Eco-Logical Fallacies: understanding our misunderstandings Part 1

We’ve all used them. We’ve all been confused by them. Let’s talk logical fallacies and how our understanding is shaped by our communications and miscommunications with the people around us. In this post, I will do my best to avoid examples of President Trump exuding fallacies because I choose to believe that he is an outlier when it comes to the United States’ common consciousness….

What is a fallacy? Fallacies are common errors in reasoning that will undermine the logic of your argument. Fallacies can be either illegitimate arguments or irrelevant points, and are often identified because they lack evidence that supports their claim.

Ad Hominem

This translates as “to the man” and refers to any attacks on the person advancing the argument, rather than on the validity of the evidence or logic.

Affirming the Consequent

This is a fairly difficult fallacy to understand or spot. It is categorical in nature and, essentially, means reversing an argument, or putting the cart before the horse, meaning reversing or confusing the general category with the specific/sub-category.  Note that in this fallacy the premises/reasons are actually correct or valid; the error is found between the premises and conclusion.  Usually, the error occurs because we incorrectly assume that the Premise was a sufficient condition, when in fact it was only a necessary condition (one of many conditions) necessary to prove the conclusion.

Example of both Ad Hominem and Affirming the Consequent: Read More

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Brush with Bamboo

Purchasing an eco-friendly toothbrush was technically my second step into zero-waste living (composting being the first, that post is in the works!). But it was definitely the first time I implemented zero waste in my morning routine. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you that I have a penchant for falling into what I call “research rabbit holes”. When I finally came out the other end, I bought these brushes in bulk for my family.

Why?

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Starting From Zero

There is zero shame here! If you’re reading this then you have already taken the hardest and most important step. From here on out, you will have a community to support you and tell you that “yes, it was kinda funky the first time I tried a bamboo toothbrush. And I did think it might give me splinters.” You are NOT CRAZY. You certainly are not the first person to buy a reusable grocery bag only to leave it at home and struggle to choose between buying another reusable bag, using a plastic one (don’t…), or, like my partner says, “the best way to learn a lesson is the hard way” and carry all of your groceries in your arms defiantly as you strut down the street- a true warrior for our planet. You will falter on this journey and like good friends and family, we will be here to pick you up or like my family, laugh at you for bringing tupperware to a restaurant so they don’t put your leftovers in styrofoam, only to be told that it’s against their health code policy. Like my good ol’ friends at Olive Garden like to say, “when you’re here, you’re family” and that’s exactly what we are. All of us, even your friend who buys coffee everyday and has never thought to use a reusable travel mug, even that uncle who insists on having two straws with every drink because it “makes him look like a walrus”, and even your neighbor who can’t seem bothered enough by the unsightly compost bin in your backyard. They are all family and they all piss you off sometimes, but I urge you to hop off your high horse and remember that the most effective way to create change is to find common ground with the people you understand the least. Read More

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