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Climate change and shouting down questions

I’ve always assumed that people who question climate change are in the same camp as creationists and people who believe wireless networks are cooking their brains. Maybe that’s because that’s how they’re painted by the media, or at least the media I consume. Squander Two has put an interesting post together on the subject:

I object to the constant use of the word “denialist”, designed as it is to imply a parallel with AIDS denialists and Holocaust denialists. We never refer to Einstein as a “quantum mechanics denialist”, even though he didn’t accept the theory and the theory has been proven right to as great an extent as science ever is. You’re not going to persuade me of your case by insulting me, but you are going to make me wonder why you’re conducting a propaganda campaign against anyone who expresses any doubts whatsoever about your views.

4 replies on “Climate change and shouting down questions”

“Denialist” is possibly too strong a word. “Sceptic” seems too soft a word, suggesting a kind of superior standoffishness.

Jo says: “We never refer to Einstein as a “quantum mechanics denialist”, even though he didn’t accept the theory”, but a theory, by defintion, isn’t proven and we knew less about QT in Einstein’s time, as we do now. However, the following three things are not theories, but incontravertible facts:

(a) human activities have led to an increase in the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere
(b) CO2 in the atmosphere causes a Greenhouse Effect
(c) the planet is getting warmer

For me, a climate change *sceptic* is someone who argues that anthropogenic CO2 is not the main driver of global warming (ie contests the *theory*), while a *denialist* is someone who refuses to accept that (a), (b), or (c) are true (ie contests the *facts*).

Don’t you think, though, that anybody who criticises *anything* to do with climate change gets lumped into the same box?

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