As an example of the writers Andrew Bolt is referring to below see a rave from the hysterical Mark Hertsgaard here. Hertsgaard thinks he is Galileo but has got it exactly backwards. It is Hertsgaard who relies on conventional authority and who quotes not one single scientific fact
One of the Guardian's five "environment bloggers" - five! - notes a new sign of desperation in the warmist movement:
According to environmental activists planning a day of protests across the US tomorrow, "climate crank" is set to be the latest name added to the growing list - self-appointed, or otherwise - which already includes sceptic, denier, contrarian, realist, dissenter, flat-earther, misinformer, and confusionist.
If they put as much effort into reasoning as they do into abusing they might get further.
The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer recognised abuse as the very last trick of person whose arguments have collapsed. In his essay on rhetoric, catchily rebadged by a publisher recently as The Art of Always Being Right: Thirty Eight Ways to Win When You Are Defeated, he lists such sliming as tactic 38:
A last trick is to become personal, insulting, rude, as soon as you perceive that your opponent has the upper hand, and that you are going to come off worst. It consists in passing from the subject of dispute, as from a lost game, to the disputant himself, and in some way attacking his person....
But in becoming personal you leave the subject altogether, and turn your attack to his person, by remarks of an offensive and spiteful character. It is an appeal from the virtues of the intellect to the virtues of the body, or to mere animalism. This is a very popular trick, because every one is able to carry it into effect; and so it is of frequent application. Now the question is, What counter-trick avails for the other party? for if he has recourse to the same rule, there will be blows, or a duel, or an action for slander.
A cool demeanour may, however, help you here, if, as soon as your opponent becomes personal, you quietly reply, "That has no bearing on the point in dispute," and immediately bring the conversation back to it, and continue to show him that he is wrong, without taking any notice of his insults. Say, as Themistocles said to Eurybiades - Strike, but hear me . But such demeanour is not given to every one.