All things environmental

Musings about the environment and all it touches, from education to city planning

Logical fallacies and the environment: the test

leave a comment »

Since I spent a fair bit of time on logical fallacies in my last class, I could not not ask a question about them in the final test.  In class we discussed Ad Hominem, Appeal to Tradition, Circular Reasoning, Ecological, Either-Or, Gambler’s, Hasty Generalization, Hypocrisy, Non-Sequitur, Sharpshooter’s, Slippery Slope, and Strawman; the last one of the series is here.

The class average for this question, I am happy to say, was 72%.  Dear reader, can you find all the fallacies?  Here is the test question:


The writer of the letter reproduced below may have committed several logical fallacies.  If any, identify them (or it), give the common name for the fallacy, and explain briefly why you think each is a fallacy.

Dear sir:

I am writing to complain about the increase in the property tax.  The city says they need to pay for the upgrade of the river dike.  A bit late, isn’t it?  Last year’s flood was terrible, and as a home-owner I can’t bear extra expenses since I have already had to pay for repairs to my house.  Besides, what are the chances that such a flood would happen again?  They say this was a once-in-a-lifetime event.  I think upgrading the dike now is a waste of money; the horse has already left the barn.

Not only that, but they are telling us that the risk of flood is increasing because of climate change.  Hogwash, I say.  The weather has always been changing around here; there have been other floods, the old folks remember that.  There’s no reason nowadays should be any different.  Besides, I just don’t believe in climate change.  That’s just some kind of brainwashed propaganda that guys like David Suzuki are spreading around, just so they can get money for their causes; they like to make honest folks feel scared.  Next thing you know, these guys will want to take away your waterfront property – they’ll say the river will be easier to manage this way.  Green environmentalists are really red communists inside, I tell you.

My Granpa Jim used to say that it’s better to give a hungry man a fishing pole instead of a fish.  Well, taxes are like fish, and paying them just makes our bureaucrats lazy. No more tax increases, I say.


All right, I can’t leave it without one last cartoon.




Written by enviropaul

April 21, 2016 at 4:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: