Now, the debate starts to get fun. This group of Denialists’ cards are all about spreading confusion. The more that one muddies the waters, the harder it is for anyone to do anything.
And so, the place to start is with the Red Herring.
|The “red herring” argument is a frequently-employed and efficacious tool to confuse everyone. A red herring is a specious argument–one that sounds cogent, but isn’t really responsive to the issue at hand. Just make something up that sounds good.
My favorite example of this is in the financial privacy sector. A few years ago, when California was trying to establish opt-in (affirmative consent) requirements before a bank could share personal information, banking industry officials claimed that it would cause the ATM network to break. Why? Because the complex process of dispensing cash would be interrupted by having to ask the consumer for her consent! This was a bogus argument because the legislation in question clearly allowed information to be shared in any circumstance where a consumer requested a specific service.