Reference: Critical Thinking–Fallacies

Defending Lies and Hiding Truth

Example of an informal fallacy, the false equivalence fallacy.

The following is from Wikipedia. After reading the list, I concluded that skepticism, logic, and objectivity must become a part of school curricula at all grade levels. For a good introduction to this subject, I highly recommend the book, The Philosopher’s Toolkit by Julian Baggini and Peter S. Fosl. I copied Wikipedia material to this page so that I could link posts to it without fear of the link changing (License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/.)

You may be amazed by the great many ways to hide the truth. Perhaps the entire list should be a chapter in the Politician’s Guide to Public Speaking and, of course, in the Voter’s Handbook. Perhaps one day we can program an artificial intelligence to spot fallacies real time during a speech. Then we could hook up a buzzer to sound an alert whenever a speaker attempted, or stumbled upon, a means to deceive.

Informal fallacies

Main article: Informal fallacy

Informal fallacies – arguments that are fallacious for reasons other than structural (formal) flaws and usually require examination of the argument’s content.[12] An informal fallacy occurs when the contents of an argument’s stated premises fail to adequately support its proposed conclusion.

  • Appeal to the stone (argumentum ad lapidem) – dismissing a claim as absurd without demonstrating proof for its absurdity.[13]
  • Argument from ignorance (appeal to ignorance, argumentum ad ignorantiam) – assuming that a claim is true because it has not been or cannot be proven false, or vice versa.[14]
  • Argument from incredulity (appeal to common sense) – “I cannot imagine how this could be true; therefore, it must be false.”[15]
  • Argument from repetition (argumentum ad nauseamargumentum ad infinitum) – signifies that it has been discussed extensively until nobody cares to discuss it anymore;[16][17] sometimes confused with proof by assertion
  • Argument from silence (argumentum ex silentio) – where the conclusion is based on the absence of evidence, rather than the existence of evidence.[18][19]
  • Argument to moderation (false compromise, middle ground, fallacy of the mean, argumentum ad temperantiam) – assuming that the compromise between two positions is always correct.[20]
  • Argumentum verbosium – See Proof by verbosity, below.
  • Begging the question (petitio principii) – providing what is essentially the conclusion of the argument as a premise.[21][22][23][24]
  • Shifting the burden of proof (see – onus probandi) – I need not prove my claim, you must prove it is false.
  • Circular reasoning (circulus in demonstrando) – when the reasoner begins with what he or she is trying to end up with; sometimes called assuming the conclusion.
  • Circular cause and consequence – where the consequence of the phenomenon is claimed to be its root cause.
  • Continuum fallacy (fallacy of the beard, line-drawing fallacy, sorites fallacy, fallacy of the heap, bald man fallacy) – improperly rejecting a claim for being imprecise.[25]
  • Correlative-based fallacies
  • Divine fallacy (argument from incredulity) – arguing that, because something is so incredible/amazing/ununderstandable, it must be the result of superior, divine, alien or paranormal agency.[28]
  • Double counting – counting events or occurrences more than once in probabilistic reasoning, which leads to the sum of the probabilities of all cases exceeding unity.
  • Equivocation – the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time).[29]
    • Ambiguous middle term – a common ambiguity in syllogisms in which the middle term is equivocated.[30]
    • Definitional retreat – changing the meaning of a word to deal with an objection raised against the original wording.[31]
  • Ecological fallacy – inferences about the nature of specific individuals are based solely upon aggregate statistics collected for the group to which those individuals belong.[32]
  • Etymological fallacy – which reasons that the original or historical meaning of a word or phrase is necessarily similar to its actual present-day usage.[33]
  • Fallacy of accent – a specific type of ambiguity that arises when the meaning of a sentence is changed by placing an unusual prosodic stress, or when, in a written passage, it’s left unclear which word the emphasis was supposed to fall on.
  • Fallacy of composition – assuming that something true of part of a whole must also be true of the whole.[34]
