1) A poor explanation for a phenomenon; a flawed description of cause and effect.

2) An explanation for a phenomenon that employs an element of magic to describe the event’s cause.

3) The use of magical thinking to predict an outcome.

One contemporary superstition is the belief that markets can cure any environmental problem. Another is the belief that human ingenuity can and will ultimately undo the destruction to ecosystems so that current societies and their behaviors can continue without interruption or change. These beliefs (which result from endowing markets and human ingenuity with magical properties) allow individuals to avoid questioning their current behaviors and what the cost of them is to ecosystems, the biosphere and the viability of the planet for human beings in the future. These beliefs can serve as a justification for inaction.

Plausible Deniability

1) The plausibility of our claim that we are not aware of the dangers posed to species and ecosystems.

2) The insistence that we are not complicit in a certain deed because, as we also claim, we do not personally see it happening or were not informed of its existence.

3) The practice of denying what we know about the costs of our behaviors because if we admitted these costs we would have to change them.

4) A tactic to avoid accountability and perpetuate the status quo.