There is not.
Most of the article is devoted to endlessly masticating the obvious fact that wood smoke is toxic. If this is news to you, it could only be because you don’t read the news. But Harris treats it as a huge, world-shaking revelation that requires paragraph after paragraph of completely redundant defenses.
His actual point is to claim that, because the mindless people he dines with refuse to accept obvious facts of nature that don’t conform to their thoughtless prejudices — buttressed in many cases, I am sure, by completely useless graduate degrees — that this is in some way analogous to the reluctance of some religious people to conform their supernatural claims to the laws of nature.
Your first thought, on reading that summary, might be to argue that Harris is committing the fallacy of the specious analogy, since the two categories of error are so different. But I would go one further and say that the argument is not an analogy at all. Environmentalism is itself a religion, and, hence, Harris is wasting 1,400 words to make two equally meaningless parallel claims.
But I can quarrel with that conclusion, too: People who adhere to traditional religions hold a wide variety of beliefs, and professional atheists like Harris only engage with the most absurd of those ideas — generally speaking, the claims made by professional theists. But his dinner companions are at war with obvious facts with which each one of them will have had many first-hand experiences. If we are to judge religionists by the relative absurdity of their contrafactual claims, Harris voluntarily socializes with people who are much more irrational than the people he derides for a living.
Not that that matters. None of this matters. The entire article is a waste of time. It serves only to illustrate the quality of cockroaches infesting the intellectual marketplace since academic philosophy declared its bankruptcy.
I hear about Harris from people I know because he has written a “book” called Free Will — which makes the patently absurd claim that human will is an illusion. Harris himself does not believe this, of course, nor does anyone else:
If the human will is not free, I cannot will myself to persuade you of this claim — nor even simply to make it — and you cannot will yourself either to accept or reject it.
I can do much worse violence to Harris’ claims — and to others made by similarly self-deluded hacks — but I don’t wanna. Why? My first reason is that we learn very little of value by elaborating upon error. To discover an error is valuable, but only because you thereby conserve the time you might otherwise have wasted by pursuing that path. But to continue to explore that line of thought once you know it leads to error seems to me to be completely masturbatory. Certainly it cannot lead to new truth. And my second reason is simply this: There’s nothing in it for me. I will learn nothing. I will gain nothing. And I will have forevermore lost that time, which I might otherwise have put to a more productive purpose.
And that’s where you come in: You can make my time productive by paying me to demolish Harris’ “argument.” I can do it, I promise. I can do it right now, in three sentences, without having read his “book.” But I am willing to do a thorough-going, very-entertainingly-scathing debunking of his thesis, if you will dig deep and — wait for it…
I need money, and people clearly need intellectual defense. If you are willing to pay the exterminator’s fee, I am willing to rouse myself to take on a cockroach like Harris.
And if not? That’s fine with me. Harris himself is more than happy to refute his own “argument” on the PR page for his “book”:
Pay me or don’t, I think you should read Man Alive. The world is at war with your mind — as a means of making war on your sovereignty — and you need to learn how to defend yourself.