  • Fallacy of division – assuming that something true of a thing must also be true of all or some of its parts.[35]
  • False attribution – an advocate appeals to an irrelevant, unqualified, unidentified, biased or fabricated source in support of an argument.
    • Fallacy of quoting out of context (contextomy) – refers to the selective excerpting of words from their original context in a way that distorts the source’s intended meaning.[36]
  • False authority (single authority) – using an expert of dubious credentials or using only one opinion to sell a product or idea. Related to the appeal to authority fallacy.
  • False dilemma (false dichotomy, fallacy of bifurcation, black-or-white fallacy) – two alternative statements are held to be the only possible options, when in reality there are more.[37]
  • False equivalence – describing a situation of logical and apparent equivalence, when in fact there is none.
  • Fallacy of many questions (complex question, fallacy of presupposition, loaded question, plurium interrogationum) – someone asks a question that presupposes something that has not been proven or accepted by all the people involved. This fallacy is often used rhetorically, so that the question limits direct replies to those that serve the questioner’s agenda.
  • Fallacy of the single cause (causal oversimplification[38]) – it is assumed that there is one, simple cause of an outcome when in reality it may have been caused by a number of only jointly sufficient causes.
  • Furtive fallacy – outcomes are asserted to have been caused by the malfeasance of decision makers.
  • Gambler’s fallacy – the incorrect belief that separate, independent events can affect the likelihood of another random event. If a fair coin lands on heads 10 times in a row, the belief that it is “due to the number of times it had previously landed on tails” is incorrect.[39]
  • Historian’s fallacy – occurs when one assumes that decision makers of the past viewed events from the same perspective and having the same information as those subsequently analyzing the decision.[40] (Not to be confused with presentism, which is a mode of historical analysis in which present-day ideas, such as moral standards, are projected into the past.)
  • Historical fallacy – where a set of considerations holds good only because a completed process is read into the content of the process which conditions this completed result.[41]
  • Homunculus fallacy – where a “middle-man” is used for explanation, this sometimes leads to regressive middle-men. Explains without actually explaining the real nature of a function or a process. Instead, it explains the concept in terms of the concept itself, without first defining or explaining the original concept. Explaining thought as something produced by a little thinker, a sort of homunculus inside the head, merely explains it as another kind of thinking (as different but the same).[42]
  • Inflation of conflict – The experts of a field of knowledge disagree on a certain point, so the scholars must know nothing, and therefore the legitimacy of their entire field is put to question.[43]
  • If-by-whiskey – an argument that supports both sides of an issue by using terms that are selectively emotionally sensitive.
  • Incomplete comparison – in which insufficient information is provided to make a complete comparison.
  • Inconsistent comparison – where different methods of comparison are used, leaving one with a false impression of the whole comparison.
  • Intentionality fallacy – the insistence that the ultimate meaning of an expression must be consistent with the intention of the person from whom the communication originated (e.g. a work of fiction that is widely received as a blatant allegory must necessarily not be regarded as such if the author intended it not to be so.)[44]
  • Ignoratio elenchi (irrelevant conclusion, missing the point) – an argument that may in itself be valid, but does not address the issue in question.[45]
  • Kettle logic – using multiple, jointly inconsistent arguments to defend a position.[dubious – discuss]
  • Ludic fallacy – the belief that the outcomes of non-regulated random occurrences can be encapsulated by a statistic; a failure to take into account unknown unknowns in determining the probability of events taking place.[46]
  • McNamara fallacy (quantitative fallacy) – making a decision based only on quantitative observations, discounting all other considerations.
