Debate Magazine

Astroturfing: How Right, How Pointless?

Posted on the 30 August 2011 by Mikeb302000

A useful comment from Astroturfing: How Right, How Pointless?.

There is only one area of debate which is vital to environmentalism: how to balance preventative measures with the practical realities of daily life. Most people in countries such as Britain contribute to climate change via three means: buying food from shops; domestic energy usage; and private transport. How is your average person supposed to get by without engaging in these things? How can people who are poor in Britain get through a cold winter without burning fuel; or commute to jobs without following suit? They cannot afford solar energy generated boilers; nor are inter-city rails available in most areas of the country. At the moment pragmatic options are not available; and it is in campaigning for these that energy really needs to be spent – not in debunking useless, simpering cybergits.*

And what then of trolls or astroturfers? They fall into two categories: those who are compulsively desperate for attention; and those who work in a wishy-washy, cul-de-sac vocation. They don’t deserve to be dignified with consideration. Nor do they deserve contempt, however: they deserve pity.

Of course, this comment refers to astroturf in the environmentalist/climate change forum, but the same applies with the gun control debate in the US.

No matter how much has settled the debate on the side of gun control.

*See, for example, Stewart Brand’s recent autobiography Whole Earth: How Disgruntled Liberals Find Lucrative Careers Decrying Their Former Peers.

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