|At this point, the denalist engages in delay. The problem that doesn’t exist, and the harms that do not occur will continue not occur in the future, if we just wait.|
A great “wait and see” tactic is to “shift the goal posts.” The denialist does by stating, “we don’t know that there is a problem until X is demonstrated.” The denialist will set unrealistic expectations for X, and if X is shown, it can easily be changed to Y. In the climate change debate, denialists claimed that we did not have enough historical information to make determinations about global temperatures. In 1998, Michael Mann’s research allowed scientists to view 1,000 years of temperature data. That wasn’t enough for the denialists. New advances enable a far deeper knowledge of global temperature, but with each new advance, denialists say it does not go far enough.
Another is to delay by calling for a study of the non-existent problem. I call this the Mustapha Mond option. In the California RFID debate, industry lobbyists argued against setting security and privacy standards, and instead suggested that a “study committee” be formed. This committee would produce a non-binding report with recommendations, some time in the future. The buys the industry time, and then allows a completely new debate over whether the study was proper.