  • Moralistic fallacy – inferring factual conclusions from purely evaluative premises in violation of fact–value distinction. For instance, inferring is from ought is an instance of moralistic fallacy. Moralistic fallacy is the inverse of naturalistic fallacy defined below.
  • Moving the goalposts (raising the bar) – argument in which evidence presented in response to a specific claim is dismissed and some other (often greater) evidence is demanded.
  • Naturalistic fallacy – inferring evaluative conclusions from purely factual premises[47] in violation of fact–value distinction. For instance, inferring ought from is (sometimes referred to as the is-ought fallacy) is an instance of naturalistic fallacy. Also naturalistic fallacy in a stricter sense as defined in the section “Conditional or questionable fallacies” below is an instance of naturalistic fallacy. Naturalistic fallacy is the inverse of moralistic fallacy.
  • Naturalistic fallacy fallacy [48] (anti-naturalistic fallacy[49]) – inferring impossibility to infer any instance of ought from is from the general invalidity of is-ought fallacy, mentioned above. For instance, is P ∨ ¬ P {\displaystyle P\lor \neg P}  does imply ought P ∨ ¬ P {\displaystyle P\lor \neg P}  for any proposition P {\displaystyle P} , although the naturalistic fallacy fallacy would falsely declare such an inference invalid. Naturalistic fallacy fallacy is an instance of argument from fallacy.
  • Nirvana fallacy (perfect solution fallacy) – when solutions to problems are rejected because they are not perfect.
  • Onus probandi – from Latin “onus probandi incumbit ei qui dicit, non ei qui negat” the burden of proof is on the person who makes the claim, not on the person who denies (or questions the claim). It is a particular case of the argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy, here the burden is shifted on the person defending against the assertion.
  • Post hoc ergo propter hoc Latin for “after this, therefore because of this” (faulty cause/effect, coincidental correlation, correlation without causation) – X happened, then Y happened; therefore X caused Y. The Loch Ness Monster has been seen in this loch. Something tipped our boat over; it’s obviously the Loch Ness Monster.[50]
  • Proof by assertion – a proposition is repeatedly restated regardless of contradiction; sometimes confused with argument from repetition (argumentum ad infinitumargumentum ad nauseam)
  • Proof by verbosity (argumentum verbosium, proof by intimidation) – submission of others to an argument too complex and verbose to reasonably deal with in all its intimate details. (See also Gish Gallop and argument from authority.)
  • Prosecutor’s fallacy – a low probability of false matches does not mean a low probability of some false match being found.
  • Proving too much – using a form of argument that, if it were valid, could be used to reach an additional, undesirable conclusion.
  • Psychologist’s fallacy – an observer presupposes the objectivity of his own perspective when analyzing a behavioral event.
  • Red herring – a speaker attempts to distract an audience by deviating from the topic at hand by introducing a separate argument the speaker believes is easier to speak to.[51]
  • Referential fallacy[52] – assuming all words refer to existing things and that the meaning of words reside within the things they refer to, as opposed to words possibly referring to no real object or that the meaning of words often comes from how we use them.
  • Regression fallacy – ascribes cause where none exists. The flaw is failing to account for natural fluctuations. It is frequently a special kind of post hoc fallacy.
  • Reification (concretism, hypostatization, or the fallacy of misplaced concreteness) – a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it were a concrete, real event or physical entity. In other words, it is the error of treating as a “real thing” something that is not a real thing, but merely an idea.
  • Retrospective determinism – the argument that because an event has occurred under some circumstance, the circumstance must have made its occurrence inevitable.
  • Shotgun argumentation – the arguer offers such a large number of arguments for a position that the opponent can’t possibly respond to all of them. (See “Argument by verbosity” and “Gish Gallop“, above.)
  • Special pleading – where a proponent of a position attempts to cite something as an exemption to a generally accepted rule or principle without justifying the exemption.
  • Wrong direction – cause and effect are reversed. The cause is said to be the effect and vice versa.[53]

