumstances? There's a Zen-like, or judo-ish, sort of wisdom that you do not meet your enemy's attack directly with an opposing countering force; rather, you come at that attack from an angle, so that a gentle nudge will move it enough that it won't hit you.

I mean, I imagine there's some Zen saying about that. I may be making it up but it sure makes sense to me as I write it.

Anyway, a lot of people are seized by the idea that you must all challenge the progressive narrative head-on with a full opposing force. I had this argument with people about Tim Pawlenty, who attempted the defection tactic with regard to global warming (he made noise about it being important, and then set up a limited pilot program to study it, thus protecting civilians and businesses from this horseshit), but people claimed that this was an unforgivable political sin, that to even "accept their premise" that global warming exists.

The same basic argument can be had here, though I won't really engage in it, as I don't think it's an argument where people's minds get changed.

Yes, I do see the benefit of convincing people, in the most important place of all, in their minds, that global warming is a little-evidenced, largely speculatary theory. If you have convinced people in their minds, you don't have to worry about what they'll do at the ballot box. You've won.

However, I'm also mindful of the fact that people do not readily change their minds, and for all of our own agitations (how many "Global Warming is bullshit" posts have we run on this site?), only a minority of people are willing to accept the fact that the Emperors of Global Weirding have no clothes.

And so, if you do not think you can defeat your opponent's punch by a straight-on punch directly into his fist, does it become acceptable to gently tug his robe so that his punch swats the air?

And I would also say that end of the day, I do not care what people believe: I care about what they do, specifically with regard to coercive government action which limits my freedom and prosperity; so if Carly-Fu winds up getting people to accept that there are more important things to consider, without rebutting the central premise of AGW, then that's fine by my lights.

Optimal? No, not optimal. We rarely get optimal. But it's fine, and I can live with fine.

I think she does a good job here, with the caveat, in this particular mode of deflection rather than direct opposition. Those who say you can never concede any premise will probably not like her answer as much.

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posted by Ace at 07:36 PM

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