One sells a product that causes many documented, scientifically provable harms but provides pleasure to its users. The other sells a product that causes harm that exists only in the minds of climate activists, but is otherwise essential for modern life, including those of activists.
Nobody buys gas for their car because they are ‘addicted’ to it. Unlike cigarettes, if you give up gasoline and quit cold turkey you will still need to find another source of energy to do the same job. Cigarettes you can quit, it won’t kill you. A substance that serves an essential function of modern life is not an addiction.
The moral template of addiction, abstinence and sin does not apply to fossil fuels.
Climate activists have been thrashing about for decades, fitting their cause into pre-existing societal moral conundrums. Successful moral conundrums seize the imagination of a public, elicit outrage and legislation and create a change in mores. Latching on to one could catapult the cause because there are pre-existing social mechanisms and a thirst for moral action to produce trajectories.
Which is why you see the activists in turn talking about pollution, polar bears, grandchildren, slavery and the third world. Unfortunately, their nonsense doesn’t fit anything. How can one tell? Ask the question: in all the years and years of climate campaigning, has there ever, been a bonafide popular uprising or political movement solely in the name of the climate cause? Everyone’s heard their crap a million times, and no one buys it.