FAULTY GENERALIZATIONS

Faulty generalizations – reach a conclusion from weak premises. Unlike fallacies of relevance, in fallacies of defective induction, the premises are related to the conclusions yet only weakly buttress the conclusions. A faulty generalization is thus produced.

  • Accident – an exception to a generalization is ignored.[54]
    • No true Scotsman – makes a generalization true by changing the generalization to exclude a counterexample.[55]
  • Cherry picking (suppressed evidence, incomplete evidence) – act of pointing at individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position.[56]
    • Survivorship bias – when a small number of survivors of a given process are actively promoted while completely ignoring a large number of failures
  • False analogy – an argument by analogy in which the analogy is poorly suited.[57]
  • Hasty generalization (fallacy of insufficient statistics, fallacy of insufficient sample, fallacy of the lonely fact, leaping to a conclusion, hasty induction, secundum quid, converse accident) – basing a broad conclusion on a small sample.[58]
  • Inductive fallacy – A more general name to some fallacies, such as hasty generalization. It happens when a conclusion is made of premises that lightly support it.
  • Misleading vividness – involves describing an occurrence in vivid detail, even if it is an exceptional occurrence, to convince someone that it is a problem.
  • Overwhelming exception – an accurate generalization that comes with qualifications that eliminate so many cases that what remains is much less impressive than the initial statement might have led one to assume.[59]
  • Thought-terminating cliché – a commonly used phrase, sometimes passing as folk wisdom, used to quell cognitive dissonance, conceal lack of thought-entertainment, move on to other topics etc. but in any case, end the debate with a cliché—not a point.

RED HERRING FALLACIES

A red herring fallacy, one of the main subtypes of fallacies of relevance, is an error in logic where a proposition is, or is intended to be, misleading in order to make irrelevant or false inferences. In the general case any logical inference based on fake arguments, intended to replace the lack of real arguments or to replace implicitly the subject of the discussion.[60][61][62]

Red herring – argument given in response to another argument, which is irrelevant and draws attention away from the subject of argument. See also irrelevant conclusion.

