A disingenuous debate tactic is where one overwhelms their opponent with a rapid fire of different arguments, without regard to accuracy, such that the opponent cannot address any of the points in real time. It’s what the Sunrise Movement, a youth led organization demanding bold climate action, received when they met with Rep. Doug LaMalfa’s chief of staff, Mark Spannagel, seeking clarification of the congressman’s negative stance on the Green New Deal (GND).
The mainly one-sided conversation went seamlessly from avoiding questions about the fires in the Arctic to blaming climate change entirely on water vapor (it’s complicated). Mr. Spannagel brought out the classic Republican argument that climate change was cyclical and not man made, and cited a now-debunked idea that the GND would ban air travel and cows. He suggested that tax cuts would promote all the R&D necessary to invent our way to a cleaner environment.
The meeting with Mr. Spannagel was not unlike that of Dianne Feinstein and a group of children demanding climate action, as we were similarly reminded that he “had been doing this longer than we have.” If it hadn’t been clear already, it was by the end of the meeting; Doug LaMalfa doesn’t take the climate crisis or climate activists seriously. We must elect someone who does.
Sisarie Sherry, Chico