from the Pro-Heat dept.
Justin Gillis reports at the NYT that in the long-running political battles over climate change, the fight about what to call the various factions has been going on for a long time with people who reject the findings of climate science dismissed as “deniers” and “disinformers" and those who accept the science attacked as “alarmists” or “warmistas". The issue has recently taken a new turn, with a public appeal that has garnered 22,000 signatures asking the news media to abandon the most frequently used term for people who question climate science, “skeptic,” and call them “climate deniers” instead. The petition began with Mark B. Boslough, a physicist in New Mexico who grew increasingly annoyed by the term over several years. The phrase is wrong, says Boslough, because “these people do not embrace the scientific method.”
Last year, Boslough wrote a public letter on the issue, "Deniers are not Skeptics." and dozens of scientists and science advocates associated with the committee quickly signed it. According to Boslough real skepticism is summed up by a quote popularized by Carl Sagan, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” "[Senator] Inhofe’s belief that global warming is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people” is an extraordinary claim indeed," says Boslough. "He has never been able to provide evidence for this vast alleged conspiracy. That alone should disqualify him from using the title skeptic."