  • Ad hominem – attacking the arguer instead of the argument.
    • Poisoning the well – a subtype of ad hominem presenting adverse information about a target person with the intention of discrediting everything that the target person says.[63]
    • Abusive fallacy – a subtype of ad hominem that verbally abuses the opponent rather than arguing about the originally proposed argument.[64]
    • Appeal to motive – a subtype of ad hominem that dismisses an idea by questioning the motives of its proposer.
    • Tone policing – a subtype of ad hominem focusing on emotion behind a message rather than the message itself as a discrediting tactic.
    • Traitorous critic fallacy (ergo decedo) – a subtype of ad hominem where a critic’s perceived affiliation is seen as the underlying reason for the criticism and the critic is asked to stay away from the issue altogether.
  • Appeal to authority (argumentum ad verecundiam) – where an assertion is deemed true because of the position or authority of the person asserting it.[65][66]
  • Appeal to consequences (argumentum ad consequentiam) – the conclusion is supported by a premise that asserts positive or negative consequences from some course of action in an attempt to distract from the initial discussion.[68]
  • Appeal to emotion – where an argument is made due to the manipulation of emotions, rather than the use of valid reasoning.[69]
    • Appeal to fear – a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument is made by increasing fear and prejudice towards the opposing side[70][71]
    • Appeal to flattery – a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument is made due to the use of flattery to gather support.[72]
    • Appeal to pity (argumentum ad misericordiam) – an argument attempts to induce pity to sway opponents.[73]
    • Appeal to ridicule – an argument is made by presenting the opponent’s argument in a way that makes it appear ridiculous.[74][75]
    • Appeal to spite – a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument is made through exploiting people’s bitterness or spite towards an opposing party.[76]
    • Wishful thinking – a specific type of appeal to emotion where a decision is made according to what might be pleasing to imagine, rather than according to evidence or reason.[77]
  • Appeal to nature – wherein judgment is based solely on whether the subject of judgment is ‘natural’ or ‘unnatural’.[78] (Sometimes also called the “naturalistic fallacy”, but is not to be confused with the other fallacies by that name)
  • Appeal to novelty (argumentum novitatisargumentum ad antiquitatis) – where a proposal is claimed to be superior or better solely because it is new or modern.[79]
  • Appeal to poverty (argumentum ad Lazarum) – supporting a conclusion because the arguer is poor (or refuting because the arguer is wealthy). (Opposite of appeal to wealth.)[80]
  • Appeal to tradition (argumentum ad antiquitatem) – a conclusion supported solely because it has long been held to be true.[81]
  • Appeal to wealth (argumentum ad crumenam) – supporting a conclusion because the arguer is wealthy (or refuting because the arguer is poor).[82] (Sometimes taken together with the appeal to poverty as a general appeal to the arguer’s financial situation.)
  • Argumentum ad baculum (appeal to the stick, appeal to force, appeal to threat) – an argument made through coercion or threats of force to support position.[83]
  • Argumentum ad populum (appeal to widespread belief, bandwagon argument, appeal to the majority, appeal to the people) – where a proposition is claimed to be true or good solely because many people believe it to be so.[84]
  • Association fallacy (guilt by association and honor by association) – arguing that because two things share (or are implied to share) some property, they are the same.[85]
  • Bulverism (psychogenetic fallacy) – inferring why an argument is being used, associating it to some psychological reason, then assuming it is invalid as a result. It is wrong to assume that if the origin of an idea comes from a biased mind, then the idea itself must also be a falsehood.[43]
  • Chronological snobbery – where a thesis is deemed incorrect because it was commonly held when something else, clearly false, was also commonly held.[86][87]
  • Fallacy of relative privation (“not as bad as”) – dismissing an argument or complaint due to the existence of more important problems in the world, regardless of whether those problems bear relevance to the initial argument. For example, First World problem.
  • Genetic fallacy – where a conclusion is suggested based solely on something or someone’s origin rather than its current meaning or context.[88]
  • Judgmental language – insulting or pejorative language to influence the recipient’s judgment.
  • Moralistic fallacy (the inverse of naturalistic fallacy) – statements about what is on the basis of claims about what ought to be.
  • Naturalistic fallacy (is–ought fallacy,[89] naturalistic fallacy[90]) – claims about what ought to be on the basis of statements about what is.
  • Pooh-pooh – dismissing an argument perceived unworthy of serious consideration.[91]
  • Straw man fallacy – an argument based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position.[92]
  • Texas sharpshooter fallacy – improperly asserting a cause to explain a cluster of data.[93]
  • Tu quoque (“you too”, appeal to hypocrisy, I’m rubber and you’re glue) – the argument states that a certain position is false or wrong or should be disregarded because its proponent fails to act consistently in accordance with that position.[94]
  • Two wrongs make a right – occurs when it is assumed that if one wrong is committed, an “equal but opposite” wrong will cancel it out.[95]
  • Vacuous truth – A claim that is technically true but meaningless, in the form of claiming that no A in B has C, when there are no A in B. For example, claiming that no mobile phones in the room are on when there are no mobile phones in the room at all.
  • Appeal to self-evident truth – A claim that a proposition is self-evidently true, so needs no further supporting evidence. If self-evidence is actually the basis for the claim, it is arbitrary and the opposite (a contradictory or contrary statement) is equally true. In many cases, however, the basis is really some kind of unstated and unexamined observation or assumption.

Conditional or questionable fallacies

  • Broken window fallacy – an argument that disregards lost opportunity costs (typically non-obvious, difficult to determine or otherwise hidden) associated with destroying property of others, or other ways of externalizing costs onto others. For example, an argument that states breaking a window generates income for a window fitter, but disregards the fact that the money spent on the new window cannot now be spent on new shoes.
  • Definist fallacy – involves the confusion between two notions by defining one in terms of the other.[96]
  • Naturalistic fallacy – attempts to prove a claim about ethics by appealing to a definition of the term “good” in terms of either one or more claims about natural properties (sometimes also taken to mean the appeal to nature) or God’s will.[78]
  • Slippery slope (thin edge of the wedge, camel’s nose) – asserting that a relatively small first step inevitably leads to a chain of related events culminating in some significant impact/event that should not happen, thus the first step should not happen. It is, in its essence, an appeal to probability fallacy. (e.g. if person x does y then z would [probably] occur, leading to q, leading to w, leading to e.)[97] This is also related to the reductio ad absurdum.

Formal fallacies

Main article: Formal fallacy

A formal fallacy is an error in logic that can be seen in the argument’s form.[1] All formal fallacies are specific types of non sequiturs.

PROPOSITIONAL FALLACIES

A propositional fallacy is an error in logic that concerns compound propositions. For a compound proposition to be true, the truth values of its constituent parts must satisfy the relevant logical connectives that occur in it (most commonly: <and>, <or>, <not>, <only if>, <if and only if>). The following fallacies involve inferences whose correctness is not guaranteed by the behavior of those logical connectives, and hence, which are not logically guaranteed to yield true conclusions.
Types of propositional fallacies:

QUANTIFICATION FALLACIES

A quantification fallacy is an error in logic where the quantifiers of the premises are in contradiction to the quantifier of the conclusion.
Types of Quantification fallacies:

FORMAL SYLLOGISTIC FALLACIES

Syllogistic fallacies – logical fallacies that occur in syllogisms.

Degrowth?

Painful to see how far from reality controlling growth really is.

Conventional economic logic hinges on a core assumption: Bigger economies are better, and finding ways to maintain or boost growth is paramount to improving society.

But what if growth is at best doing little to fix the world’s problems, and at worst fostering the destruction of the planet and jeopardizing its future?

That’s the radical message from the “degrowth” movement, which has spent decades on the political fringes with its warning that limitless growth needs to end. Now, after the pandemic gave people in some parts of the world a chance to rethink what makes them happy, and as the scale of change necessary to address the climate crisis becomes clearer, its ideas are gaining more mainstream recognition — even as anxiety builds over what could be a painful global recession.

By Julia Horowitz, CNN Business
Updated 12:31 AM EST, Mon November 14, 2022

/https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/13/economy/degrowth-climate-cop27

Biodiversity Loss Update

Causes of Biodiversity Loss

This is an excellent discussion of the causes of biodiversity loss. I highly recommend clicking through to the original article.

Figure 6. Pinnacled biological soil crust in a protected area of the Great Basin Desert. Such crusts trap moisture and nutrients and block invasive weeds. Livestock trampling can eliminate them. Photograph © Garry Rogers.

Earth continues to hemorrhage biodiversity, according to the latest Living Planet Report. Unfortunately, its authors cannot manage a clear statement of how to stop the bleeding. “You could think of it as a health check for the planet,” says the World Wildlife Fund, introducing its most recent biennial Living Planet Report, “and a prescription for how to help it recover.” As in previous reports, the diagnosis is grim. Since 1970, for the 32,000 populations of 5200 vertebrate species surveyed, average numbers have declined by 69%. If these populations are representative (and there is no obvious reason to doubt they are), that means that for every 10 wild birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish on Earth in 1970, only 3 exist today. It is an almost unimaginable loss for such a short period. Read what the WWF should have saidMillennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere (MAHB).

The Primary Benefit of Biodiversity

Naturalists often warn that biodiversity loss is a greater danger to human civilization than climate change. They give a variety of reasons, but the most important is often overlooked. It is soil. Soil is the foundation for all life on Earth. Diverse ecosystems consistently armor the soil against erosion. If diversity declines, chinks appear and admit wind and rain that erode the soil.

Avoiding Oligarchy to Preserve Nature

Cherokee Nation Seal

Cherokee Nation Seal

The Cherokee Tribe is a sovereign nation with rights guaranteed by a treaty ratified by the U. S. Congress and signed by the U. S. President. The Tribe’s relationship with the United  States is similar to that of the 50 states. The following article by Chuck Hoskin, Jr. Cherokee Principal Chief, concerns the tribe’s efforts to control the corrupting influence of dark money on elected members of the tribal government. I’ve posted it here for the edification of American voters and the U.S. Congress where money is being used by special interests to legally bribe congressional members. Allowed to continue, this could replace our representative government with an oligarchic government.
In my limited experience, it appears that oligarchs have no respect for nature and see natural systems only as resources to harvest. It seems that a representative government is more likely to take action to save the Earth from our current rampant growth and quest for wealth and power. Here’s what Chief Hoskin says:

“Dark money corrupts. Democracy dies in the dark. But, the sovereign government of the Cherokee Nation Reservation is fighting back with recent election law reforms that demand transparency.
“Let us start with the facts: Our longstanding election laws require transparency and accountability with respect to campaign donations. Donation limits, mandatory disclosure and prohibition against “independent expenditures” are all hedges against corruption embedded in Cherokee law. I believe our campaign finance laws were among the strongest in the country even before the latest reforms.
“But, the 2019 election exposed some weaknesses in our laws. It is true that a candidate in 2019 was disqualified for illegally coordinating with an illegal entity operated by non-Indians out of Oklahoma City. Public hearings, including by our Supreme Court, disclosed this attempt to cheat and to steal an election by a group called “Cherokees for Change.” The law held one lawbreaker accountable. However, the law left many involved in the illegal scheme unscathed.
“The law did not hold accountable the people who funneled an unknown amount of money into the election. We may never know the full extent of the corruption, who made donations and what they hoped to gain from their scheme. Perhaps these same outside interests are regrouping to again try to buy our elections. Perhaps others are circling the Cherokee Nation with the same plans.
“The Council of the Cherokee Nation recently took action after literally years of careful review of our election code. I proposed, and the council enacted, the country’s strongest ban on dark money. The law passed 15-0, with two councilors absent. Deputy Speaker Victoria Vazquez said she sponsored the legislation so that “people, not outside corporate interests, control our democracy.” She is spot on.
“I proudly signed the reforms into law earlier this month alongside Deputy Chief Bryan Warner. The law reinforces the ban on the kind of anonymous and unlimited piles of cash that illegally poured into our 2019 elections from Oklahoma City. But, the law now punishes those who donate to these illegal entities with stiff criminal and civil penalties.
“As Council Speaker Mike Shambaugh said, “The message we are sending today is that this is not 2019; you won’t get away with corruption.”
“The ban on dark money is a true exercise of our tribal sovereignty and a win for government transparency. While other nations may be content with unlimited, unregulated, anonymous campaign contributions, the Cherokee Nation is not. Sixteen of 17 council members expressed support for this basic idea: The Cherokee people deserve to know who is contributing to candidates for public office.
“As I reflect on our Nation’s bold stand against corruption, my thoughts turn to the current election campaigns in Oklahoma. Recently, I pushed back on politicians in Oklahoma who are claiming Cherokee sovereignty is “the greatest threat” and that our reservations should be “disestablished.” A number of powerful politicians seem to fear Cherokee Nation making its own laws and protecting the public interest.
“From the perspective of anti-Indian politicians, maybe our sovereignty is a threat. It is certainly a threat to the corrupt influence of those who would try to secretly buy our elections.
chief-hoskin“I firmly believe that some of the same anti-Indian interests who want to destroy our reservations are busy hatching a “plan B” to try to control tribal governments. The Cherokee people and their representatives will not stand for it. No wonder some of these anti-sovereignty politicians are scared.
“We are sovereign. The Cherokee people demand transparency. The days of corrupt dark money in Cherokee politics are over” Chuck Hoskin, Jr., Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Animals to be Formally Recognized as Sentient Beings in UK

So little, but it’s something. Posted here just to keep the record.

Set of government measures will include halting most live animal exports and a ban on hunting trophy imports

Animal welfare protesters are seen at a rally in front of the Al Kuwait live export ship as sheep are loaded in Fremantle harbour, 16 June, 2020
Animal welfare protesters at a rally in front of the Al Kuwait live export ship as sheep are loaded in Fremantle harbour, 16 June 2020. Photograph: Richard Wainwright/AAP

Animals are to be formally recognised as sentient beings in UK law for the first time, in a victory for animal welfare campaigners, as the government set out a suite of animal welfare measures including halting most live animal exports and banning the import of hunting trophies”–Fiona Harvey Environment correspondentWed 12 May 2021 01.00 EDT

Global Warming, Environmental Variability, and Infectious Disease

Introduction

Scientists predict global warming will increase the spread of infectious diseases at the same time it amplifies the intensity of storms, floods, droughts, fires, and other problems. I haven’t followed the disease issue closely, but I think the current global failure with COVID-19 gives us a preview of what this will be like. From increased public health expenses to extensive travel restrictions, civilization will face increasing challenges and will eventually crumble first in poorer nations, regions, and neighborhoods, and finally in wealthy areas.
This story from Nature describes COVID-19’s growing death toll and its deadly contribution to other diseases.

COVID-19 and Infectious Disease in India.
Health workers administer polio vaccines to children in Islamabad in January as an armed police officer stands nearby for protection. Vaccinators have previously been attacked in Pakistan, where rumours persist about immunizations being harmful. (Sohail Shahzad/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Canada Thistle

Canada Thistle is Nutritious and Delicious and Can Improve Average Daily Gains

“Since I started training livestock to eat it, I’ve known that Canada thistle is alfalfa-like in nutrition. – it’s like candy to a ruminant”–Kathy Voth.

Weed Appreciation Day

Today is #WeedAppreciationDay. Before humans, weeds were almost entirely beneficial for Earth’s ecosystems. Problems began when we transported weeds across natural barriers created by deserts, forests, and oceans. In their new homes without their natural consumers, some of the weeds become malignant. They replace local species and destroy local ecosystems. Diversity and stability often decline. The damage is extensive and it is increasing. Here’s a link to more information on weeds: https://garryrogers.com/invasive-plant-articles-by-garry…/

Wildlife Decline Continues

Wildlife Decline

As the human population grows and consumes more of the planet’s resources, the number of wild animals and plants declines. Encounters with insects outdoors and in our homes are falling rapidly. Birds numbers are falling, and wild mammals are disappearing.

The Living Planet Index tracked 20,811 populations of 4,392 vertebrate species and it recorded a 68 percent decline between 1970 and 2016. Over-consumption by humans is primarily to blame, particularly deforestation and agricultural expansion–Niall McCarthy, Data Journalist.

I’ve reported on this issue in many posts over the past few years. In fact, most of my posts are related. Like the rest of the world’s citizens concerned with nature, I’ve been an ineffectual nag. I have come to believe that even if we had 100 Greta Thunbergs demonstrating for nature, we would fail to evade calamity. But it is fair to imagine all is not lost. Caught in the whirlpool of human nature, we can still believe remnants of nature will survive to reseed Earth’s living complexity and beauty once again.

Population

Earth’s Human Population Is Not Sustainable

Human population growth threatens all life on Earth. Notice how the linked Guardian article focuses on Humans. We all know, and the article’s author would probably agree, Human destruction of Earth ecosystems harms other species as well as Humans. This might end when Human civilization ends, but population’s daughter product, climate change, might continue destroying life long after Humans are gone.

A report by the University of Washington predicts that Japan’s population will halve by by 2100. Photograph: Eugene Hoshiko/AP

The Guardian article gives a brief update on population projections.

“In 1798, Thomas Malthus wrung his hands as he contemplated the growing mass of humanity, warning: “The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race.” –Guardian Editorial.

Read more.